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I recently saw an ad from a local spa about their “pumpkin spice spa experience for the fall”. That includes a pumpkin spice mask treatment with ingredients like pumpkin, honey, and healing clay.
I’m not one to spend $125 asking someone else to paint a pumpkin on my face. But I thought this would be a fun recipe to recreate and make at home with my daughters. We did homemade mask and previous spa treatments so I wanted to give the pumpkin mask a try! Especially right now when it looks like pumpkin spice has taken over.
It’s all the scents of fall in one homemade resurfacing, pumpkin enzyme-cleansing mask.
Pumpkin Spice… On your face
Packed with beta-carotene (vitamin A), with some vitamin C and zinc, pumpkin is great for the skin. It also has enzymes and antioxidants to brighten the skin. Here’s what research has to say about pumpkin and skin health.
- Pumpkin extract helps to cure contact dermatitis and calm inflammation.
- It is an antioxidant that helps fight skin aging and fight the damaging effects of free radicals
- Helps prevent sun damage
- Contains AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and enzymes to exfoliate.
- Helps reduce acne and oily skin.
- Stimulates collagen production to repair skin and help prevent wrinkles.
- Improves skin tone and dullness
Scientists have discovered that beta-carotene is well absorbed into the skin. Especially if it comes from whole foods instead of chemical isolates. I think it’s worth a try and pumpkins are not expensive when in season.
A Pumpkin Impersonator
This recipe works with fresh or canned squash. FDA pretty loose with what they consider to be canned pumpkin. Pumpkins and other types of winter squash are botanically known as Cucurbita pepo, so the box of pumpkins may have pumpkins in them. However, the vitamin content and skin care benefits remain similar.
You can use the Halloween Jack-o lantern pumpkin. However, smaller pie pumpkins may be easier to make.
More healing clay
Natural clay soothes and helps exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. I’ve used bentonite clay but any clay that is safe for the skin will work. Rhassoul, kaolin, or French green clay all work. Do a little research and see which clay is best for your skin type.
Bentonite clay is especially good at detoxifying the skin and removing impurities. It might be a bit dry for already dry skin, but the pumpkin in this recipe helps with hydration. If you have extra clay on hand, it’s also great to make a hair or armpit detox.
Pure honey soothes and nourishes the skin. It even makes a cleanser its own. I added it to my pumpkin face because it helps to soften and brighten the skin. This wonder ingredient is widely used for its antibacterial and wound-healing properties. Be sure to choose raw honey or Manuka honey for the benefits.
My skin feels so soft after using this mask!
Plus cinnamon for antioxidants
Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and add a wonderful scent. It also has a slightly warming sensation as it stimulates blood flow to the outer layers of the skin. A little goes a long way so I only use a small amount in this recipe.
A 2017 study found that combining cinnamon and honey together helps fight acne-causing bacteria.
NOTE: If you have sensitive skin (or are using this product on children), test the skin patch on your inner arm first. If it’s too hot then you can easily omit the cinnamon. Fennel has a similar scent and is great too for skin health.
Healthy Pumpkin Skincare Options
Too busy to make it but still want the skin benefits of pumpkin? Here are some healthy products to try. They are free of sulfates, parabens, and all the other bad luck.
Pumpkin Spice Face Mask
The mask stimulates and soothes the skin with healing clay, raw honey and vitamin-rich pumpkin.
Productivity: 2 Mask
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
Apply a thin layer to face in gentle, circular motions.
Leave the mask on for 5 minutes, then rinse with a warm, wet towel.
- This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a larger batch, but a little will take a long time. This is enough for me and my two daughters to use.
- Shelf life and storage: I recommend using your pumpkin mask right away. However, it will last a few days in the refrigerator.
Pumpkin Spice- Not on your face:
Don’t have to put pumpkin on your face but love the taste? Here are some of my other favorite ways to use pumpkins. This is a great way to utilize some of the leftover pumpkin in a face mask recipe!
What’s your favorite way to use pumpkins? Leave a comment and let me know!
- Antille, C., Tran, C., Sorg, O., & Saurat, JH (2004). Topical beta-carotene is converted to retinyl esters in human and rat skin in vivo. Experimental dermatology, 13(9), 558–561.
- Burlando, B., & Cornara, L. (2013). Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, twelfth(4), 306–313.
Darvin, ME, Fluhr, JW, Meinke, MC, Zastrow, L., Sterry, W., & Lademann, J. (2011). Topical beta-carotene protects against free radicals caused by infrared rays. Experimental dermatology, 20(2), 125–129.
- FDA. (1988, December). CPG Sec 585,725 “Pumpkin” – Label products made with certain types of squash.
- Julianti, E., Rajah, KK and Fidrianny, I. (2017). Antibacterial activity of ethanolic extracts of cinnamon bark, honey and their combined effects against acne-causing bacteria. The science of medicine, 85(2), 19.
- Scianna, T. (2021, October 18). Effectiveness of Pumpkin Enzymes in Skin Care. Skin Inc.
- Stahl, W., & Sies, H. (2012). – Carotenoids and other carotenoids in protection from sunlight. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 96(5), 1179S – 84S.
- Tang, SC & Yang, JH (2018). Dual effect of Alpha-Hydroxy acid on skin. Molecular (Basel, Switzerland), 23(4), 863.