Think pumpkin and you're likely to conjure up pies and jack-o'-lanterns, but when it comes to looking gorgeous, the benefits of pumpkin-infused products are far from seasonal.
Pumpkin is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as zinc, and it contains an exfoliating enzyme that's sure to get skin glowing. But don't just wander into your local drugstore or Sephora and pick anything pumpkin out of their patch; I've rounded up a list of the best in pumpkin beauty products.
• Incredible Pumpkin Peel
Why, yes it is. MyChelle's Incredible Pumpkin Peel packs a big skin-brightening punch in a petite plastic jar. Crafted of organic pumpkin puree plus pineapple and organic ginger, this tingly little mask is ideal for sun-damaged skin, dull skin and acne-prone skin. Yes, you'll feel the sensation as natural acids banish dead skin cells, but best of all you'll see the difference. Get it for $26.69 at mychelle.com or locally at Publix in the Greenwise section.
• Pumpkin Glow Body Scrub
Wherever you live, with one scoop of this fiery orange scrub from Bella Lucce, fall is in full swing. Pumpkin pulp and pumpkin seed oil combine with organic cane sugar and a host of other natural ingredients to make smoothing skin, from head to toe, as easy — and yummy — as pie. Get it for $25.50 at bellalucce.com
• Thermal Pumpkin Facial Scrub
Some like it hot and some will get it hot with just a splash of water and Clientele's Elastology Thermal Pumpkin Facial Scrub. Honey, apples, cinnamon and a blend of pumpkin enzymes are activated with water to create a warming, exfoliating mask that reveals a fresh, glowing complexion. The result is a strangely soothing and spalike sensation that you'll get in the comfort of your own home. In fact, you won't have to leave home to purchase Thermal Pumpkin Facial Scrub since it's available for $35 from qvc.com.
• ExfoliKate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment
Ideal for those with sensitive skin, Kate Somerville's exfoliating treatment polishes skin until it glows. Papaya, pumpkin and pineapple enzymes promise to reduce the appearance of pore size and stimulate circulation, giving skin that I-just-went-for-a-3-mile-jog glow. The Kate Somerville collection is adored by A-listers such as Olivia Wilde, Kristen Bell, Felicity Huffman, Kate Walsh and Kim Kardashian. But finding out what all the celebrity fuss is about will cost you; ExfoliKate Gentle sells for $85 for 2 ounces at Sephora stores.
Carve your own
Here's a seasonal beauty mask you can brew up in your own kitchen. The recipe makes plenty, so invite a friend to join you.
All you'll need is one cup of fresh papaya, an 18-ounce can of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) and one egg. Mash the papaya, beat the egg and then fold the ingredients together. Apply the mask to clean, dry skin and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Finally, remove with warm water followed by a splash of cold water.
Carolyn Brundage is the founder of www.TampaBay.PrettyCity.com, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty. Need beauty advice? E-mail Carolyn at carolyn@ prettycity.com.