Why Pumpkin Is The Go-To Fall Skincare Ingredient
There’s no better time of year than New York City in the Fall. The leaves change color and the weather cools down so we can pull out our favorite coats. And then there are the pumpkins... From lattes to pies, pumpkin is the ingrdient of the season. Loaded with an antioxidant called lycopene, pumpkin is great for your health. Lycopene gives pumpkins their bright orange color, and is also found in other red fruits and vegetables like carrots and tomatoes.
It’s no surprise that pumpkins can also help your skin. First, the antioxidants protect and brighten the skin. Besides lycopene, pumpkin also contains vitamin A and C which boost collagen production and protect the skin from free radical damage. Plus, pumpkin is packed with fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids that brighten and even skin tone. “It’s commonly used as an ingredient in skincare masks and scrubs because of its mild exfoliating and antiaigng properties,” my Dermatologist husband tells me.
Here’s a run through of the pumpkin products I tested out.
1. Too Cool for School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack - $20.
While most of the pumpkins skincare products are scrubs, this one is a gentle hydrating sleep mask. It is a white cream that offers both skin hydration and exfoliating properties. Like other sleep masks, you apply them as your last step right before bed so it can do its job while you sleep. It is has a light texture and dried quickly, so you don’t have to worry about it making mess on your pillow. I used it before bed and can say my skin was smooth and hydrated the next morning. (There’s nothing worse than waking up with flaky skin in the morning because of dry air over night.)
I couldn’t wait to try this peel out when I opened the jar to see the bright orange product. The pumpkin extract contains naturally occuring fruit acids, and it is paired with other hydroxy acids like lactic and gluconic acid to gently exfoliate the skin. I applied to my face after cleansing and let it sit for about 3 minutes or so. As it started to tingle, just as the directions said, I rinsed it off and applied a gentle moisturizer. In the end, my skin looked brighter and felt smooth. Plus, no irritation, which usually happens to me because I have sensitive skin.
I look at this mask like a leave-on scrub, as it combines both manual and chemical exfoliators. Pumpkin extract contains natural exfoliating enzymes along with antioxidants while apricot seed powder offer manual exfoliating benefits. As it comes out of the tube it almost looks like deli mustard, with a bright yellow color. After applying it your face, you are supposed to massage it in circular motions with your fingertips. You can feel the gritty consistency of the mask, so make sure not to push too hard. After letting it sit for 10 minutes, you wash it off. Since my skin is sensitive, I ended up rinsing it off after 5 minutes or so, when my face started to tingle.
For those of your motivated enough, I have even tried out a DIY pumpkin mask recipe combining supermarket bought pumpkin puree, greek yogurt, and a touch of honey. It ended up being too much of a mess for me to share photos, so for now I will just stick to the store bought brands!
With so many skin benefits, now there’s even more of a reason to love pumpkin during the fall. Whether you are baking it into your pie, or applying it to your face, pumpkin skincare is #TheDermWifeApproved.