Pumpkins are more than just a fall decoration; they’re a super food that can make your body shine from the inside out. Pumpkins are full of vitamins and antioxidants that are not only good for your health, but can give you a beauty boost as well. That bright orange pulp is packed with beta-carotene, which fights free radicals and is essential to eye health. It’s also rich in vitamin C, which supports the immune system, and vitamin A, which regulates cell growth and division. If pumpkins can do all of this for the inside of your body, imagine what it can do for the outside.
Pumpkin’s essential nutrients can work wonders on your hair, nails and skin. Here are just some of the beauty benefits that pumpkin has to offer:
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, a mineral that has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe sensitive skin and may be able to prevent facial acne, according to some studies. The endosperm, which is the layer between the seed and its shell, contains the most amount of zinc, so in order to get the best results it’s important that you eat both the seed and the shell as the endosperm is usually ripped away from the seed when it is shelled.
Do you have calloused elbows or dry, cracked feet? Rub some pumpkin pulp or oil on the area and watch the dead skin dissolve. Alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids are natural exfoliaters that found in these parts of the pumpkin and they will eat away at the dead skin cells, leaving behind soft new skin.
Pumpkin seed oil is a natural moisturizer that heals any type of skin, no matter how dry. Certain moisturizers contain pumpkin seed butter, which is non-greasy and absorbs quickly.
If cold weather has your skin feeling a little weather-beaten, dab on some pumpkin seed oil, which contain vitamin E and linoleic acid. Both will hydrate your skin, making it look and feel more smooth and supple. Pumpkin seed oil has also been used to treat burns and prevent freckling in some Native American tribes. Although these claims haven’t been scientifically proven, it is known that vitamin E can reduce the appearance of scars, so using pumpkin seed oil in these situations may be beneficial.
The amino acids and the fatty acids found in pumpkins can strengthen broken or damaged strands and add an overall shine to your hair. Plus, it will make your hair smell fantastic.
It’s no secret that vitamin C is an immune-system booster, but what you may not realize is that vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant. It fights free radicals, stimulates the production of collagen and can help reduce the appearance of scars. But vitamin C isn’t the only skin-friendly antioxidant found in pumpkins. Beta-carotene, which is also found in carrots, protects skin cells from degeneration and is a cancer-fighter as well.
So how can you put all of these beauty benefits to good use? For starters, you can look for beauty products that contain pumpkin seed oil, pumpkin seed butter or some other form of pumpkin. Incorporating pumpkin into your diet is another great way, if not the best way, to get those antioxidants into your system. Although pumpkin is typically thought of as a fall food, it’s important to incorporate it into your diet year-round due to its health benefits. Lastly, try making your own pumpkin beauty products. Here are some recipes to get you started:
So the next time you’re in need of a beauty boost, look no further than that pumpkin sitting on your doorstep or that can of pumpkin puree taking up space in the back of your pantry. As the saying goes, you are what you eat, so if you eat healthy, you’ll look and feel healthy too.