Why You Should Swap Pumpkin-Scented Skin Care for Real Pumpkin

As the weather starts to cool down and pumpkin spice everything starts to pop up, you might be tempted to run out and grab every pumpkin-scented lotion and body wash out there. As wonderful as these products smell, though, they might not be the best choice for every skin type. That doesn’t mean pumpkin has no place in your skin care routine, however. In fact, real pumpkin can have lots of great benefits for your complexion.

The Downfalls of Fragrance in Skin Care

Unfortunately, that lovely pumpkin spice scent in your moisturizer is most likely a blend of chemical ingredients that not only don’t benefit your skin but can also irritate dry, sensitive skin types. Even people who don’t have particularly sensitive skin could have an allergy or sensitivity to heavy fragrances in their skin care products.

Many people don’t realize that essential oils can also cause irritation and dryness, so even if a fragranced product touts “natural” essential oils, your skin may not be able to tolerate it.

If you’re unsure as to whether or not a fragrance in your skin care could be causing an adverse reaction, talk to your dermatologist about getting a patch test or switching to gentler products that might be more appropriate for your skin type.

The Benefits of Pumpkin in Skin Care

On the other hand, real pumpkin and pumpkin seed extract can benefit even sensitive skin types in many different ways. Pumpkin contains a variety of skin-healthy nutrients, including:

    • Natural exfoliating ingredients like plant enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids to help increase skin cell turnover and accelerate the exfoliation (desquamation) process.
    • Antioxidants like vitamins C and A for a boost of free radical protection. Vitamin C can also help to brighten skin tone and stimulate collagen production within the skin (Linus Pauling Institute).


  • Zinc, which has been shown to decrease skin inflammation and promote healthy wound healing (Dermatologic Surgery). These properties may make zinc a beneficial ingredient to help calm and soothe acne.
  • Fatty acids and vitamin E are found in high concentrations in pumpkin seeds. These substances help to promote a healthy and optimally functioning skin barrier to hold in moisture and keep toxins and pollutants out.


Fall Favorites

If you’re looking to exchange your pumpkin-scented products for those that contain real pumpkin, pumpkin oil, and pumpkin seed extract, try these great fall favorites:

You can also try a great DIY pumpkin face mask to give your skin a boost of nourishment, free radical protection, and hydration at home. We love this recipe from POPSUGAR Beauty:

  1. Whisk together ¼ cup pumpkin with 1 egg.
  2. For dry skin, try adding a teaspoon of honey. For oily skin, skip the honey and add a splash of apple cider vinegar or cranberry juice.
  3. Smooth the mixture over your skin and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse completely.

In Summary

If you can’t seem to figure out what could be causing sudden dry skin or irritation, take a closer look at the skin care products you use everyday. If you’ve recently added a new product into the mix (such as a seasonal lotion), try discontinuing use of that product for a few days and see if your skin seems to clear.

Have you found a pumpkin-based skin care product that works wonders for your skin? Feel free to share it in the comments section, or post your suggestion to our Facebook page to help other Skin Type Solutions followers find their new favorite fall skin care products!


Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D. and her team at Baumann Cosmetic Dermatology believe in proof, not promises. World-recognized for both cosmetic and general dermatology, our treatment strategies rely exclusively on evidence-based, scientifically verified products and procedures that promote skin health and a natural appearance. We combine effective medical procedures with individualized instruction on proper skincare, nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle in order to maximize the health of the skin and body as a whole while minimizing the effects of aging. For more, visit Dr. Baumann’s blog for daily updates Monday through Friday, or inquire about an appointment through

August 18, 2017 Skincare