The Wonders of Pumpkin

When most people think of pumpkins, the first thoughts that typically come to their mind are having a comforting, warm pumpkin spice latte when the chill of fall is beginning to set in or enjoying a delicious slice (or two!) of pumpkin pie with the arrival of the holiday season. In general, pumpkins are a delicious ingredient incorporated into celebrating various traditions or seasons; while pumpkins are indeed delicious, they are also a miraculous superfood that contains powerful nutrients, offering benefits to both overall wellness and skin health.

 

A superfood is determined by its inherent nutrient profile, as well as the nutrients’ ability to affect change and benefit overall health. These nutrients can include a wealth of antioxidants, minerals, naturally occurring phytochemicals, and other unique properties. Pumpkins just happen to be one of nature’s most splendid superfoods; they are naturally rich with an abundance of active minerals and antioxidants. Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds have been ingested throughout the centuries for holistic medicinal purposes. Comparatively, the skin care industry’s understanding of pumpkins and the topical benefits they have for the skin are relatively new.

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As mentioned previously, nutrients in superfoods not only have benefit for overall wellness, but also do marvelous things for the skin. For example, the high enzymatic content of pumpkins allows skin care professionals to resurface and exfoliate dry, dead, and dehydrated skin cells to reveal the radiant, more youthful-looking cells underneath, giving the complexion an overall glow. Enzymatic exfoliation is gentle, yet effective, for all skin types and strengthens skin simultaneously with natural antioxidants and vitamins.

Pumpkins contain a mega dose of vitamin A, which is an antioxidant that can help to protect cells from free radical damage caused by harmful ultraviolet rays, negate the effects of toxic pollution, and potentially help slow the overall aging process. The high vitamin A content also encourages cell turnover rates to increase. Combine this increased cellular turnover with pumpkin’s active enzymatic content and the skin will be effectively, and efficiently, resurfaced to show off those beautiful, radiant, newer skin cells. It is important to note that whenever the skin is exfoliated, it should be protected prior to sun exposure with a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

While every skin condition can reap the benefits that pumpkins have to offer, the conditions that would see the biggest benefits from using pumpkin as an active ingredient would be hyperpigmentation; loss of vitality; dry skin; dry, break-out prone skin; and dry, aging skin. When it comes to hyperpigmentation, the enzymes from pumpkins love to digest melanin and dead melanocytes, pulling them to the surface of the skin and helping to slough off uneven skin tone and lighten dark spots. For both dry and dry, acne-prone skin, the exfoliating benefits of pumpkin will help to slough off dead skin cells and increase the penetration of every following treatment, such as an antibacterial mask; anti-inflammatory serum; or hydrating, balancing, and nourishing oil. The zinc content that naturally occurs in pumpkin will accelerate healing for blemish-prone skin types and the exfoliating enzymatic content will also help to clear and prevent pore blockages that can lead to breakouts.

Another added benefit for dry skin is the essential fatty acids contained in pumpkin seeds. Essential fatty acids are referred to as “essential” because people must get them from their diet. The human body cannot make them on its own and the skin is no different. As a result, people need to incorporate the acids into their skin’s daily regimen to ensure the skin stays healthy. Fatty acids make up an important part of the skin’s function as a protective barrier, which includes controlling bacteria, maintaining moisture content, and guarding from allergens or irritants. Using pumpkin seed oils on the skin can enhance this barrier and protect skin from the daily barrage of harmful chemicals. Another important fact to consider is that as people age, this barrier decreases, allowing water to leech from the skin and encouraging impression lines to become permanent rather than temporary. Incorporating healthy fats into a skin care regimen prevents this water loss and can help to build the skin’s natural water content. Pumpkin seed oil is especially effective in lip care products due to the essential fatty acids.

With the wide variety of benefits, pumpkin works as an effective ingredient in virtually all skin care product categories. When it comes to a professional grade treatment, pumpkin based peels offer a fantastic opportunity to avoid chemicals and the potential negative side effects associated with these harsher treatments, while still providing effective results to treat advanced skin conditions. The beauty of selecting products sourced from nature is the powerful way beneficial ingredients can be combined with each other, giving a synergistic effect to treat various skin conditions. Nature has already combined the alpha hydroxy acids, vitamins, active enzymes, minerals, and antioxidants into pumpkins; they are ready to deliver extraordinary benefits to the skin. Another advantage of opting for an organic, nature-based peel is that the client gets more than a peel: they get a skin care treatment that also protects, hydrates, and repairs the skin.

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While pumpkins have a miraculous ability to reveal radiant, youthful skin, it is important to remember that these benefits do not end just with the skin on the face; people should not neglect the biggest surface area of skin – the body! Pumpkin works wonders to both exfoliate and hydrate the skin simultaneously in body care products, such as a pumpkin mousse body wrap. Incorporating healthy body care products into a daily routine is essential since people tend to neglect their skin.

Pumpkin can also be used to treat advanced aging and dryness on the face or body. Either a pumpkin peel or pumpkin hydrating mask will increase cell turnover rates, unveiling glowing skin and aiding in treating conditions such as keratosis polaris, milia, and chronic dryness. As an effective treatment for eczema and psoriasis, mild amounts of pumpkin deliver alpha hydroxy acids to the skin to gently encourage cellular turnover, while zinc and pumpkin seed oil soothe and assist the skin in healing. Alpha hydroxy acids function differently than most people perceive; alpha hydroxy acids do not actually break down skin cells – they break down the water-based intracellular cement (like the mortar that holds bricks together) and encourage the old crumbled skin cells to turn over. The pumpkin’s natural enzymes function by breaking down protein (or keratin) for the skin, helping to soften and break down these cells. This type of exfoliation creates enough activity to signal the body’s own fibroblasts, encouraging them to start creating new collagen and elastin. In high amounts, these acids and enzymes would be great for resurfacing and exfoliating an aging skin type, but should not be used for eczema or psoriasis, as they would be too irritating. However, in mild amounts, the level of activity would be just enough to encourage healing and repair for eczema or psoriasis.

Pumpkins not only tantalize the taste buds, but also offer incredible benefits for all skin types and overall health; benefits that should not end seasonally. Pumpkins (and their seeds) should be a part of the skin’s daily diet to prevent, treat, and protect people head-to-toe from multiple concerns and conditions. Incorporating pumpkin into a skin care regimen is a deliciously effective way to achieve incredible results naturally without any harmful chemicals or additives. Start feeding clients’ skin pumpkin today!

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Boldijarre Koronczay, president of Eminence Organic Skin Care, is an icon of the spa industry. Having personally trained over a quarter of a million professionals in the past two decades, his humorous and entertaining presentation style, combined with first class education and Hungarian-inspired treatment techniques, make his Master Classes a crowd favorite at every industry event. His passion for the industry drives him to continue personally educating at trade events, sharing his enthusiasm, inspiration, and knowledge at every session. Koronczay is a survivor of childhood Leukemia, inspiring Eminence Organics to introduce Eminence Kids Foundation, a philanthropic initiative which provides thousands of nutritious, organic meals to seriously ill children in North America and Europe.

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Brian Goodwin is an international educator for Eminence Organic Skin Care. As a master medical aesthetician, master herbalist, and consultant with over 10 years of experience in the spa industry, Goodwin brings his love and enthusiasm for skin care to the masses with his passionate, fun, and educational trainings. Goodwin has had the honor of educating and consulting over 2,000 distinguished spas and has also been a keynote speaker most notably in New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Vancouver, guiding spas towards finding success in both educational and business growth.

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