We may often take the humble pumpkin for granted, but did you know that autumn’s generous gift is a real miracle for our skin? It is an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and essential elements the skin needs. Pumpkin is not just for carving and eating - it makes for a wonderful facial or body mask! All parts of the pumpkin, including seeds, can be used in creating amazing skin care products. Pumpkin masks and peels are always a popular choice for many aestheticians, because of their amazing exfoliating properties and creamy pleasant texture. It is no wonder that November’s holiday treatments always include this deliciously fragrant gourd. Enzymes and alpha-hydroxy acids in pumpkin exfoliate dead skin cells while promoting skin repair and cell-turnover. A pumpkin mask or peel cleanses, conditions, and moisturizes while helping to firm the skin.
From a nutritional standpoint, just an ounce of pumpkin seeds contain 4.2 mg iron, which helps fight lead-poisoning, and as little as a half cup of canned pumpkin is rich in potassium, vitamins C, B1, B2, B5, E, and has 953mg of vitamin A! That vitamin A comes in the form of immune-boosting beta carotene. The name beta-carotene is derived from the Latin name for carrot, and it gives yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, such as pumpkin, their rich hues. Like all other carotenoids, beta-carotene in pumpkin is an antioxidant which protects the body from damaging molecules called free radicals.
Dermatologists use beta-carotene for its ability to increase cell turn-over and regeneration in the outer layers of the skin, making it effective for diseases and skin conditions related to epithelium damage. Research suggests that taking high doses of beta-carotene internally may decrease sun-sensitivity. People with erythropoietic protoporphyria, a rare genetic condition that causes painful sun sensitivity as well as liver problems, are often treated with beta-carotene to reduce sun sensitivity. A combination of antioxidants may help protect the skin against the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Long-term supplementation with beta-carotene may reduce UV induced skin redness, and appears to slightly reduce the risk of sunburn in individuals who are sensitive to sun exposure.
As you see, pumpkin is an excellent choice for all skin types. It nourishes the skin, provides a non-abrasive exfoliation, and makes skin baby-smooth. So why not add a pumpkin mask to your treatment menu today? Your clients will love you for it!