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Beauty, Featured, Wellness

Get Fresh: How Vitamin C (and Pumpkin!) Benefits Your Skin

With fall comes the ubiquitous presence of pumpkin everything. Even if pumpkin spice isn’t your go-to flavor, there are fresh ways to incorporate the fruit (yes, fruit!) into your skin care routine. Add the seasonal favorite to your regimen for a wealth of benefits. Pumpkin packs carotenoids, potassium, magnesium, iron and fiber, as well as vitamins A, B, E. Perhaps most important, pumpkin is rich in superstar vitamin C. Internally, vitamin C comes from our daily diet. It helps grow, maintain and repair cartilage, collagen, bones and teeth, as well as scar and other tissues. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron and folate.

In addition to eating or drinking pumpkin, you can put it on your face. Unlike many traditional vitamin C products, some of the most well-known pumpkin skin care products are masks. Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer is a good example. In addition to its vitamin C benefits, pumpkin also contains vitamin A, which helps keep skin firm, healthy and beautiful. Pumpkin amps up your “glow factor” with its essential fatty acids, as well as natural skin-exfoliating fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). These increase cell turnover for a brighter, more youthful complexion.

Vitamin C: A Powerhouse Ingredient. For Real.

Unlike fly-by-night, wacky or new skin care ingredients, vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid, is one of the most well-researched ingredients in topical skin care. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, the National Institutes of Health and many others report on its benefits.

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants block some of the damage caused by free radicals (a key cause of aging). Vitamin C’s anti-aging benefits include brightening the skin; evening out skin tone; shielding skin from pollution; boosting collagen; preventing fine lines and wrinkles; and UV photoprotection when combined with vitamin E.

Be Bright About Vitamin C Product Selection and Storage

To maximize the benefits of vitamin C, choose a serum. Serums are generally more expensive but for a good reason. They’re packed with more efficacious ingredients that actually change your skin. Skinceuticals C E Ferulic has been an award-winning product for years. Other popular vitamin C serums include Drunk Elephant C-Firm Day Serum, Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum and Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum.

It’s important to store vitamin C serum properly. Antioxidants, including vitamin C, can be unstable. Limit the vitamin C serum’s exposure to light and air. For a longer shelf life, choose a product housed in an opaque bottle or tube and/or dispensed with a pump.

Wondering what to do with your leftover pumpkin after Halloween? A DIY pumpkin mask may be just what the doctor ordered to scare away dull skin and reveal your radiant autumn beauty. You can treat yourself with a pumpkin-spiced latte afterward.

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