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Health & Wellness Articles  ›  Look as Good as You Feel

Homemade Beauty Recipes for Fall

Harvest Your Natural Beauty with Real Pumpkin!

-- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator
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There’s a reason pumpkins are so popular. Not only do they inspire creative carved sculptures, decadent desserts, and soothing stews, but they can also be blended into your beauty routine for healthier skin. Pumpkin is high in many nutrients that are as good for the outside of your body as they are for the inside:
  • Vitamin A (retinol) acts as a mild cleanser that also soothes and softens all skin types, even sensitive skin.
  • Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, preserves the health of skin cells.
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids gently exfoliate dead skin cells, draw out impurities, and revitalize the skin.
  • Zinc can help soothe irritated skin.
The synergy of all of these nutrients means that pumpkin is a natural and healthy way to care for your skin, including premature aging, sun spots, clogged pores, and a dull, uneven complexion. Autumn is the perfect time to experiment with this quintessential squash in your own beauty routine. Here’s how.

This time of year, you'll find pumpkins at farmer's markets and supermarkets—or your local pumpkin patch. Fresh is best, so while you're out picking the perfect specimen for this years jack-o-lanterns, bring home an extra pumpkin for yourself. Cut it open, scoop out the seeds, and slice the pumpkin into large chunks. Place them on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until the skin is easily pierced with a fork and the flesh is tender—about one hour. Allow to cool, and blend (with the peel attached) to make a puree to use in the following body care recipes. As a shortcut, you can always resort to canned pumpkin puree—but fresh is always best.

The following beauty recipes contain fresh ingredients and should be used immediately for best results. Leftovers may be covered and refrigerated for use within 48 hours.

Sweet Pumpkin Body Scrub
This body scrub will gently exfoliate and revitalize your skin.

Combine, in a small bowl:
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
Mix with a spoon until blended. Apply to body with gentle circular scrubbing motions, using a washcloth if desired. When complete, rinse with warm water.

Purifying Pumpkin Facial Mask
This facial mask with help soften your skin for a natural glow.

Combine, in a small bowl:
  • 2 Tbsp pureed pumpkin
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • Buttermilk—just enough to reach a spread-able consistency
Mix ingredients well, and apply to freshly cleansed skin, avoiding the eyes. Lie back and allow the mask to do its work for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, and enjoy your smooth skin.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • you should never use cinnamon on your skin, it can burn. - 10/11/2013 7:49:27 PM
  • I worry this would clog the shower drain. - 9/19/2013 8:55:40 PM
  • Not impressed. The scrub was runny and left me feeling sticky. My face feels tighter after the facial mask, but the stickiness did not win me over. I'll stick with my coconut oil-sugar scrub! - 10/18/2012 8:07:10 PM
  • Great recipes for pumpkin treatments. I am a esthetician and will totally try these out:) - 10/14/2010 9:48:19 AM
  • We have a local famer's market with lots of pumpkins. i will definitely be picking one up during my next trp. who knew such a fun food could also be good for you? thanks! - 10/14/2010 8:46:58 AM
  • _EZER_
    Ooo!! Very thankful for this article! This gives me a great idea for my next "girl's night in" with my girlfriends. :) - 10/14/2010 12:51:39 AM
  • QUIT_SP
    This article made me hungry for pumpkin...! - 9/6/2010 4:33:11 AM
  • KRESKA
    This is great! I will enjoy making my own cosmetics out of a pumpkin. - 10/17/2009 5:21:42 PM
  • Never thought of pumpkins being used in this manner. Interesting!!! - 11/19/2008 10:48:21 PM
  • I adore pumpkin (the smell, taste, look, everything), so this article immediately caught my interest. I love the recipes - though they sound like the type of thing I'd want to eat instead of use on my body. But I think I'll probably try a couple of these when pumpkin season rolls around again. - 7/10/2008 3:59:22 AM
  • What a great article! I just recently started making all my own beauty products, lotions, shampoo, deodorants, lip balms etc and love these recipes! I use only organic ingredients and it is still MUCH less costly than buying these things! Also a great use for leftover pumpkin when I have more than a recipe calls for! - 6/3/2008 9:59:15 PM
  • Interesting article. I'll stay with Neutragena products and bake a pumpkin pie and eat some. Remember, they say beauty comes from the inside out. LOL - 4/6/2008 10:06:07 AM
  • I just don't think I could use it like that.......... sorry - I prefer Bath & Body Works everything! Fav product -Margarita Scrub - smells just like one - and at least I have that........... - 2/9/2008 10:13:45 PM
  • I love yummy smelling bath and body products, and homemade ones are much cheaper than what you buy! Thanks for the article! - 12/1/2007 9:19:47 PM