Pumpkin is a powerful source of health, not only because of its pulp, but also because of its seeds. Pumpkin seeds, in particular, can be eaten as a snack or added to culinary preparations, to give a tasty and healthy note to bread, pasta or soups. But from the pumpkin seeds, through cold pressing, an oil is also obtained, with a strong smell, dark color and interesting properties that make it an excellent product both for nutrition and in the cosmetic field. In today's post we will deal with the beneficial action of external applications of pumpkin seed oil for skin and hair.
Pumpkin seed oil, beneficial properties for beauty
Pumpkin seed oil is emollient, antibacterial, antioxidant, regenerating, healing and anti-inflammatory (Yadav et al, Nutr Res Rev, 2010). This oil provides vitamins A and E, zinc and fatty acids such as linoleic and oleic, respectively around 45% and 35%, but a lot depends on the quality of the pumpkin, and in smaller quantities palmitic and stearic acids (Montesano et al, Foods, 2018). Thanks to these characteristics, pumpkin seed oil is suitable for all skin types, it helps to fight aging processes and wrinkles but also helps in case of acne, oily skin and wounds. In fact, pumpkin seed oil has been shown to help wound healing processes, promoting re-epithelialization and fighting inflammation (Bardaa et al, Lipds Health Dis, 2016). Not only that, scientific studies have observed that pumpkin seed oil can help in case of androgenetic alopecia, the most common form of baldness that mainly affects men, and alopecia areata, an autoimmune form that involves bald spots. These results were obtained both by topical application of pumpkin seed oil (Hajhashemi et al, AJP, Oct 2019 - Sharquie et al, American Journal of Dermatology and Venereology, 2019) and oral intake, 400 mg of oil of pumpkin seeds once a day for 6 months (Cho et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2014). In fact, thanks to its vitamin E and phytosterol content, pumpkin seed oil seems to be able to counteract the action of hormones, particularly testosterone, helping to increase the number of follicles in the anagen phase. In the life cycle of the hair, the anagen phase corresponds to its growth and can last years. The anagen phase is followed by the catagen, or resting, and telogen, in which the vital activities of the hair have ceased and it ends with the fall of the hair.
Pumpkin seed oil, use
This oil is non-comedogenic, so you can use it if you suffer from acne, blackheads and oily skin, but it is thermolabile, meaning that it should not be heated otherwise it loses its properties. In the evening, before going to sleep, you can massage a couple of drops of this oil on damp skin, it will help in case of acne to soothe inflammations and heal the skin, it is able to soothe burns and to regenerate the skin, it fights aging processes and makes the skin elastic and radiant. You can also use pumpkin seed oil for topical applications on the scalp. Wet the skin with water or spray a hydrolat, then massage a tablespoon of oil. Leave on for about ten minutes then rinse with your shampoo. In the market there are also supplements based on pumpkin seed oil, in this case, however, always ask your doctor for advice before starting the treatment.