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There’s oftentimes a load of guilt associated with Thanksgiving overeating and a focus on how to repair the damage done the next day. But believe it or not, some elements of your big feast have a really positive impact on your skin, which should help assuage some of said guilt.
At the top of the list? Pumpkin. According to top dermatologist Dr. David E. Bank, the squash is loaded with beta carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant that gets converted to vitamin A and helps prevent wrinkles and keeps skin youthful and moisturized. And that can happen by eating it…thus the piles of pumpkin pie we’ve now been officially prescribed.
But the fantastic collagen-protecting vitamin C that also comes from pumpkin is also a great thing when applied topically. For example, Peter Thomas Roth’s Pumpkin Enzyme Mask ($58) uses the ingredient to exfoliate and infuse skin with antioxidants. Same goes for June Jacobs’ paraben-free Perfect Pumpkin Enzyme Polish ($60).
Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas — who tends to the complexions of Julianne Moore, Naomi Watts and Emma Stone — suggests a DIY pumpkin mask that “can be used on all skin types and is especially great for people looking for a quick anti-aging and brightening boost.” Her concoction immediately improves the look and feel of the skin by exfoliating, hydrating and softening.
The easy recipe calls for two teaspoons of pureed pumpkin, half a teaspoon of organic honey and one teaspoon of organic Greek yogurt (fat free for oily skin, 2% for dry skin). Mix the three ingredients in a bowl and apply to damp skin, leaving on for 10 minutes before rinsing with a washcloth. While pumpkin is more readily available around the holidays, she recommends making the mask once a week.
For those who aren’t DIY-ers, try Andalou Naturals’ popular Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask ($15), which mimics the homemade version and Osmia Organics’ Luz Facial Brightening Serum ($75), which uses pumpkin extract to illuminate the complexion. Éminence’s Yam & Pumpkin Enzyme Peel 5% ($46) sounds delicious, but the puree-like formula is best used topically to reduce the appearance of pigmentation, fine lines and sun damage.
Pumpkin is also a powerhouse ingredient for the body: Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze ($25) is packed with it and helps heal cracked feet. And Arcona’s Pumpkin Body Lotion 10% ($35) is much more than a moisturizer—the glycolic acid and pumpkin extracts work to improve skin tone and elasticity, which is always a good thing, especially when there’s a monumental feast on the horizon.
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