It's that time of year again and it's time for me to start addressing the benefits, myths, and no-no's of all the pumpkin spice products you're about to encounter.
Pumpkin can have a great place at the table of your skincare!
Use it, Just don't over-use it.
It turns out that pumpkin isn't just a fad in the fall and should be incorporated into your skincare during the season when it's fresh and you can get organic pumpkins.
It's important to note that scientific research has found that the most healing of components in a pumpkin is found in the skin of the fruit. The pulp has it's own beautiful attributes that should not go unnoticed, but lets talk about whole-pumpkin usage.
1. Vitamin A - 1 cup of cooked pumpkin contains nearly 10,000 IU of vitamin A. Per ounce, it is rivaled only by carrots. Mainly: pulp and skin
2. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA's) - these wonderful little acids are famous for turning over skin cells at a higher rate than normal which increases the skin's healing response and capabilities. AHA's are used to promote a more even skin tone and to heal scars and acne faster. ALL fruits contain some level of AHA's. Mainly: pulp
3. Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal - a Korean government funded study showed protiens in pumpkin are anti-bacterial and were found to kill the type of yeast that causes infections for women and babies. Yeast overgrowth on the body is a common problem in developed parts of the world and equalizing your bacteria topically is as important as internally. Mainly- skin
4. Thiamin Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, and Phosephorus - Just to name a few beneficial minerals and vitamins that you can pay top dollar for in a jar of skincare. All of these are just hanging out in that pumpkin on your porch that you paid $12 for. Each on of these is beneficial for acne, aging, and general skin health.
Don't forget the seeds!! Toast those babies in the oven and eat up. Pumpkin seeds have been historically used for bladder issues and to remove parasites. Science has backed up these uses.
While using the seeds right out of a pumpkin at home isn't very practical, lets review the precious oil that comes from this mostly-discarded part.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
An Emerald in the Orange Orb
1. Vitamin E - the queen of skincare. Pumpkin Seed Oil is comprised of up to 50% Vitamin E. *take note that "pure Vitamin E" oils purchased from stores are chemically manufactured and are NOT the same molecular make-up as vitamin E found in oils right from nature.
2. Phenolic compounds - these little babes are like bursts of love for the body. I think of them as magic-packets! Some notable phenolic compounds found in pumpkin seed oil are tyrosol, vanillic acid, vanillin, luteolin and sinapic acid. Tyrosol has to do with skin pigmentation and regulates melanin (stops over-production!). Vanillic acid protects skin cells from oxidative stress. Vanillin is anti-bacterial. Luteolin suppresses UVB-induced photoageing. Sinaptic acid is anti-inflammatory. WOAH. So there's just a FEW reasons to use whole oils on your skin instead of lab-made substitutes.
These are the important touch-points of why these beautiful and delicious squash should absolutely be used on the skin.