How to Make a Pumpkin Face Mask for Healthy Skin

Pumpkins are an extremely rich source of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients including many different phytochemicals which help to promote good skin health.

The nutrients in pumpkins can potentially help to decrease the risk of serious health conditions, including cancer, improve immune system function and has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-aging properties.

Making your own pumpkin face mask from all natural ingredients is a pleasant, soothing and effective way to help improve skin condition.

Pumpkins: Not Just for Halloween!

What would we do without pumpkins? Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without them. The beautiful orange, pulpy flesh adds a great taste and texture to soups, stews, curries and all kinds of other dishes—not forgetting the infamous pumpkin pie!

Some pumpkin experts think the origins of the pumpkin date back as far as 7000 BC, with seeds of closely related plants having been found during archaeological explorations in many different ancient cultures.

Pumpkins are a rich source of nutrients which can potentially be of great benefit to our health on the inside and on the outside. There’s definitely more to pumpkins than just being subjected to the carving knife!

So let’s explore what pumpkins can do for our health, how they can benefit the skin, and how to prepare and use a pumpkin face mask effectively.

What’s In A Pumpkin?

The pumpkin is a member of the cucurbits family of plants, and is closely related to the squash, marrow, zucchini and cucumber.

Containing around 90 percent water, pumpkins are an excellent source of hydration, and are packed to the brim with a huge variety of vitamins and minerals. Pumpkins are especially rich in vitamin A, but also contain vitamins C, E, most of the B vitamins and a little vitamin K.

Pumpkins also contain potassium, copper, manganese, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and zinc. Not only this; pumpkins contain a wide range of phytonutrients such as carotenoids, flavonoids, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin and lutein. These chemicals give the plant its flavor, vibrant color and provide protection from UV rays, disease and insect attacks.

Carotenoids

In particular, carotenoids act to improve how efficiently cells work together, and have been linked with the decreased risk of serious diseases.

Carotenoids also support the immune system; they’ve been shown to have a strong antioxidant effect. Beta-carotene can be used to produce vitamin A, essential for good eye health, and pumpkin is one of the best sources of beta-carotene.

Scientific studies have also shown that the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin protect cells by absorbing the potentially harmful blue light from UV light rays and provide eye protection against diseases such as macular degeneration.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids have a variety of beneficial effects. They’ve been indicated in research to improve immune system function, help fight viral and bacterial infections, have anti-inflammatory properties and improve allergy symptoms.

Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants capable of absorbing free radicals and preventing cell and DNA damage. They’ve been linked with possible cancer prevention, with a number of different anticancer mechanisms of actions, and may have anti-aging effects.

Research suggests some flavonoids can reduce the risk of some types of cancers, and have also been observed to affect repairs to damaged DNA.

Why Make a Pumpkin Face Mask?

Pumpkin has an amazingly hydrating and nourishing effect when used as an ingredient in a face mask. Along with other ingredients appropriate for you, it can be extremely beneficial to all types of skin.

Unlike some other fresh produce, many of the nutrients in pumpkin can be absorbed by the skin. Pumpkin has a great texture to use in face masks, and the thick consistency helps to stop the mask from sliding off—one problem I’ve experiences in the past with other homemade face masks!

Pumpkin is widely available. It has a mild, agreeable smell, it’s easy to prepare and satisfyingly pleasurable to apply! Personally, I like the fact that it leaves my skin feeling smooth and supple. I’ve also noticed fewer breakouts after using a weekly pumpkin mask for a few months, and it doesn’t irritate my skin like some store bought products.

How to Make a Pumpkin Face Mask

There are lots of different face masks you can make with pumpkin. How you choose to use it depends on your individual skin type.

Some people advise cooking ingredients to soften them before using in a face mask. As we know excessive heat destroys many nutrients and deactivates enzymes in produce, so I much prefer to use raw ingredients whenever possible.

To prepare my pumpkin pulp ready for recipes, I usually finely blend cubes of the raw pulp, then pass it through a very fine sieve to make the puree as smooth as possible, but still keeping a grainy texture.

Here are some ideas about how to make a pumpkin face mask suitable for different skin types:

Pumpkin Purifier

This is a great mask for oily and blemish-prone skin. It has deep cleansing and exfoliating effects to remove worn out skin cells and impurities. It also helps to tone the skin and boost circulation.

  • 1 tablespoon raw pumpkin puree.
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
  • 1 teaspoon good quality honey.
  • 2 teaspoons ground coffee.

Precious Pumpkin

This recipe is ideal for dry skin, with all of the ingredients helping to softly cleanse, hydrate and nourish the skin. The ground almonds provide very gentle exfoliation.

Pumpkin Pleaser

This is a great face mask for more mature skin. In addition to the pumpkin-flavored nourishment reinforced by the egg yolk, the egg white helps to tighten the skin slightly. This can reduce skin sag and improve the appearance of dark circles.

  • 1 tablespoon raw pumpkin puree.
  • 2 tablespoons of beaten egg mixture.
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

It’s a good idea to do some research and find out about your exact skin type and other beneficial ingredients. You can then make your own bespoke recipes for face masks especially for your skin.

Pumpkin seeds are also packed with nutrients; consider adding finely ground seeds to your face mask recipes.

Instructions for Making and Using a Pumpkin Face Mask

Whichever of these recipes you choose—or for most masks you’ll create on your own, the directions are pretty similar to those detailed below.

Here’s how to correctly prepare and make the most of all of those fabulous nutrients in your pumpkin face mask:

  1. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients of the face mask together thoroughly. Leave to sit at room temperature for around 10 minutes.
  2. Using a facial steamer or a bowl of freshly boiled water and a towel drape, steam your face for three to four minutes.
  3. Gently dry your face and apply the face mask mixture. Avoid the eye and mouth area.
  4. Relax, preferably lying down, for 10 minutes. The mask won’t dry out.
  5. Above the sink or in the shower, gently massage the face mask into your face using small circular movements for a couple of minutes.
  6. Wash your face with tepid water and pat dry with a soft towel.

Precautions

All skin types are different, and react in different ways to various ingredients. Making your own pumpkin face mask from all natural ingredients reduces the likelihood of adverse reactions, but it’s still possible.

If you experience any discomfort during or after using a pumpkin face mask, discontinue use immediately and seek the advice of a medical professional.

Keep face masks away from the eyes, nostrils and lips. If the face mask comes into contact with these structures, wash several times with fresh, cool running water.

Conclusion

The next time you carve out a pumpkin and you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to manage to use all the pulp, there may not be so much available for pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin is a great ingredient to use in a variety of face masks. It has a number of benefits to skin health, proving essential hydration and nutrition. As a strong antioxidant, pumpkin can help to improve all skin types, helping to neutralize potentially harmful free-radical chemicals.

A face mask made with pumpkin pulp can help to keep your skin clean and clear of breakouts and blemishes, as well as helping to reduce any inflammation, repair damaged cells and reduce cell damage resulting from exposure to UV light.

Aside from all the potential beauty benefits, it’s great fun to experiment with ingredients and create your own unique face masks. You can use pumpkin puree on its own for a quick, hydrating mask, but it also works really well in all kinds of face mask recipes.

So now it’s over to you—get your thinking cap on and see what face mask recipes you can come up with that make good use of all that pumpkin-flavored skin food!

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