A hot new trend in skin care is a page right out of Cinderella's story book. Just as in the fabled story, when the damsel is in distress, it's up to the mighty pumpkin to save the day. This time, the pumpkin isn't being uses as a coach, but rather, the seeds are being harvested and distilled into an extract with multiple medicinal uses.
Pumpkin seed extract is quickly becoming a panacea of sorts for all sorts of maladies. High in zinc and other nutrients, it's medicinal claims are diverse - from early prostate treatment to removing tapeworms. Recently, science has turned it's face, quite literally to skin care. Pumpkin seed extract has been found to stimulate collagen in the skin - and help inhibit other factors that would cause the collagen to deteriorate.
The extract is a protein derived from the seed cake itself. According to research, regular use will smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improve tone and texture of skin. Face cream, as well as body creams are now incorporating pumpkin seed extract because of it's purported affect on preventing and altering the appearance of stretch marks. Product makers are touting an increase in smoothness, firmness, elasticity and skin tone, especially in anti-aging formulations.
Some of the most popular products on the market today are incorporating the orange gourd's seed protein. The Body Focus range from The Body Shop features a Stretch Mark Improver with pumpkin seed extract as one of the active ingredients. Their highly acclaimed Vitamin C Re-texturizing Peel also contains the extract, to help smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
For the savvy consumer with a little time on their hands, you can make your own pumpkin seed body scrub with a little olive oil and shelled pumpkin seeds. Using a grinder, blend one cup of seeds into fine granules. Pour into a zipper style plastic bag and add enough olive oil (about one-quarter cup) to provide adaquate lubrication. The mix contains not only the magnificent medicinal squash, but also omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids to boot. While not as potent as its scientific competitors, the mixture will keep for a few days and provide great exfoliating action while leaving you with skin thats velvety smooth and touchably soft.
Make sure you're ready for your next trip to the ball - whether or not you ride in a gourd to get there!
Lisa M. Robbin Young is a cosmetics and skin care consultant, author, and entrepreneur. Get a free copy of her book and sign up for her beauty and style newsletter, Beauty ReMarks, at: http://www.lisamrobbin.com/savingface.aspx