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Why Pumpkin Is the Glow-Boosting Ingredient Your Skin Craves


Of all the things we love about fall—cozy sweaters, hot lattes, and toasty makeup looks—there’s one we look forward to the most: pumpkin. You’re probably used to seeing pumpkin spice everything once autumn hits, from Halloween nail art to Thanksgiving pumpkin pies. But did you know that your favorite fall squash (yup, we Googled it—it’s a type of squash) is beloved by your skin, too? In fact, pumpkin is loaded with benefits to get your skin glowing and gorgeous, while targeting common issues like acne and dark spots. Want to know more about what pumpkin can do for you? We chatted with board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon Dr. Dendy Engelman, MD about all the major benefits of pumpkin for skin. Turns out, it’s loaded with vitamins that tackle everything under the sun.

“Pumpkin contains a handful of skin-loving vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and E, along with many antioxidants, which help fight sun damage and wrinkles,” says Dr. Engelman. “Vitamin A is known to stimulate collagen production, while vitamin C offers antioxidant protection against damaging free radicals. Vitamin E moisturizes the skin while protecting you from harmful UV rays.” Dr. Engelman adds, “Pumpkins are also packed with antioxidants like beta-carotene, which is known to help maintain skin’s health and youthful appearance. Beta-carotene protects your skin against harmful UV radiation from the sun and prevents premature aging, leaving your skin with a natural glow.”

Ready to add pumpkin to your skincare routine? Continue reading for five pumpkin benefits, plus one amazing product to add to your routine.

About the Expert:

Dr. Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at Shafer Clinic, NYC.

1. It’s a great acne-fighter.

Breakouts happen to the best of us—and at the worst times. If you’re looking for a new way to target acne, pumpkin just might be the answer. According to Dr. Engelman, “Pumpkin is great for acne-prone skin as it is composed of zinc and potassium, which fights redness, reduces skin inflammation, and helps in treating acne. The increased production of collagen will also further improve the tone of your skin. As pumpkin can help control the production of oil, it is a great choice for those suffering from acne.”

2. It has anti-aging benefits.

While it’s no magic potion, pumpkin can help minimize some signs of aging thanks to hardworking vitamins and its collagen-boosting properties. “The antioxidants found in pumpkins include vitamins C and A which boost collagen production and skin elasticity, soften the skin, and reduce signs of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots,” says Dr. Engelman. “The vitamins found in pumpkin also work together to lessen the appearance of skin damage from harmful UV rays and free radicals.”

3. It protects from free radicals.

Ready for a chemistry lesson? Here’s how pumpkin protects your skin from environmental aggressors. Dr. Engelman says, “Pumpkins are a great source of vitamin A, which helps protect your healthy cells from skin damage caused by free radicals by pairing with unstable free radicals and neutralizing their damaging effects before they can harm stable molecules.” How cool is that?

4. It helps brighten dull skin.

“The rich and powerful fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids found in pumpkins both encourage cell turnover, which speeds up the process of removing dead or damaged skin cells. Over time, this will naturally lead to brighter and more youthful-looking skin. AHAs make it a popular ingredient in facial treatments, as it exfoliates skin without being too harsh or irritating.” 

YENSA Pumpkin Turmeric 2-in-1 Radiance Polishing Mask

Try This: YENSA Pumpkin Turmeric 2-in-1 Radiance Polishing Mask is your new go-to for glowing skin. This gentle, exfoliating mask helps polish, resurface, and soothe while boosting collagen thanks to pumpkin, turmeric, and a load of skin-loving ingredients.

5. It helps fade hyperpigmentation.

If you’re prone to hyperpigmentation, we know it can be a struggle. Incorporating a pumpkin-infused product into your skincare routine could help brighten dark spots. “Pumpkin contains various minerals including zinc and copper, which both work to fade hyperpigmentation and brighten skin,” says Dr. Engelman. “The exfoliating properties of pumpkin (due to its AHA content) also aids in evening out skin tone.”

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About the author
Pia Bhattacharya
Pia is a New York-based beauty editor at IPSY with over 10 years experience including editorial, public relations, and copywriting. Her work has appeared in SELF magazine, in beauty and branding for Bloomingdale’s, and others.
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Article Last Updated November 1, 2021 12:00 AM