Pumpkin season is in full swing, so you’ve likely already enjoyed plenty of iterations of this orange fall gourd: pumpkin beer, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, and the list goes on.
But have you ever thought about applying pumpkin to your skin? It turns out pumpkins aren’t just good for seasonal treats or carving Jack-o-lanterns, they’ve also got some pretty cool skin care benefits.
According to a study published in the journal Dermato Endocrinology, pumpkins are high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that gets converted into vitamin A. This particular vitamin is a skin care superstar because it helps boost collagen production (collagen is a protein that keeps skin looking youthful) and overturn dulling dead cells on the surface of your skin. The same study also states that pumpkin seeds contain a boatload of essential fatty acids, which keep skin nourished.
Another study, published in Nutrition Research Reviews, explains that pumpkins contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Antioxidants protect skin against free radical molecules in the environment that can cause signs of aging to appear. Meanwhile, inflammation can lead to redness, irritation, and even acne, so anything that’s anti-inflammatory is going to help soothe those issues. And finally, the fruit enzymes in pumpkin aid in exfoliation, a skin care step that will leave you with brighter-looking skin.
Ready to add pumpkin to your skin care routine? Here, the best pumpkin skin care products to try this season and beyond.
Bath & Body Works Rejuvenating Pumpkin Enzyme Face Sheet Mask ($4.95, bathandbodyworks.com): Sheet masks are an easy (and affordable!) way to pamper your skin, and this one delivers. Loaded with pumpkin enzymes, this sheet mask leaves you with more radiant skin while also offering a very necessary dose of hydration this time of year.
Savor Beauty Pumpkin Enzyme Peel ($80, savorbeauty.com): Skin looking a little dull as the weather gets colder? This bestselling at-home peel will give your complexion an instant glow. Pumpkin enzymes and five percent lactic acid gently exfoliate and brighten skin. Plus, you won’t be able to stop sniffing the pumpkin spice scent!
Derma E Illuminating Rosehip & Cranberry Face Oil ($16.50, derame.com): This facial oil is formulated with a trio of good-for-your-skin oils: pumpkin seed to nourish, rosehip to fade dark spots, and cranberry seed oil to improve skin tone.
Kat Burki PH+ Enzyme Essence ($100, spacenk.com): Essences play a major role in Korean skin care, and they’re starting to catch on in the U.S. Essences are similar to serums in that they’re lightweight and target specific skin issues, but they also are good for hydration. (Typically, you use one after a toner but before a serum.) This essence protects skin from environmental aggressors, calms inflammation, exfoliates, and brightens, thanks to ingredients like pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin and papaya enzymes.
One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover ($42, dermstore.com): Taking off your longest-lasting mascara doesn’t have to be a struggle. This cleansing oil/makeup remover hybrid gently yet effectively removes stubborn makeup without drying skin. Its star ingredient is antioxidant- and fatty-acid rich pumpkin oil.
Summer Fridays Overtime Mask ($44, sephora.com): Winter is notorious for leaving you with dry, dull skin, thanks to the drop in moisture in the air. Enter this face mask, which exfoliates utilizes pumpkin and apricot seed power to exfoliate and oat kernel proteins to protect against free radicals.
Sara Happ Pumpkin Spice Lip Scrub Kit ($49.98, qvc.com): Don’t forget about your lips! They deserve skin care love, too. The lip scrub in this kit is almost good enough to eat: It’s made with pumpkin, cinnamon, and sugar to exfoliate dry lips and get them in tip-top shape for lipstick application, and maybe even a mistletoe makeout sesh. Follow up the scrub with the included primer, which fills in lines, and sparkly gloss. (Psst… this scrub is limited edition, so hurry and grab it while you can!)