Pumpkin Is The Secret Ingredient Your Skin Needs Right Now

What is it about fall that makes everyone go pumpkin crazy? Everywhere you look it seems like there’s a new something inspired by the orange gourd — pumpkin donuts, pumpkin hair color, the very bizarre pumpkin glitter butts. But one area you don’t hear that much about pumpkin is in skincare. It’s a surprisingly powerful, yet underestimated ingredient.

Not only is the gourd full of beneficial vitamins and minerals, but it also has exfoliating benefits. “Fruits and vegetables naturally contain enzymes,” says cosmetic chemist Al-Nisa Ward. Those enzymes can help dissolve dead skin cells, giving skin a brightened appearance. Not to mention that the meat of the pumpkin and its seeds have their own unique benefits.


And yet, it’s not an ingredient that you see very often. Or is it? Turns out K-Beauty loves pumpkin — so much so that they include it in tons of products. We did a little digging in the pumpkin patch and discovered that some of our fave Glow Recipe products have some form of it in their formulas.

We want this unsung hero of the complexion world to get its due, so put together a list of our favorite K-Beauty products that have pumpkin in them. Keep reading to discover who’s got it and what it’s doing for your skin.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask


Watermelon might play the lead in this mask, but pumpkin is the best supporting actor that gets the plot rolling. “Pumpkin fruit extract is rich in minerals and antioxidants,” says Ward. In our cult-favorite sleeping mask, those antioxidants both repair skin and defend it against damage-causing free radicals while you snooze. Meanwhile, alpha-hydroxy acids in the formula work alongside the pumpkin enzymes to exfoliate skin and give you smoother, brighter skin in the a.m.

Whamisa by Glow Studio Chai Tea Serum-in-Cream

This hybrid textured product gets its power from a combo of rooibos tea, brightening turmeric, and pumpkin seed oil, which comes with several perks. “Pumpkin seed oil contains essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, as well as beta-sitosterol, which helps moisturize and protect the skin barrier,” explains Ward. Those essential fatty acids are deeply moisturizing, while its antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E, work to counteract damage throughout the day.

Whamisa Organic Flower Facial Oil


Though argan and coconut oils tend to steal the spotlight, pumpkin seed oil offers serious hydration, too. “Pumpkin seed oil is considered very nourishing for the skin, and has been used to promote wound healing,” says Ward. Translation: If your skin is red, irritated, or generally drier than usual, pumpkin might be your best bet. In this formula, it’s paired up with olive, jojoba, carrot seed, evening primrose, and argan oils as well as soothing probiotics.

MD’s Pick Goji Water Rubber Mask


This rubber mask aims to hydrate and brighten — so, naturally, you can find pumpkin in it. Its ability to hydrate, lightly exfoliate, and control oil production contributes to the mask’s transformative effects. As if that weren’t enough, you’ll also find licorice extract (to brighten), centella extract (to calm), and hyaluronic acid (to moisturize).

Pumpkin’s skincare benefits are proof that in addition to picking it, carving it, painting it, baking with it, and drinking it, you definitely want to pamper your skin with it, too. Let’s make pumpkin an all-year skin star, not just a one-hit October wonder.

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