Autumn is here and that means it’s time to indulge in all things pumpkin! This fall, we encourage you to do more with pumpkins than just carve jack-o-lanterns and let them sit on your front doorstep.
Native to North America, the pumpkin is a gourd-like squash considered a fruit of the pumpkin plant. The pumpkin and its seeds are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. So, the pie you may be eating during the holiday season can actually be healthy.
It’s a stretch, we know, but it helps us prioritize our plates come Thanksgiving. We’re thinking of dessert first!
Other than pie, here are a couple more ways to use up your pumpkin before the season is over—seeds and all.
Everything starts with a seed
This is the perfect no-waste recipe for those who have never known what to do with the scooped out seeds. Instead of tossing them in the trash bin, toss them in your oven.
Pumpkin seeds, aka pepitas, are rich in monounsaturated fats, magnesium, and zinc. Zinc is a mineral important for cell metabolism. It ensures that your cells, including those on your face, maintain collagen—the protein responsible for the youthful elasticity and bounce in your skin.
As they are also a good source of tryptophan—an amino acid that’s important in producing hormones called serotonin. Snacking on a handful of pepitas every night may brighten your mood and help you get in more beauty sleep, too.
Sweet and salty pepitas
Transforming pepitas into a crunchy, skin-healthy snack is quick and easy. The following is the perfect autumn recipe to quench your sweet and healthy tooth, while also filling your home with the delicious aroma of pumpkin spice.
2 ½ cups of pumpkin seeds (cleaned of pulp)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon salt
In a bowl, coat the pumpkin seeds with the olive oil. Combine the sugar, spice, and salt into the mixture and blend well with a large spoon. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for 400℉ for 12-15 min. Let cool and enjoy!
A mask for circulation
There are a few ways to enjoy the flesh of pumpkin and one includes, yes, making it into pumpkin pie. But besides consuming it, pumpkin can also be applied topically in various forms that include scrubs, masks, and creams.
Pumpkin is full of vitamin C, carotenoids, minerals, and B vitamins. Including it as a key ingredient in your facials can help brighten dull skin, promote skin renewal, improve skin tone and elasticity, and even reverse UV damage—a complete fall and winter complexion makeover.
Scrub a dub dub mask
We like to add a little coffee to our all-natural and gentle pumpkin sugar scrub. The addition of caffeine, via coffee grounds, will boost blood circulation and promote glowing skin.
1/4 cup canned organic pumpkin
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground coffee
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Mix the brown sugar, ground coffee, and grated ginger into a bowl with the pumpkin. Combine until smooth.
Apply a warm wet towel to your face for a few minutes to open pores. Apply scrub to face in a circular motion. Leave it on for about 5 minutes, then wash off with warm water or gently wipe off with a warm, wet towel. Splash face with cool water to close pores.
Pumpkin oil: The secret to anti-aging
Pumpkin oil has consistently been used as an anti-aging ingredient in skin car. Rich in vitamin E and A, along with zinc and omega fatty acids, some of the benefits associated with pumpkin oil are:
Firming skin. The natural nutrients found in pumpkin oil, particularly vitamin c and zinc, help to firm and tighten.
Controlling oil production. Essential fatty acids sink deep into the skin, providing moisture without greasiness. These moisturizers help balance oil and keep skin smooth and soft.
Soothing redness and irritation. All the natural properties found in pumpkin oil make it ideal for sensitive skin, so slather it on!
Our tip: Just buy it!
Unless you have a commercial oil extractor at home, look to a natural foods store, or search online to get a bottle. There are not many ingredients that are as multifaceted as pumpkin oil. We recommend using a couple of drops in your body lotion, foot creams, and hair conditioner.
Try adding a drop to your Simple Beauty Age-Defying Retinol Moisturizer. Already formulated with aloe leaf juice, green tea extract, and chamomile flower extract, this moisturizer is designed to hydrate the skin while also fighting the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The retinol helps to boost cell production for quicker turnover to enhance collagen rejuvenation.
All of this, combined with the benefits of pumpkin oil, is the key to youthful-looking skin.
To put it simply
There’s more than one way to carve a pumpkin! The transition from the summer heat to the chillier fall can take a toll on your skin. Skip toxic ingredients and keep things simple this season. We hope you’re inspired to eat, drink, and soak up this nutrient-rich ingredient as much as you can.
With pumpkin seeds for skin elasticity and mood regulation, pumpkin flesh for a skin-brightening mask, and pumpkin oil to add to your Age-Defying Retinol Moisturizer for a little boost, I think you have a pumpkin-themed spa day to plan.