Don't Throw Out Your Pumpkin! Let it Make You Beautiful Instead. (Seriously!)
Pumpkins are good for so much more than sporting cute Jack o’ Lantern faces. Pumpkin pulp and seeds have natural superpowers! They are packed with enzymes, vitamins, and nutrients to make your cute face glow. And the versatile pulp of the pumpkin can bring strength, shine, and bounce to your hair, to boot.
The use of pumpkin as a beauty ingredient is as old as the tradition of pumpkin carving itself. As revealed by history.com: “The practice of decorating jack-o'-lanterns originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as early canvasses. The name, jack-o'-lantern, comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities."
When it comes to beauty possibilities, pumpkins do not fall short. Pumped full of vitamins A, C, and E—as well as beta-carotene and antioxidants—pumpkins can combat skin imperfections and redness. They also provide natural fruit enzymes that can exfoliate dead skin cells. These orange wonders can even soften the skin and boost collagen production. Plus, there are claims that Vitamin C and beta-carotene work together to reverse UV and free radical damage.
With Halloween and Thanksgiving upon us, be sure to use your whole pumpkin to beautify your lips, face, and hair. Here's are 5 ways how.
1. Use pumpkin to revitalize your lips.
2. Use pumpkin to refresh your skin.Fresh pumpkin provides an ideal foundation for several facial treatments, including a super simple one: Simply take a half-cup of raw pumpkin and apply it to your face. Let the pumpkin rest while you rest for 15 minutes. Then, rinse with lukewarm water using a cloth. Your skin will glow from the easy exfoliation.
3. Step it up even more with a more intense face mask.
Below is a pumpkin mask recipe that I tried and loved the results. My skin was left soft and glowing, and a couple of blackheads even lifted.
But first, an important vegan tip: Many pumpkin-based skincare recipes call for adding honey. Date paste is a smart vegan substitute, and doesn't involve the exploitation of any bees or other animals. Packed with vitamins C and D, dates are touted to support skin elasticity. You can purchase date paste or quickly whip it up from scratch. You can prepare date paste and store it in the refrigerator. You can also use it to sweeten your favorite plant-based desserts.
Now that we’ve got a nutrient-packed honey-substitute that’s vegan, let’s continue to mix up our pumpkin mask so that we can combat blemishes and rough-textured facial skin.
Here’s what you’ll need (measurements are approximate):
1 small slice of pumpkin (roughly 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon date paste
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Puree the pumpkin in a food processor until smooth.
Add in date paste and apple cider vinegar and then blend or mix in a food processor.
Apply to your clean face.
Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
Rinse with lukewarm water and a clean cloth and follow with your usual skincare products.
Enjoy your glow!
4. Use pumpkin to scrub your whole, beautiful body.
Don’t be stingy with the pumpkin! The skin on other parts of your body can be smoothed and exfoliated using your homemade pumpkin body scrub, too. Date paste helps preserve moisture, while the pumpkin’s fruit enzymes and brown sugar gently dissolves dead skin cells.
5. Use pumpkin to condition and strengthen your hair.
Another reason to hold onto pumpkin flesh is to turn it into a nourishing hair mask, which can help restore shine, strength and boost growth.
Mix the pumpkin pulp with a carrier oil, ideally coconut or castor. Apply the mixture to dry hair, section by small section, starting at the scalp, pulling it all the way through. Let sit for as long as you can. Overnight is just fine.
Because pumpkin also contains potassium and zinc, it works to keep hair healthy and encourages hair re-growth. Zinc assists with collagen production, which stimulates dying hair follicles and encourages more vigorous re-growth. Folate, a B vitamin, also promotes hair growth by improving your blood circulation.
Now, not only are you ready for Halloween, your skin and hair will glow like a Jack o’ Lanterns!
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Carmen Dixon is an antiracist vegan, writer, and entrepreneur, who believes we are here to help each other.