Pumpkin season is here! While pumpkin patch picking is not as celebrated in Hong Kong as it is in the United States, pumpkins are a symbol of fall, of harvest and of course of Halloween. Pumpkins should not be only thought of as a food item, though delicious, they possess many skin healing properties – perfect for the milder temperatures and lower humidity beginning to affect Hong Kong.

Pumpkins are full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C & Zinc. These are great at combating all sorts of skin problems, but most notably, the natural combination of these essential nutrients found in Pumpkin are best for skin that is adjusting to changes in the weather and skin that is feeling a bit aged, dry or just a bit dull.

Over the shoulder shot of an attractive young woman looking at her reflection in a mirror

Most importantly, pumpkins attribute their claim to fame as a skin saviour because of the high amounts of fruit enzymes and gentle, yet effective alpha-hydroxy acids that help the skin shed dead cells and uncover more youthful looking skin underneath. Also the molecular structure of these and other compounds found in pumpkin are actually small enough to penetrate the upper layers of the epidermis for real results. This natural exfoliation also means that any skincare products you follow up with will be much more effective in nourishing and moisturising.

Enough of the science! Take a look at these 3 recipes below to make your own pumpkin based skin care. Feel free to replace western Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins for Japanese Kobacha pumpkins which can be found at any supermarket in Hong Kong.

 

Warm Pumpkin Spice Body Rub

Still life with cherry blossom, salt scrub and white pebbles on a distressed wood surface. Horizontal shot.

1/2 cup real pumpkin (avoid canned pumpkins to retain all its natural goodnesss)

1 cup Dark Brown Sugar

2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions:

Puree pumpkin in a blender. In a bowl, mix brown sugar, spices and pumpkin until smooth and like a thick puree.

That’s it! Use on face, hands and body. Gently scrub for 3-4 minutes before washing off.

Make sure you refrigerate leftovers and use the rest within 4 weeks.

 

Pumpkin Face Masque

Pumpkin confiture, jam, sauce with spices on stone table Top view.

¼ cup fresh pumpkin meat (no skin)

1 teaspoon coconut oil

Splash of milk or cream

(Optional)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground star anise

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and blend together in blender. Apply the paste to your face leave on for 20-25 minutes to allow enzymes to react. Rinse off with water. Spices are optional for bonus aromatherapy and additional antioxidants.

Pumpkin Spa Pedicure

Beauty treatment for legs. Hand masagging feet with sea salt. Studio shot.

Foot Soak:

1 cup Epsom Salt or Sea Salt (not table salt!)

1 teaspoon of baking soda

5 drops of Vanilla or non-floral essential oil

Hot Water

Pumpkin Scrub

1-cup sugar

2 tbsp cup pumpkin seed oil or olive oil

1/2 cup pumpkin

Directions:

Create the scrub by adding the ingredients to a blender. Add more pumpkin or water if needed to reach a paste-like consistency.

Combine the ingredients for the foot soak in a basin, and soak feet for 10 minutes. After soaking, dry feet with towel. Apply the pumpkin scrub to your feet and massage over feet and calves. A pumice stone can be extra helpful here to remove dead skin. Dry with towel and apply pumpkin mask (above) for extra soft and luscious feet and nails.

 

Extra Bonus: For those of you who are craving a pumpkin spiced latte, here’s an easy recipe to enjoy using the leftovers of your above ingredients:

Pumpkin Spice Latte

ice honey pumpkin spice latte with whipped cream. the toning. selective focus

Ingredients:

2 cup milk

4 tablespoons pure pumpkin – mashed
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot espresso or strong brewed coffee
Sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Directions:

Combine milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, spice mixture and vanilla in a medium microwave safe bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap  and pierce a vent with a fork. Microwave until the milk is hot, 2-3 minutes. Whisk vigorously with fork until foamy. Pour the espresso or coffee into two large mugs and add the foamed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of spices.