The jack-o’-lanterns will be gone in a flash around Halloween, and if you are organically making your own creations, you likely have larders groaning with jars of pumpkin puree. Now while pumpkin is a great food to eat and mighty healthy too, there’s only so much pumpkin soup, pumpkin curry, pumpkin pancakes, or pumpkin cake the dinner table can take! But don’t start giving away that puree just yet for the same things that make pumpkin healthy to eat can help it give your skin a vital veggie boost. And you don’t have to work too much with this keepsake of fall—just five minutes of your time, a few kitchen ingredients, and a bowlful of pumpkin will do!
Why Does Pumpkin Work Topically?
- Pumpkin has a ton of vitamin B complex, which in turn gives you energy and vitality, amongst other things. When the pumpkin is topically applied, it ends up giving a healthy hello to the skin and strengthens the top layer by helping it fight off infections and soothing irritations. Your hair needs plenty of pumpkin love as well, for the B-vitamins help you get stronger hair with more of a shine. Eating pumpkins is good a way to get your daily dose of the B complex but topical DIY beauty applications work well too!
- Pumpkin is also rich in many other life-giving minerals such as copper, potassium, manganese, iron, and zinc. And these minerals are doubly effective when you both eat and apply them because they can be absorbed upon topical DIY beauty applications as well, so as to give your body and skin a double health dose. Minerals are essential in the cell cycle of the body and that includes the skin as well—plus they also help in protecting the skin from the sun’s UV rays and help in healthy blood circulation in the skin, thus keeping the skin glowing with health.
- You expect lemons to be rich in vitamin C. They are—but so is pumpkin. And as we all know, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Why is that so important? Let’s look at it this way—we all breathe in oxygen and then various biological processes in the body break down the oxygen to be used further in internal respiration. Now, this process of breaking down oxygen releases unpaired electrons or free radicals as by-products. The free radicals bounce around the whole body, disrupt cellular processes and end up causing internal damage. This is the main reason why we age—basically, what we breathe in also poisons us! Antioxidant-rich foods, eaten or applied topically, help us slow down this aging process as antioxidants pair up and bind those free radicals and prevent them from causing damage. So yes—do try these DIY beauty mash-ups for a healthy glow.
- The orange-ness of pumpkin is a dead giveaway to yet another important antioxidant—beta-carotene, a plant carotenoid which the body converts into vitamin A and derivatives. Vitamin A is essential in cell repair, in protecting the internal organs, and even protecting the body from cancers and other degenerative diseases. And we all know that topically applying vitamin A bodes well for the skin, especially if applied at night minus the sun’s degenerative UV rays.
So now that we know why we should put that pumpkin puree to use, let’s work out the way we can use it as DIY beauty…
DIY Beauty Recipes with Pumpkin
- A 2-Ingredient Skin Scrub: If you are below 30 and need a good pumpkin skin scrub, mix 1 cup pumpkin puree with ½ cup raw or organic sugar (smaller crystals work better). If you are above 30 and looking for an anti-aging boost, mix 1 cup pumpkin puree with ½ cup coffee grounds. Dab scoopfuls of this age-appropriate mix and give yourself a through rub from head to toe. The sugar or the coffee will smoothen the skin and slough off any dead skin cells, plus the coffee will plump out those fine lines and get to work on the cellulite as well!
- A Pumpkin & Oats Massage Crème: To make a pumpkin massage cream, puree pumpkin and raw oats in a 2:1 ratio until it makes a smooth paste—if the consistency is too thick, thin it down with milk. Use this goop to massage your skin all over and keep on for 5-10 minutes. Shower off for skin that’s as soft as it can be and heals all the dryness from within.
- Just Your Basic Halloween Face Mask: Come October 30th, apply a paste of pumpkin puree and fresh cream (for normal to dry skin) or yogurt (for oily skin) in a 2:1 ratio. Apply it generously all over your face, neck, and décolletage and carry it over to your arms and legs as well. Scare the kiddos whilst they come trick or treating, or till the mask dries—a total of 15-20 minutes. Wash off for brighter skin and smiles that just don’t stop!
- Deep Conditioning With Pumpkin: Did you know you can make a great pumpkin hair conditioner as well? Mix ½ cup pumpkin puree with 2 tablespoons thick yogurt or coconut cream, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2 tablespoons of virgin olive or coconut oil. Make sure the paste is smooth and non-lumpy—you may choose to gently heat it a little to increase absorption as well. Apply this first to the scalp and then cover your hair from roots to end. Wear a shower cap and keep on for 20-30 minutes to let your hair and scalp soak in all that it can. Rinse and shampoo; condition and style as usual for softer, fuller hair.
- Some TLC For Tired Feet & Hardworking Hands: We use our hands and feet to their fullest possible capacity, which is why age tends to show on the hands the fastest. To give your hands and feet some revitalizing care, make a pumpkin scrub with salt. Add 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil to 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree and mix well. Add in 1 tablespoon of sea salt and squeeze half a lemon in it all. Mix just once, for we don’t want the salt to meld in. Now give your hands and feet a good scrub with this mix, paying special attention to the nails. When you wash off, you’ll notice the skin looks well cared for and the nails looking shiny.
Reaping in the revitalizing properties of pumpkin doesn’t take much time and effort but gives you fantastic results that are also organic, healthy, and environmentally happier. So here’s wishing you a pumpkin patch this fall, and a happy Halloween as well!