Ditch the synthetic products and put some surplus squash to good use instead.
If you’re cooking with pumpkin this season chances are you might have a little dab left over here or there. Do not throw it out, it’s beauty gold!
The humble pumpkin is packed with skin-loving nutrients like antioxidants, zinc, vitamins A and C, fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids. Pumpkin flesh can help to nourish, brighten and smooth skin, as well as boost collagen and help tame the signs of aging, according to The International Dermal Institute. So it’s time to squish some squash on the body.
You can use cooked fresh pumpkin puree (here's a how-to if you need it), or canned if you have some ... and if you have butternut on hand instead, it makes for a perfectly fine squash swap.
1. Body sugar scrub
If your skin is in need of exfoliation, pumpkin makes a bang-up base for a sugar scrub. Mix together equal parts pumpkin puree and olive oil and add enough sugar until you have a thick slurry. In the shower gently rub all over with a washcloth or loofah, rinse then dry as usual.
(For more ideas, see: 8 homemade salt and sugar body scrubs.)
2. Body butter
Mix equal parts pumpkin puree and coconut oil and bring it in the shower with you. Slather all over and go about your shower business, then rinse off before you get out. Dry yourself gently, enjoy your soft skin.
3. Basic facial mask (all skin types)
This recipe comes from dermatologist Dr. Ted Lain via Huffington Post: Mix together one cup of pumpkin, two tablespoons of brown sugar, one tablespoon of honey and a half cup of yogurt. (The sugar and yogurt are to exfoliate, the honey is a humectant.) Spread on to your face and let sit for 10 minutes, rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.
4. Facial mask for oily skin
Put pumpkin’s alpha hydroxy acids to work. Combine 1/4 cup pumpkin puree with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and a whole egg. Mix the ingredients until smooth and apply to face. Leave on for 20 minutes, rinse, and pat dry.
5. Facial mask for dry skin
Combine 1/4 cup pumpkin puree with 1 teaspoon olive oil, t teaspoon honey and a whole egg. Mix the ingredients until smooth and apply to face. Leave on for 20 minutes, rinse, and pat dry.
6. Kiss enhancer
A pinch of pumpkin for the pout does wonders. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin puree with 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil and 1/2 teaspoon fine sugar. Rub on lips and massage gently to gently exfoliate and moisturize. Lick off (of course).
7. Hair lusterizer
OK so maybe I made up that word, and maybe it brings to mind lust rather than luster, but I’m sticking with it. For great shine and lusty luster, make a pumpkin hair mask by mixing together one cup of pumpkin with one-half cup plain yogurt and one tablespoon of honey. Mush it into your scalp and out to the ends of your hair and wrap your head with a shower cap or towel; let sit for up to 30 minutes. Cleanse hair as usual.
8. Pumpkin pedicure
To pamper your pups, combine 1/2 cup pumpkin puree with a whole egg and a teaspoon of honey. Massage into your feet and ankles and then wrap in plastic or throw on a pair of old socks. Let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing.
9. Salt foot scrub
If your feet are suffering from dry skin or callouses, a scrub may be in order. Using salt gives a little more exfoliation than sugar, which your feet should be able to take. Mix together 1/2 cup pumpkin puree with 2 tablespoons olive oil and enough salt to make a loose paste. Over a bowl or the tub, lump it on to your feet and massage well, paying special attention to heels and other dry areas. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.
10. Hand revitalizer
Hands get so ignored, but they love pumpkin too! Give them a treat by mixing together 1/4 cup pumpkin puree with 1 teaspoon almond or olive oil and 1 teaspoon of honey. Massage the mixture into your hands over the sink for as long as it feels good, then rinse with warm water.