It’s that time of year – pumpkin season! My birthday is in October so fall rituals like visiting the pumpkin patch and making pumpkin bread feel like I’m celebrating all month long. I’m definitely one of those annoying people who loves pumpkin-flavored anything. So it makes me especially happy that pumpkin is packed with beauty-boosting nutrients both inside and out.
Pumpkin Beauty Benefits
Outside: Skin Lightening Pumpkin Face Mask
Sun spots and age spots are one of the most annoying signs of aging. Anyone else regretting their time in the sun this summer? It’s never too late to get serious about wearing sunscreen, and you can also take steps to reduce hyper-pigmentation and reverse the signs of sun damage on your face. The perfect pampering ingredient? Pumpkin.
It brightens dull skin: Pumpkin is an excellent exfoliator. Its fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) slough off the dead skin that leads to a dull complexion, leaving you with a brighter, glowing complexion.
It fades sun spots: Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, the anti-aging ingredient you’ll find in retinal products. That makes pumpkin perfect for a face mask to lighten age spots and even out skin tone.
It smooths fine lines: You’ll also get a dose of vitamin C and beta-carotene with pumpkin, both of which support collagen production to improve skin tone and texture.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice to lighten dark spots while yogurt exfoliates and promotes cell turnover.
Pumpkin Face Mask
- 1 tablespoon canned pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well.
- Smooth mask onto clean, dry skin with your fingertips.
- Relax for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
Inside: Hormone Balancing Pumpkin Spice Latte
Yes, it’s that time of year when pumpkin spice is everywhere. I used to love the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte but now I just can’t do the overwhelming sweetness. Good thing it’s easy to make your own – and this version is dairy-free and spiked with hormone-balancing adaptogens.
Pumpkins not only taste sweet and delicious, but they’ll also give you an internal boost of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Especially the antioxidant beta-carotene, which gives pumpkins their orange color. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which protects against the signs of aging just as much on the inside. Since beta-carotene is a fat soluble organic compound its absorption is enhanced if eaten with fats.
Hormone Balancing Pumpkin Spice Latte
A comforting plant based latte, loaded with healthy fats and antioxidant beta-carotene, to help you cope with PMS and all the unpleasant issues of the luteal phase.
- 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice plus extra for garnishing
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, warm
- 2 teaspoon almond butter
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons maca powder
- 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk, chilled in the refrigerator
- *Optional: 2 espresso shots
- Transfer the coconut milk into a bowl, remove any liquid and use a hand mixer to obtain a cream.
- Add the pumpkin, *espresso, pumpkin spice, almond milk, almond butter, maple syrup and maca into the blender and process to obtain a smooth, creamy liquid.
- Divide into serving cups or glasses, top with coconut milk whipped cream, sprinkle with pumpkin spice and serve warm.
Photos and Latte Recipe by Ana Stanciu16