THANKSGIVING INSPIRED DIY BEAUTY TREATMENTS
When cranberries and pumpkins pop up in our markets in October and November, we know that it signals the beginning of the holiday season. You’ll probably be cooking or baking with one or both of these staple ingredients over the next couple of months, but did you know that they also provide a feast for your skin?
Beauty brands are already tapping into the power of these fall fruits, such as Chocolate Sun’s Cranberry Vanilla Body Scrub or Dr. Alkaitis's Organic Universal Mask; and One Love Organics Rose Aromatic Body Serum, which all boast pumpkin or pumpkin seed oil as active ingredients.
So while you’re making those pumpkin pies from scratch or that homemade cranberry sauce, set aside some of those leftovers for your own at-home spa treatment. Let’s take a look at what makes these natural ingredients so popular and valuable for our skin.
What’s the first thing you notice about pumpkins? Their color, of course. That bright orange color comes from beta carotene, which is a form of vitamin A that is essential for maintaining healthy, youthful skin. When vitamin A is applied topically, it can help rejuvenate and clarify skin, as well as aid in reducing the appearance of fine lines.
Pumpkin contains vitamins C, E and K, and minerals, including iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Vitamins C and K help fade for pesky sun and age spots, while the zinc helps control oil production, making it great for acne-prone skin.
Pumpkin also contains natural enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids that cleanse skin and slough away dead skin cells, promoting cell turnover and revealing fresh, glowing skin. It also has powerful antioxidant properties. So over time, repeated use of a pumpkin mask or facial treatment can yield visible results in texture and tone of your skin.
Simple Pumpkin Mask
- 2 tablespoons fresh cooked organic pumpkin, pureed
- 1 teaspoon manuka honey (for dry skin)
- 1 teaspoon fresh organic cranberry juice (for oily skin)
Combine all the ingredients according to your skin type. Cleanse and steam your skin. Apply the treatment to your face and décolletage, making sure to avoid your eyes, and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water, pat dry and apply a moisturizer.
These tart red jewels also have antioxidant properties that can rejuvenate the skin and improve its texture and tone. Rich in vitamin C and natural fruit acids, cranberry applied topically can stimulate cell turnover, making it an effective ingredient in a skin peel.
With its high concentration of antioxidants, vitamin C and B vitamins, cranberry juice has numerous anti-aging benefits including reducing the appearance of fine lines and fighting free radicals, which reduces damage to your skin and slows down the visible signs of aging. The vitamin C in cranberry juice is essential for the production of hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine, amino acids that are required for production of collagen in the body. Cranberry can also be used as a toner and to treat acne.
Cranberry & Manuka Honey Mask
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 tablespoons manuka honey
Blend the cranberries in a blender or food processor. Transfer the cranberries to a bowl and add the honey, fully incorporating the mixture. Cleanse and steam your skin. Apply the treatment to your face and décolletage, making sure to avoid your eyes, and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water, pat dry and apply a moisturizer.
Now you have something else to do with all of those leftovers! And remember to use organic products whenever possible, so try to pick up produce from your local farmer’s market if you can.