Oct 282011

Pumpkin skin care treatmentsMany of you probably have a pumpkin or two gracing your entryway as a nod to the harvest-Halloween-Thanksgiving season, and you also might enjoy a bit of pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie or probably most commonly, a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. (Did anyone else not realize how huge these were until they logged into Facebook the day the drink arrived for the season?)
But what you may not realize is that pumpkin is far from just a home decor accent or coffee flavor. In beauty school, we did a fair amount of study on the humble gourd, and it is a skin treatment on par with several pricier, more well-marketed ingredients. Pumpkin is a natural exfoliant, chock full of vitamins and minerals and even turns men on more than any other scent when used in fragrances.  Is there anything pumpkin doesn’t excel at?

If you’re in a Halloween mood or just want to sample the many benefits of pumpkin, here are some products and treatments you might want to try for festive beauty fun.
Zia Pumpkin Exfoliating Mask: Most commonly in spas, pumpkin is found in enzyme or glycolic treatments, but there are take home versions as well. While it may not pack the punch of a spa-level treatment (which can be a benefit, as glycolics often cause residual redness and aren’t great for before an event) a take-home treatment like Zia Pumpkin Exfoliating Mask can give you all the glow and skin-sloughing goodness of a pumpkin facial as you sit back and watch a halloween episode of the “Walking Dead.” 
IQ Natural Glycolic Acid Pumpkin Mask: If you want to kick it up a little and do something more efficient at home, you can also get a spa-strength glycolic pumpkin peel for personal use. Although glycolic treatments tend to be a bit more tingly and less relaxing, they’re quick and effective at hyper-exfoliating skin without microdermabrasion or more aggressive (and expensive) peel treatments. A mask like this is also good for hyperpigmentation and excess oil production.  
Pumpkin Marshmallow Body Butter: If you don’t have the time for pumpkin treatments, pumpkin body butter is a good way to add a bit of pumpkin goodness to your beauty routine. There are many established brands with pumpkin fragrances- like Bath and Body Works- but I’m a huge fan of small-batch, indie beauty products. Apparently HGTV feels the same way, because they featured this spookily named Pumpkin Marshmallow Embalming Cream from the Poison Apple Apothecary on one of their shows. If you love foodie scents, this body butter is a great choice, tempering the sweetness of marshmallow with the richness of pumpkin. Plus, it’s got shea butter, cocoa butter and vitamins A, C and E to nourish skin.  
Roll Your Own Pumpkin Mask: What fun is a natural ingredient if you can’t make an at-home version when you want a spa night? Fortunately, the benefits of pumpkin don’t need to come from a jar purchased at a counter in a department store. If you have extra pumpkin, canned or fresh, left over from pumpkin pie or cheesecake, blending it with honey (four parts pumpkin to one part honey) makes a pure, hydrating and exfoliating treatment for all skin types.
Sexy Hair Pumpkin Sexy Conditioner: Hair is another area of your body pumpkin has significant benefits. This salon quality conditioner utilizes the all-purpose ingredient to protect color and shine and nourish hair. And it’s not just pumpkin-scented- there’s actual pumpkin relatively high up on the ingredient list.
Demeter Pumpkin Pie Fragrance: Lastly, if you just want a spritz of pumpkin pie as an enticement, Demeter’s line of vast real-world fragrances includes this pumpkin pie option for fans of the scent. Although it evaporates quickly- as Demeter fragrances tend to- it’s tiny enough to tuck into your trick-or-treat bag for touch ups at Halloween parties.
Do you have any favorite pumpkin treatments?

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