With pumpkin-infused products hitting shelves from the grocery store to the beauty counter and beyond, we wanted to find out what the trend means for our skincare and beauty routines.
Top dermatologist Dr. Joel Schlessinger shared these tips for navigating the season’s biggest trend.
Pumpkin spice latte: Proceed with caution
The occasional pumpkin spice latte probably won’t cause major skin issues, but if you are sensitive to dairy, or avoid it altogether, making this fall speciality drink a daily habit could throw your skin into a tizzy.
Dr. Schlessinger: “If your latte is made with milk, this can actually cause acne. Many people think acne can be caused by an allergic reaction to dairy. Cow’s milk actually contains natural hormones that cause an overproduction of oil, leading to clogged pores and acne flare-ups. Skim milk has even more hormones than regular milk due to the lack of fat, which slightly decreases hormone levels in regular milk.”
Quick Fix: “I recommend drinking almond milk instead, which is free of the hormones that are found in regular, skim, and soy milk. You might even see an improvement in your acne after you switch, and it tastes great.”
Pick a product with pumpkin
Pumpkin has many benefits when applied topically. This powerhouse ingredient exfoliates, clarifies, detoxifies, and is especially helpful for oily or breakout-prone skin.
Dr. Schlessinger: “The natural enzymes in pumpkin dissolve dull skin cells to create a soft and smooth complexion. This exfoliation also encourages cellular renewal for youthful and radiant skin. If you are sensitive to exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acids, try an exfoliating product made with a pumpkin extract.”
Quick Fix: “One of my favorite pumpkin products is LovelySkin Pumpkin Clarifying Mask, which uses pumpkin enzyme, papaya enzyme, and salicylic acid to unclog pores and exfoliate skin. This mask is especially beneficial for those with acne-prone skin.”
Save those pumpkin seeds
Carving a pumpkin? Consider picking up an extra for the kitchen. Eating dishes made with pumpkin and the seeds can benefit your skin. Unfortunately, pumpkin pie doesn’t count.
Dr. Schlessinger: “Pumpkin is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as zinc, potassium, lutein, and beta carotene. These minerals keep the complexion healthy and protect it against damaging free radicals that cause signs of aging. The seeds are also rich in magnesium, which serves all the vital functions of the body, including supporting healthy bones and the nervous system.”
Quick Fix: Lifestyle blog Greatist has an incredible section devoted to healthy pumpkin recipes.
Sugar and spice aren’t so nice when it comes to DIY beauty
Last fall, a beauty blogger’s cinnamon face mask recommendation went viral for a not-so-nice reason—it left many people with severe burns. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are great for a pumpkin pie recipe, but leave them out of your DIY beauty routines.
Dr. Schlessinger: “Remember, DIY recipes are not professionally regulated. Anyone can post a DIY skincare recipe online. In this case, applying cinnamon to the skin can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions, which is likely why they felt a burning sensation.”
Quick Fix: “Cinnamon is a potent antioxidant that helps reverse signs of sun and environmental damage to the skin,” Dr. Jessica Weiser, a board-certified dermatologist at the New York Dermatology Group, told Women’s Health. “Cinnamon also increases blood flow and circulation to increase cell turnover and skin repair.” Try adding a teaspoon daily to your morning coffee or oatmeal for a delicious, healthy twist that will also benefit your skin.
Fall is back-to-school time. Read more about the top treatments that are trending among college students.