Pumpkin for Beauty Benefits

Simple Ingredients for a Rejuvenating Pumpkin Mask

Three simple ingredients, one great skin lifter-upper. How easy can that be?
Three simple ingredients, one great skin lifter-upper. How easy can that be? | Source
Pumpkin may look pretty as Jack O' Lantern, but it  also yields beauty benefits.
Pumpkin may look pretty as Jack O' Lantern, but it also yields beauty benefits. | Source

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It’s pumpkin season again. No doubt about. Stores with bulging containers of them, pumpkins sitting pretty on porches or front yards, on window sills and you may have one sitting on the kitchen countertop awaiting the carving knife. They’re everywhere and what are you going to do about this great dame of Fall? Make Jack O’lanterns? Now, that’s quite standard. Turn them into culinary delights? Yes, done that too and as we speak, there are people experimenting with ways to turn pumpkin into food treats. How about beauty aids?


If you’ve never considered using pumpkin for any other purposes than fall décor and food, here’s ample reasons and therefore impetus, to put pumpkin to more use. How about utilizing its rich nutrients for beauty purposes? And nature couldn’t have offered up a better choice than this adorable gourd to pamper and rejuvenate the body from outside in to inside out. Here’s why:

The Versatile Pumpkin—More than Magical Carriage

So the story goes that Cinderella travels in a carriage transformed from a pumpkin. How ingenius. But if you look at how the pumpkin has been used through the ages, you’ll agree that it’s way more ingenious and creative. Pumpkin is native to Central America and Mexico and is a member of a large extended gourd family which includes cucumbers, zucchini, honeydew, watermelon and cantaloupe. In other words, they’re crawling vines.

Early native Americans found ways to put pumpkin to use, from the blossoms down to the skin of the pumpkin. Often used as sustainable food sources, the bright orange flesh could be roasted, baked, parched, boiled or dried. No throwing out pumkpkin seeds either—they makes good snacks and are often used for medical purposes. As for the pumpkin blossoms, they tossed them into stews.

Moving on to other uses—dried shell of pumpkin doubles up as bowls and containers. The dried husk was also used as template for cutting hair—great way to ensure a uniform cut. They even used pounded dried strips of pumpkin to make mats.

It was the native Americans who introduced pumpkins to the pilgrims. By the second Thanksgiving, pumpkins made its auspicious presence and from then on, no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without pumpkin, either as food or décor.

Beta-carotene

The bright orange flesh is a dead giveaway: it’s rich in an orange pigment called beta-carotene, part of a bigger group of antioxidants called carotenoids. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the small intestine. According to the American Cancer Society, vitamin A helps to promote healthy skin and mucous membranes, particularly those lining the nose and mouth. How? Vitamin A prevents cellular damage by nullifying the damaging effects of free radicals. So, if you’re looking for some natural ingredients to pamper your skin, consider pumpkin.

Since we’re on the subject of skin care, studies also suggest that beta-carotene may help to protect against sun sensitivity according to the University of Maryland Medical Studies. Another incentive to use pumpkin.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a workhorse when it comes to protecting the body against damaging free radicals. Its fame in boosting immunity has won wide acclaim as well. According to the Institutes of Health, vitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of tissues in the body including skin, ligaments, bone and teeth. Enlist the help of vitamin C, found abundantly in pumpkin (1 cup contains 11 g of vitamin C) to rejuvenate and enhance the appearance of your skin.

Vitamin E

While vitamin A and C are water soluble, vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is essential in the maintenance of healthy skin. It also absorbs skin damaging ultra-violet lights, thereby preventing premature aging and age spots. According to Oregon State University, vitamin E may exert anti-inflammatory effects on skin.

Zinc

Although zinc is primarily linked to its role in reducing risks of prostate cancer, it is an important mineral in promoting healthy skin. It helps to control oil production and acne may be an indication of zinc deficiency. Put the zinc in pumpkin to good use and while we're at it, health sources also reveal that pumpkin seeds have one of the highest concentration of zinc. Whether you slather on some soothing pumpkin mask or eat the seeds as a snack (nourishing your skin inside out), harness its skin-enhancing capabilities.


Now, that's you've been introduced to rather amazing pumpkin, let's make some pumpkin-to-goodness beauty fixes. Essentially, we use pumpkin puree--you can buy it in a can (organic is better) or you can make your own. It's not too difficult and you can always freeze leftover pumpkin puree for later use.

Pumpkin puree has great moisturizing power as it contains enzymes and antioxidants that offer dual action--they act as alpha hydroxyl acids which gently remove dead skin cells while at the same time nourishing the skin.

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Simple steps to creating a pumpkin mask to revitalize your skin.
Simple steps to creating a pumpkin mask to revitalize your skin.
Simple steps to creating a pumpkin mask to revitalize your skin. | Source

Moisturizing Face Mask

Tap into the exfoliating power of brown sugar and the nourishing prowess of pumpkin and sweet almond oil for soft clean skin:

  • 2 tbs of pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbs of brown sugar
  • A few drops of sweet almond oil (or argan oil, avocado or olive)

Mix well, apply to skin and cleanse off after 10 to 15 minutes.

Another pumpkin mask recipe

Pumpkin Hair Mask

Is your dry hair, dull or lacking in hair appeal? If you’re bothered by your lackluster hair, indulge in this super-moisturizing hair mask made of simple ingredients.

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup of yogurt
  • 1 tsp of jojoba oil

Simply mix ingredients, apply to hair and shampoo off after about half an hour. See the difference?

Body Mask

Is your skin crying out for attention? If it’s dry and dull, give it some attention with this rich moisturizing mask, sure to put the suppleness back. Coconut milk, long as used as skin moisturizer in Asia, has fatty acids to help to hydrate skin. When it comes to restoring natural moisture balance, castor oil is a natural choice, given the fact that it contains high levels of triglyceride fatty acids, vitamin E, antioxidants and minerals. As for the dash of cinnamon, let’s say it’s for purely aesthetic reasons—it smells good(plus it's antimicrobial) and enhances mood…great way to relax while nourishing your skin.

  • ½ cup of pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup of coconut milk
  • 1 tbs of castor oil
  • A dash of cinnamon

Mix well and apply generously to skin and massage. Rinse off in shower after 15 minutes. Pat dry.

Source

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

If you've time to spare and love making things from scratch, make your own fresh pumpkin puree. The verdict is out as to whether it's better to make your own or just use the canned pumpkin puree. There are concerns regarding BPA found in canned goods but there are brands that are BPA-free. Canned pumpkin offers convenience and consistency of flavor and texture.

If you're quite the stickler for all things fresh, have fun trying this:

  1. Split pumpkin into half
  2. Scoop out seeds and stringy fibers with a sturdy metal spoon.
  3. Lay the two halves in a roasting pan, cut-side down.
  4. Add one cup of water
  5. Bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit until tender, about 90 minutes
  6. Remove flesh from skin and puree in food processor.

Fresh pumpkin can be kept in refrigerator for up to one week. Just make sure you store it in tightly sealed container. Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.

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Comments 22 comments

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

I like the facial idea..however it might be tempting to lick some off. Thanks for sharing all these benefits of pumpkin. I have never cooked fresh pumpkin,.,,maybe time to try. Voted up and sharing.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 3 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love pumpkin and I found something great about it related with health. The pumpkin puree looks delicious. I'll share with my mom. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

Prasetio


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

I love pumpkin, but have not heard of it as a facial moisturizer. I may have to try it. Great share on the benefits of pumpkin and remedys that are easily made.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

So happy to see you here, Carol. How did your Thanksgiving go? I agree the pumpkin mask looks like dessert. Thanks for reading and commenting.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

Thanks, Prasetio, always good to hear from you. Glad you find it useful. Have a great weekend.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

teaches, good to see you here. There are commercially produced pumpkin moisturizer and face mask. But making it yourself is half the fun. Thanks for commenting.


Life Iz Beautiful profile image

Life Iz Beautiful 3 years ago from India

I loved the face mask. gonna try it as soon as I lay my hand on a pumpkin!

Well explained hub in respect to the vitamin constituents and the other nutritional virtues of this giant fruit. Voted useful.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

Life Iz Beautiful, thanks for reading and commenting. How did your pumpkin mask go?


Life Iz Beautiful profile image

Life Iz Beautiful 3 years ago from India

Yet to lay my hands on a pumpkin! so the mask is on hold. :)


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 3 years ago

Really neat! My skin gets so dry in the winter. Maybe I'll try the moisturizing facial mask sometime. Then I can turn the rest of my pumpkin puree into pumpkin muffins. My skin and stomach will be happy at the same time!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

Life Iz Beautiful, haha, good thing pumpkin is in season. Thanks for commenting.

Om, way to go, muffin girl. That's the idea--nourish yourself from inside out and outside in. Thanks for reading and commenting.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 3 years ago from Central United States of America

The moisturizing face mask does sound delicious. I must admit that I misread it at first, reading the tbs as lbs...and I thought "Why so much? And so little oil."

Then I went back up to check and sure enough, it was more reasonable for a facial mask.

Additionally, a friend told me last week to save her a bit of pumpkin for her cat - it had loose stools and she said eating the pumpkin would stop it. I had never heard of this...have you? It doesn't seem to have that property for any one I know. Thank you for sharing these delicious facts about pumpkin!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

frogyfish, happy new year!! So good to hear from you and thanks for your continual support. Haha, haven't heard that trick yet about helping loose stools but you never know. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

I love the flavor of pumpkin and know that it is good for one but have never tried to use it externally as a facial mask or to treat dry damaged hair. Good to know these things. Up, useful and interesting votes.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

Hi Peggy, good to see you here. Thanks for reading and commenting.


nifwlseirff profile image

nifwlseirff 3 years ago from Leipzig, Germany

I never would have thought to use pumpkin as a beauty ingredient! Sounds interesting, and a great use when you have too many pumpkins to store!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

nifwlseirff, thanks for reading and commenting. Pumpkins are very versatile.


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

How interesting! I've heard of pumpkin masks but I never thought to use pumpkin on my hair. We don't even have canned pumpkin as an option here, but we can buy pumpkin by the slice in the market as it's a staple part of the diet. I just boil or bake and then mash and it's ready to use. I hope to try this soon! Thanks! Voted up and shared.


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

How interesting! I've heard of pumpkin masks but I never thought to use pumpkin on my hair. We don't even have canned pumpkin as an option here, but we can buy pumpkin by the slice in the market as it's a staple part of the diet. I just boil or bake and then mash and it's ready to use. I hope to try this soon! Thanks! Voted up and shared.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

vespawoolf, always good to hear from you. The amazing powers of nature to heal, even in a pumpkin. Thanks for dropping by to read and comment.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

Thanks for this look at the benefits of pumpkin and for the great variety of recipes that use this wonderful fruit to its advantage!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 2 years ago Author

Thanks, RTalloni, good to hear from you.

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