After you’ve carved your Jack-o-lanterns on Halloween be sure to save that gooey glop. Turns out it’s not only tasty in soups and pies – pumpkin is great for your skin as well. Rich in essential vitamins and nutrients that give skin a natural glow, one would think they’d pack pumpkin into every skin-care product on the market, since it’s bursting with:
• Vitamin A, which softens skin
• Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that reduces the harmful effects of free radicals
• Vitamin E, which reduces lines and wrinkles
• Minerals such as manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron and potassium, which generally improve the skin’s tone and appearance by breaking down dead proteins and fighting off inflammation
Despite the benefits of pumpkin to the skin – seriously, who wouldn’t want younger looking skin?? – surprisingly few commercial beauty products contain it as a primary ingredient. So why not make your own? Following are a few healthy pumpkin-based skin-care recipes that you can concoct from home using the pulp from this year’s Jack-o-lantern. They’re good enough to eat – but better to slather them on your skin instead. Enjoy – and have a safe and happy Halloween.
Pumpkin and Honey Mask (from http://www.womenshealthmag.com)
In a small bowl, combine the mashed pumpkin and honey. Stir until smooth. Apply to clean, damp skin in the evening, and leave it on for 20 minutes. (This mask can be sticky, so be sure to wear an old t-shirt when using it.) Rinse with water and pat dry. Apply once a week or whenever skin is irritated.
Sweet Pumpkin Body Scrub (from http://www.sparkpeople.com)
This body scrub will gently exfoliate and revitalize your skin.
Combine in a small bowl:
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1 cup organic cane sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Mix with a spoon until blended. Apply to body with gentle circular scrubbing motions, using a washcloth if desired. When complete, rinse with warm water.
Pumpkin Body Butter (from http://www.routeonepumpkins.com)
Mix ingredients in a bowl. Apply generously to clean skin and massage gently so as to work it well into the skin. Allow butter to remain on for 10 minutes or so, then rinse with warm water and pat dry.