Gourd Your Complexion

Pumpkins and other seasonal staples can do wonders for skin

November 13, 2012

For a pumpkin peel, simply scoop out pulp and place it on your face for 20 minutes.

Platters full of sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie make for a mighty attractive Thanksgiving spread. Not only do these holiday staples taste delicious, but they’ll also make you look better in your family photos, says New York dermatologist Neil Sadick, author of “The New Natural: Your Ultimate Guide to Scalpel-Free Age Reversal.”

When you’re eating those orange-colored root veggies, you’re getting a dose of Vitamin A, which promotes the regeneration of skin cells. Those bright red berries are giving you a shot of antioxidants — and a more youthful glow. As for pumpkin, it comes packed with carotenoids, high-potency nutrients that boost new collagen.

Don’t like the taste? “Take the pulp and put it on your skin,” suggests Sadick, who recommends leaving it on for 20 minutes for a “pumpkin peel.” He says the anti-aging results are better than what you’d see with alpha hydroxy acid.

If you think that’s worth celebrating with a drink, make it a beer. And make it just one, Sadick says. But that single pint contains a good amount of silica, which has a host of health benefits, including reducing your risk of skin cancer.

Although Sadick likes to remind people that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, when it comes to aging, you also have to think about what’s outside. And when there’s sunshine — even in chilly weather — you have to remember to slather on sunscreen.

Then you won’t need to count on the wishbone to fight your wrinkles.

Vicky Hallett is a MisFits columnist and the Fit editor for Express.
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