It’s official! They’re everywhere. Porches, lattes, your Instagram feed—you can’t sneeze this time of year without hitting a pumpkin patch. But did you know that pumpkins are actually really good for you, not just feel-good? Here, three recipes—two for your skin and one you can actually eat—that bring pumpkin season to the next level. Not-so-accidental side effect? You’ll be more gorgeous than ever.
1. Make This DIY Mask—We Promise It’s Easy
Pumpkin contains antioxidants plus vitamins A and C, all of which work wonders for your skin by softening, soothing, and boosting collagen production. For you acne sufferers, pumpkins are loaded with zinc: when eaten, zinc helps control your hormone levels (and therefore oil production). When used topically, it helps heal blemishes. Zinc is actually a primary ingredient in Mario Badescu’s cult acne fighting product, buffering lotion.
Skincare expert and founder of her eponymous line, Indie Lee, loves zinc’s acne-fighting properties as well. She points out that the enzymes in pumpkin act as a very gentle exfoliator, which is great for particularly sensitive, acne-prone skin. Her own glowing pumpkin face mask recipe below:
4 tbsp. organic pumpkin puree
4 tbsp. organic honey
½ tbsp. greek yogurt or avocado oil
1 drop of sandalwood essential oil
1 drop of carrot seed oil
dash of pumpkin pie spice (optional)
In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Apply to face and let sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse face with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. Note—the mask should be used on the day of preparation and shouldn’t be stored afterwards.
2. Whip Up This Pumpkin Conditioner—It’s Actually Easier Than The Mask!
The vitamin A in pumpkin is also great for your hair and scalp. Pumpkin is also rich in potassium, like avocado and banana, which helps hair growth, making this a great recipe for anyone with thin or thinning hair.
2 cups chopped and cooked pumpkin
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. yogurt
In a food processor or blender, puree the pumpkin and the yogurt. Add the honey and coconut oil. Apply to damp hair and leave on for 10 minutes.
3. Don’t Drink That #PSL! It’s The Opposite Of #BeautyFood! Make This Paleo Version Instead.
So we all know how obsessed with the #PSL at Starbucks we are, but please resist the urge. Even though Starbucks recently announced that they’re upgrading their Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe to include real pumpkin (instead of using chemicals and caramel coloring), it’s still filled with sugar. The #PSL logs in at 50 grams of sugar, warns Charlotte’s Book expert nutritionist Dana James: that’s just not good for you. Try this no-sugar, all pumpkin recipe instead!
2 tbsp. canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Agave or honey to taste
2 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 shots espresso or 1 cup coffee
Heat pumpkin in a small saucepan. Add pumpkin pie spice, agave or honey, and vanilla extract. Pour in your coffee or espresso.
Or, instead of some morning caffeine, try this healthy pumpkin pie protein smoothie from Charlotte’s Book expert nutritionist Dana James.
10 oz of almond milk
1/4 cup of Beautifuel (created by Dana James)
1/2 cup of pureed pumpkin
A pinch of nutmeg
1/4 tsp. of cinnamon
1 tsp. coconut oil
2 or 3 ice cubes
Add all ingredients to blender and blend for 30-60 seconds until smooth.
READ THIS NEXT: Is Starbucks Sabotaging Your Glow? How Coffee Affects Your Skin