DIY – Pumpkin Sugar Facial Scrub

Pumpkin: it's turning up everywhere.  Instagram is replete with photos of toddlers picking at the patch, while Twitter users are agasp at the idea of a certain presidential front-runner not being a fan of the #PSL (pumpkin spice latte – and neither am I).  Grocers are slowly pushing canned pumpkin toward their endcaps, and it's not just for baking!  Canned pumpkin serves as a pleasantly neutral base for smoothies, a great partner with nut butter swirled into hot cereal or yogurt, and lends a seasonal feel to spreads like hummus.  A half cup provides a generous 3g of fiber, and twice the daily value of vitamin A. 

If you haven't tired of pumpkin recipes already, I'm busily working on one for powered-up protein muffins.  Somewhere in the middle of hemming and hawing over whether or not to incorporate oats, it dawned on me that I was out of facial scrub, and I put the muffins to rest to focus on my complexion.  Priorities in order!

Skincare products touting the benefits of pumpkin are almost as popular as the aforementioned latte, and this is one pumpkin trend that I'm actually eager to try.  Pumpkin contains enzymes that have an exfoliating effect on the skin, and many products combine pumpkin with an alpha-hydroxy acid.  According to one branding expert I spoke with, the enzymes and the alpha-hydroxy work well together.  

Canned pumpkin?  Check.  Milk?  Check.  But what about something granular?  What could be added to this kitchen sink meets  bathroom vanity experiment?  The answer was in the yet-to-be-perfected muffins – demerara sugar (also a source of alpha hydroxy acid).  Starting with the canned pumpkin as a base – about a tablespoon full – mix in the sugar crystals.  Add milk as slowly as possible.  The mixture should be paste-like.  If the mixture feels too liquidy, add enough ground oats to thicken it up.  Apply the mixture to clean skin in a circular motion, paying special attention to the nose and chin.  Rinse, and follow with your regular evening regimen.

The verdict?  My skin was a bit pink at first, but noticeably smoother and brighter.  I've tried many peels and scrubs at every end of the price spectrum, and I can honestly say I'm impressed!  For the ease and price, this is a pumpkin "recipe" worth putting in regular rotation.