There are plenty of telltale signs of autumn, like busting out those chunky sweaters and excursions to go apple picking, but one of the healthiest ways to embrace the season is through the food, and we don’t mean pumpkin spice lattes. According to Ayurveda—the centuries-old holistic healing modality from India—we’re currently in vata season, known for cool, dry weather. It’s not surprising that at this time of the year, we often deal with dry skin, anxiety (hello, holiday season!), and body aches.
While nightly baths, a regular exercise practice, and sticking to other routines will help your physical and emotional wellbeing, when it comes to taking care of your skin health, you can look to vata-appropriate ingredients (anything warming) for inspiration. Beyond the healthy, nourishing meals, the season’s most ubiquitous ingredient, pumpkin, can keep you glowing on the outside, too. They’re chock full of antioxidants and vitamins that brighten, smooth, and offer fatty acids to keep skin plump. To top it off, if you’re carving pumpkins this month, this is a great way to use the whole gourd without waste.
Here, our favorite DIY ways to incorporate pumpkin into your clean skin regimen. As always, if you have sensitive skin, be sure to try a spot treatment on your arm or hand before attempting on more delicate areas.
You need just three ingredients for this face mask—and you likely already have all of them in your kitchen. Take pumpkin puree, honey, and milk and leave the mixture on your face for 20 minutes. With regular application, you’re more likely to see the boost of vitamins, A, C, and E, plus beta-carotene, which offers sun protection.
This scrub combines pumpkin with cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar, a more gentle exfoliant than sea salt, which is often used in scrubs.
Dry, windy, cold weather isn’t just a culprit of a dry face, your hands can take a beating, too. Wearing gloves helps while you’re out, but once you’re home, try this mix of pumpkin puree, an oil (almond or olive), and honey, and slather on your hands.
Pumpkin doesn’t make your skin supple; it’s a wonderful way to make your hair smooth and soft, too. This mask mixes pumpkin, coconut oil, and honey. Keep in mind that the pumpkin smell can be a little intense and coconut oil can be a mixed bag when it comes to hair—it may take some hair types 2–3 washes to get the oil fully out.