Pumpkin face masks are popular but here’s a simpler way to use pumpkin skin as a facial treatment that is quicker and I think more effective than regular masks.
You’ll need three ingredients for this facial treatment:
1. Pumpkin peel from a steamed pumpkin (butternut or a similar squash can also be used for this).
I keep the pumpkin rinds, with most of the pulp removed, from the process described in how to cook pumpkin in a sealed container in the fridge. Steamed pumpkin peel will keep in the fridge for around three to four days. It can also be frozen for larger periods and defrosted. This will soften it and make it a little more fragile to use but the beneficial properties remain.
Whether from the freezer, the fridge, or straight after cooking, wait until the pumpkin rind is at room temperature before using it. You could run it under warm water if you were in a rush, but only briefly so as not to wash away too many nutrients.
2. Raw honey, preferably Manuka.
Raw, unheated honey is a very beneficial skin conditioner and many people report good results using it for acne and other skin problems. Manuka honey, with its strong antibacterial properties, is the best raw honey of all and excellent in this facial treatment if you can get it.
3. Ground Ceylon cinnamon.
Ground cinnamon is a brilliant natural exfoliant for your face with antibacterial and antifungal properties. Those with sensitive skin may want to go light on ground cinnamon or omit it altogether. But for most people, the small amount of cinnamon in this pumpkin peel facial scrub really clears away dead cells to bring out the glowing skin underneath.
How to Do a Pumpkin Facial Scrub
To start, wash your face well with a natural cleanser. While your face is still moist, take a section of the pumpkin peel on a plate (I usually use the same 2 inch wide strips that I steamed for cooking pumpkin soup and other recipes) with your raw honey, ground cinnamon, a butter knife, fork and teaspoon.
To start, use a fork to score the inside of the pumpkin skin, through any remaining pulp and as close to the inner rind as possible, without tearing it too much. The highest concentration of beneficial enzymes is said to be found closest to the skin, so the idea is to drag the fork into the inside of the pumpkin peel, while still keeping it together and usable as a facial rub.
Next, using the knife, coat the inside of the peel with the scored pulp with a thin covering of raw honey.
To finish, sprinkle just a pinch of ground cinnamon over the honey coated pumpkin pulp. Not too much as it can be powerful.
Once the honey and cinnamon coated pumpkin peel is ready you can rub it over your face, always in a gentle, upwards, circular motion.
After massaging in the scrub into your forehead and nose, you may find it easier to tear the strip in half and use one on either cheek. Don’t forget your neck and remember to always be working upwards in circles, never dragging down.
It’s also fine to add a little more raw honey and a touch of cinnamon halfway through if you like and rescrape the rind with a fork.
Once you’ve rubbed the peel over your face well, lie down for 10 to 15 minutes to relax and let the enzymes, alpha hydroxy acids and other nutrients go to work improving your skin. After that, wash it off and moisturized with a good chemical-free moisturizer.
Twice a week seems to be a good regiment for using this facial treatment. Despite what the big cosmetic companies would have us believe, natural treatments like this have a far better chance of giving you glowing skin than expensive commercial preparations full of petrochemicals. It may say pumpkin peel treatment on the bottle or jar, but it can’t match the real thing that you can easily make at home like this.
There’s many more natural skincare ideas you can make up at home in the section on hair and skin treatments.