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Pumpkins – My Newly Discovered Face Food!

I have always known that fresh fruits are one of the best ingredients to use for glowing, healthy skin. Face masks and home facials were routine in our house during my teenage years. My mother alPumpkin face maskways used fresh ingredients from the kitchen and garden to put together beauty products for my sister and me. I have spent many memorable hours doing home facials with them both. While I have used many different fruits on my face, only recently did I try pumpkins. One of my salon clients asked me to make a seasonal face mask for her customers. It was a wonderful opportunity to experiment and try something new. The results have been amazing (recipes below for you to try).

Different fruits address different skin types and conditions. Pumpkins are rich in vitamin C which is known to help skin elasticity and collagen production. Additionally, they are rich in anti-oxidants, fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids that help smooth and brighten the skin. While pure fruits by themselves are great, I like to add a few ingredients to help round out the benefits of the mask. This also helps improve the overall texture of the mask, making it a fun masking experience.

Each mask I tested started with a base of pureed (fresh) pie pumpkin and milk, blended into a thick smoothie like consistency. Following are the additional ingredients in my test masks (full recipes and benefits of each ingredient are described later):

Mask 1 – Egg, honey and sugar

Mask 2 – Turmeric, honey, lemon juice, pinch of neem

Mask 3 – Sandalwood powder, almond oil and lemon juice

Application and Results:

I applied each mask to cleansed face for 15 minutes and washed off.  I then moisturized and followed my usual routine. Most of the masks I use dry out after 15 minutes and the removal process involves using a warm wet wash cloth to stimulate blood circulation to the face. I find my skin absorbs moisture much better after that experience. All three masks gave me a nice glow. However, the first mask (with egg) was my favorite. Not only did it give me a nice glow, it also tightened my skin and the overall effect was very satisfactory! The mask did not smell of egg (only about a teaspoon of egg). It had a very pumpkin honey scent.glowing skin Naturally, I would not choose the scent as my favorite perfume.  However, since the purpose of my mask is really to provide my skin healthy nutrients, I did not mind it. In the end, the mask did its job well! It did not dry or leave my skin greasy. A great mask for all skin types. I am in love with this mask!

The second mask (with Turmeric) was good for providing glow (I expect no less from any mask that has turmeric). I also found this mask more hydrating and not greasy but it left my skin feeling more plumped. My main reason for applying this mask was that I was dealing with an acne breakout. The next day after applying mask, I did find my pimple smaller and less red…in retreat!

The third mask (with sandalwood) had a nice pumpkin sandalwood exotic scent! This mask did have a tightening effect similar to the first test mask, but I felt that the effect with the first mask was stronger. Sandalwood is also beneficial for acne and acne scars and I tend to alternate turmeric and sandalwood when I am dealing with an acne issue. Sandalwood can be a little drying and the almond oil did help prevent that. All in all, this last mask was my least favorite. Having said that, I have to acknowledge my reason for this mask was to lighten acne blemishes and that requires consistent mask use (not an immediate result). This is true for the turmeric mask as well. For immediate visible benefits the first mask with egg was the best.

After these tests, I am a believer in the power of pumpkins and they are adding a little extra joy to the start of this holiday season.

 To make mask usage fun and convenient, I make fresh masks in batches and freeze them as ice cubes. They defrost easily in a few minutes and are ready to use easily. They can be stored in this manner easily for a couple of months. I will be using my favorite mask for the coming month. I am excited for my Salon Client to use these seasonal and festive fresh masks on her clients.

Fresh masks are great for your skin. It is also a fun process to be enjoyed in the spirit of making time for your wellbeing. With a little up-front work, these can be convenient to use. Great for sharing with sisters, friends, mothers, daughters and loving spouses.

Enjoy! Happy Hallomasking 😉

 

Mask Recipes:

 

Mask Base – Each mask variation has a base made of pumpkin puree and milk blended into a thick smoothie like consistency. I like milk as it cleanses and moisturizes skin. The lactic acid in milk helps exfoliate and soften the skin.

Mask 1:

1 spoon mask base + 1 spoon egg mixture (beaten) +  ½ spoon of honey + ½ spoon brown sugar

Results: Best for immediate visible glow and tightening effect. Good for all skin types (modify for dry skin by using only egg yolk, for oily skin only egg white)

Mask 2:

1 spoon mask base + 1 spoon wild turmeric +  ½ spoon of honey + ½ fresh lemon juice + pinch neem powder

Results: Good for glow and helping acne. Good for normal, dry and combination skin types

Mask 3:

1 spoon mask base + 1/3 spoon Sandalwood powder + ½ spoon almond oil +  ½ spoon of honey + ½ fresh lemon juice

Results : Brighter skin, good for lightening blemishes. Good for normal or oily skin.

Some notes and tips on usage:

  • Always do a patch test for allergic reaction when trying a new mask or ingredient. Don’t use if you have a reaction.
  • Citric fruits and lemon juice react to sunlight, so never sit in direct sunlight with a fruit face mask. Rinse well.
  • Mask tends to dry, use warm water or warm wet washcloth to soften mask for removal.
  • Always avoid eye area and never apply to broken or irritated skin.

Some of my favorite ingredients to add to mask and their benefits:

  • Turmeric – this is my favorite as I tend to get acne and this super spice helps keep them at bay
  • Egg – great for elasticity. Egg whites tighten while the yolk provide hydration (whole egg for normal skin, egg white for oil and yolk for dry skin)
  • Honey – a humectant that helps moisturize while anti-bacterial qualities help control acne
  • Lemon Juice – brightens skins, also lightens scars (or acne blemishes)
  • Sandalwood – anti-aging, tones and tightens skin (also lightens blemishes)
  • Neem – Anti Acne and helps restore skins natural elasticity
  • Milk – cleanses and moisturizes skin.
  • Coconut Oil – moisturizes and smooths skin preventing wrinkles
  • Sugar – while sugar granules exfoliate, it’s humectant properties moisturize

 

 

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