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 Beauty Benefits
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:
1) It Can Soothe Irritated Skin
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.
2) It Can Cure Rough Skin
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.
3) It’s A Skin Moisturizer
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.
4) Pumpkin Seed Oil Can Heal Chapped Skin
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.
5) Pumpkin Puree Adds Shine To Hair
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.
6) Pumpkin’s Antioxidants Help Protect Your Skin
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.
Pumpkin Beauty Recipes
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:
- Pumpkin face mask – Mix one egg with one fourth-cup of pumpkin puree and a tablespoon of honey. If you have oily skin, you may want to skip the honey and add in a splash of apple cider or lemon juice instead. If you really want to exfoliate your skin, add a splash of milk; the lactic acid is a natural exfoliant. Once you apply the mixture to your face, leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.
- Pumpkin body scrub – If you want to spread a pumpkin’s goodness all over your body, mix that fourth-cup of pumpkin puree with an equal amount of brown sugar and scrub away. Your skin will glow and your body will smell like pumpkin pie.
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.