It’s amusing to walk through a store in fall and see how many products can incorporate pumpkin as an ingredient — pumpkin spice Oreos, pumpkin pancake mix, pumpkin spice marshmallows and even pumpkin-flavored dog treats. However, what most people don’t know about the winter squash is that it’s packed with benefits for the skin. The beauty industry figured out way long ago that the pumpkin is best in its most natural, organic form rather than in your latte. Two local Valley estheticians explain why homemade organic food ingredients, like pumpkin, are better for your skin.
“Especially this time of year, a lot of people start wanting to see their skin improve after the summer. It kind of wreaked havoc on the skin with all the discoloration that we start to see and the skin just looks a little dull and rough. So, ingredients in the pumpkin definitely help assist the skin to come into better health,” Senior Esthetician at Suddenly Slimmer Day and Med Spa Dannielli Marcelino said. “I love pumpkin all year round. As a matter of fact, I keep a pumpkin enzyme in my clinic stocked all the time for my clients because I just feel like it’s something that gets kind of a quick result. It’s a very small molecule, so it can go into the skin and make some nice changes very quickly. It’s really good for hyperpigmentation. It’s good for cell turnover,” Clinical Esthetician at Rejuvena Health and Aesthetics Kimberly Smith said. Not only does pumpkin have the three major vitamins — A, C and E — that brighten your skin and contain alpha hydorxy acids, but it also can be used for all ages and skin types. “Pumpkin is really good for all skin types. It’s good for anybody. Acne skin can use it. Anti-aging skin can use it,” Smith said.
Pumpkin masks and pumpkin peels aren’t the only food products featured in natural skincare lines. There’s everything from honey, strawberries, green tea and Greek yogurt. If you can eat it and it’s healthy, there’s a good chance it can be made into a face mask. There are many benefits that come with using organic food ingredients as opposed to processed unnatural ingredients for skincare, but most importantly is that you know exactly what you’re putting on your face and more likely to see results. “It’s just kind of like we are what we eat. It’s the same thing with our skin. It is what you apply to it and the care you take for it, so it’s important to use ingredients that are healthy for the nutrition of the skin,” Marcelino said. “There is just no one-size-fits-all skincare. Sometimes you have to tailor things,” Smith said, “When you’re working with things individually, you know how your skin is going to react to them and what kind of results you’re going to get. It’s very predictable. A lot of times when things are made for the mass population, just because it works for a friend doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work for you.” The coolest part about using things you could find in your fridge to repair and restore your skin back to health is you get to personalize it just for you. “Being that this was like a huge bonding thing for my mom and I, I would think that it would be really neat for mothers and daughters to get into the kitchen together and create some things and create some memories and in the mean time make their skin look even better,” Smith said. If you find yourself wanting to feed your fall carvings while treating your skin to some TLC, and don’t want to pay much, try any one of the three DIY recipes below. Just remember to do a patch test with all ingredients on an areas of skin before using and to use organic food products. Dannielli Marcelino’s Pumpkin Facial Mask What you need: 2 teaspoons cooked or canned pumpkin 1/2 teaspoon honey 1/4 teaspoon milk (or whipping cream, if your skin is very dry) Preparation: 1. Combine ingredients and apply to a clean face with gentle circular motions, avoiding the area around your eyes. 2. Allow mask to remain on skin for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water, pat dry, and apply your usual moisturizer. Dannielli Marcelino’s Pumpkin, Sugar, and Spice Scrub What you need: 1/2 cup cooked or canned pumpkin, pureed 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon Preparation: 1. Combine ingredients in a bowl. 2. Stand in a tub or shower stall and use a damp washcloth to scoop some of the mixture up. Apply to body, starting with your feet and working your way up, but avoiding your face. Scrub gently using circular motions. 3. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. Kimberly Smith’s Quick DIY buttermilk masks in morning Apply buttermilk after you get out of the shower for plumper skin 1. Take a wash cloth and soak it in shower and ring it out 2. Apply buttermilk to face 3. Apply wash rag over it 4. Lay down for 10-15 minutes