Plant Enzyme Mask
It’s just a days after Labor Day. So, that must mean that we’re in Pumpkin Spice season, right? Did you actually know that pumpkins have skin-rejuvenating enzymes, glow-boosting vitamins, and many other compounds in them that can be great for skin health? So, let’s use the power of plants to give us a healthy glow throughout the fall (and the rest of the year)!
Before we delve into mask-making, let’s settle into some science, shall we?
What’s in it?
Pumpkins are absolutely amazing and filled with so many nutrients. Studies show that pumpkin flesh is high in vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, and minerals. Topical applications of vitamin C can reduce the appearance of dark spots and help even out skin tone. Vitamin C is also awesome since it helps build collagen to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and also acts as a great antioxidant, which protects collagen from degradation from UV-induced or pollutant-induced free radical damage. Carotenoids are natural vitamin A derivatives that could be helpful for acne, fine lines, and wrinkles by speeding up cellular turnover at the skin level (aka you always get fresh skin cells on the surface of your skin). The main types of carotenoids founds in pumpkin flesh are beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene.
Studies also show that pumpkin flesh contains enzymes, which is why many clean beauty companies use pumpkin in their enzyme masks. The main enzymes found in pumpkin are galactosidase, cellulase, pectin methylesterase, polygalacturonase, amylase and invertase. These enzymes basically have the potential to eat up dead skin cells and rejuvenate the skin, leaving it fresh-looking and soft.
Topical applications of honey have been shown to have a lot of benefits. Studies show that honey can be effective for fighting viruses (like Herpes), fighting bacteria and fungus, and healing wounds (such as burn wounds and ulcers). Literature also shows that Manuka honey can be effective against methicillin-resistant Staphyloccocus aureus. So, applying honey can heal your skin and kill any bad viruses/bacteria/fungi, which can potentially reduce inflammation.
Plant Enzyme Mask
1 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 tbsp raw honey (or manuka honey)
1/4 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until you get a paste. Apply on your face - you can also apply the mixture on your neck and décolleté since those areas are similar to facial skin. Never put the mixture in or around the eyes
Let the mask stand for 10-15 minutes.
Wash the mask off with water and your favorite cleanser.
Apply facial serums and moisturizers, as needed.
There ya’ go! An easy DIY mask that is absolutely perfect for those looking for a quick skin pick-me-up, those with pimples/acne, or those who want something natural to rejuvenate their skin. Remember to always spot test masks you make at home on the back of your hand to see if you react to it! Some people who are sensitive to salicylates may react to this mask because of the pumpkin used.
And remember, if you are experiencing any skin issues, topical treatments are just one part of the solution. You’ve got to heal your skin from within while simultaneously treating your skin from the outside-in so that you tackle the root cause of your skin issues and make sure that you don’t get them again. Treat your skin from within with modern, natural medicine at Jupiter Naturopathic Wellness and schedule a consultation with me.
See ya’ soon at Jupiter.
- Dr. B
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H Azevedo-Meleiro, Cristiane & B Rodriguez-Amaya, Delia. (2007). Qualitative and Quantitative Differences in Carotenoid Composition among Cucurbita moschata , Cucurbita maxima , and Cucurbita pepo. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 55. 4027-33. 10.1021/jf063413d.
Jenkins, Rowena, et al. “On the Antibacterial Effects of Manuka Honey: Mechanistic Insights.” Research and Reports in Biology, 2015, p. 215., doi:10.2147/rrb.s75754.
Jurgita, Kulaitienė & Jariene, Elvyra & Danilčenko, H & Judita, Cerniauskiene & Wawrzyniak, Agata & Hamulka, Jadwiga & E, Juknevičienė. (2014). Chemical composition of pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima D.) flesh flours used for food. Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment. 12. 61-64.
Moore, Owen A, et al. “Systematic Review of the Use of Honey as a Wound Dressing.” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 1, no. 1, 2001, doi:10.1186/1472-6882-1-2.
Sharma, Sonu and Ramana Rao. “Nutritional quality characteristics of pumpkin fruit as revealed by its biochemical analysis.” (2013).
DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. There are no financial ties to any supplement companies, pharmaceutical companies, or to any of the products mentioned in this post. This post is not meant to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose conditions or diseases and is meant for educational purposes. As always, please consult your doctor before trying any new treatments or supplements.