Do You Need a Pumpkin Mask? How Your Skin Type Can Benefit from the Fall Berry
Each year, Starbucks releases the Pumpkin Spice Latte a bit earlier than the last. If they keep up with this trend, they'll have to start debuting it in the first week of August. And you know what? People wouldn't care. As evidenced by the frenzy surrounding the drink's release date every year, it's obvious that people can hardly wait for pumpkin season to begin.
But a PSL isn't the only way to enjoy the fall berry (it's a berry, we're serious). We personally love it in a pumpkin mask or pumpkin peel to refresh skin.
We talked to Ali Starbuck—no relation—lead aesthetician at Chicago's Ruby Room, about why you should add a pumpkin facial treatment to your fall checklist. She assured us that the yummy smelling treatment is good for more than your nose, giving us five excellent reasons to try one.
1. It can treat multiple skincare concerns.
A pumpkin mask or pumpkin peel benefits multiple skin types, from dull skin to aging skin to acne-prone skin.
How it fights dullness: "When pumpkin is in an enzyme form, it can be stimulated with heat and moisture to create a deep exfoliation," Ali explains. "This exfoliation process dissolves the dead skin cells, sloughing off unwanted keratin buildup on the skin's surface," she adds. That buildup on the skin is responsible for a dull complexion, so getting rid of it helps brighten everything up.
How it fights fine lines: "The turnover of these skin cells stimulates collagen production," Ali says. The infusion of vitamins A and C—which pumpkins have in spades—also helps stimulate collagen production, and more collagen means softer fine lines and plumped-up skin.
How it fights acne: By exfoliating the skin, pumpkin unclogs pores. Plus, vitamins A and C are proven acne-fighters.
Bottom line, pretty much anyone can benefit from a pumpkin mask or peel.
2. It's the perfect follow-up to summer sun.
Even if you spent the summer religiously applying sunscreen and wearing hats, you probably still have some sun damage because of how hard it is to fully protect your skin from the sun. That's when pumpkin comes in handy.
"Pumpkin infuses the skin with antioxidants, like vitamin A and beta carotene, to fight free-radical damage," Ali says. "[It] also deeply exfoliates, resurfaces, and helps [repair] photo-damaged skin." That means brighter-looking complexions with lightened pigmentation.
3. It smells good, which is good for you.
Though pumpkin alone can work wonders, the addition of pumpkin aromatherapy in many pumpkin spa facials has benefits, too.
"In my opinion, aromatherapy … [can] help elevate a client's mood, relieve stress, energize, and encourage better health," Ali says. "I believe aromatherapy can also boost the immune, respiratory, and circulatory systems when used in the treatment room."
4. Pumpkin can be more potent than other seasonal beauty ingredients.
According to Ali, it's hard to beat the potency of the pumpkin.
It's "a powerful fruit that is very effective, having over 100 known benefits when used topically. ... [It's] very results-driven in the treatment room, as well as for home care," she explains, adding, "when compared to other seasonal ingredients, I would say it would be the leader with its effectiveness and ability to transform skin."
5. Pumpkin can result in "real change for skin."
Unlike actual pumpkins, you should be able to get a pumpkin treatment year-round, which is a great idea according to Ali.
"Getting regular pumpkin peels results in real change for skin," Ali says, noting the "glowing, younger-looking" complexion that follows continued use.
If you can't find them at your local spa outside of the fall season, pick up an at-home pumpkin mask or pumpkin peel (like the cult-favorite Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask). And you could always make your own pumpkin mask at home.
DIY Pumpkin Mask
The next time you go pumpkin picking or carve jack-o'-lanterns, consider using a slice of pumpkin or a scoop of innards to create a homemade pumpkin mask.
- 1/4 cup of pumpkin (use a fresh pumpkin to ensure you're getting all of the nutrients)
- 1 egg
- Splash of apple cider vinegar (helps control oil)
- Drizzle of honey (helps moisturize and prevent breakouts)
- Squeeze of lemon juice (helps brighten skin)
Blend the pumpkin and egg in a food processor until smooth. The egg helps tighten skin and keeps the pureed pumpkin bits together. Add any add-ons you would like to use, and blend again. Apply the pureed mixture to clean skin and wait about 20 minutes before rinsing.
This article was originally written by staff writer Jasmine Feldmann and has since been modified by our editors.
Top photo by staff photographer Andrew Nawrocki
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