What is it with North Americans and their obsession with pumpkin spice when September hits? I’m not big on the faux pumpkin spice found in coffeehouse lattés, I would much rather have actual pumpkin and the real spices that go with it any day. So of course I love it when spas incorporate pumpkin into their treatments, seasonal or year-round. These pumpkin-based masques and facials get even better when they use farm-to-spa organic ingredients.
Many spas use pumpkin products all year round because their enzymes are the strongest of any fruit or vegetable and they have a high concentration of antioxidants. They are also packed with iron, zinc, and vitamins A and C. Pumpkin oil contains essential fatty acids (EFAs) that help to regulate sebum production, which is very useful for those with oily or acne-prone skin. A great safe and effective exfoliator, pumpkin enzymes and acids can brighten and smooth the skin, help clear or prevent breakouts, stimulate circulation and collagen production.
There are plenty of DIY pumpkin peels you can make at home, but if you’re short on time there are always great spa products to try. Some spas may even incorporate these into their treatments. Here are some pumpkin-based products available at fine spas, and are guaranteed when you buy them at a partner spa or from a skincare professional:
There are a lot of acids in this peel, so you may want to try a small sample first before you buy. This “Refining 5% peel” contains yam and pumpkin purée, pineapple, papaya (another great fruit packed with enzymes), glycolic acid, lactic acid, Willowbark extract, Phyto-Hyaluronic Acid and green tea extract.
This masque is paraben and preservative-free, and also contains a ton of antioxidants: white, red, and green tea extracts combined with goji berry, pomegranate and grape seed extracts. Like other pumpkin masques, this one also works to gently resurface your skin and improve tone and texture.
This mild peel contains Lactobacillus (a probiotic strain) and Pumpkin ferment extract, which can help minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, fine lines and hyperpigmentation. It also contains Malic acid, dervied from apples, which is a gentle alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which works to gently exfoliate skin and increase hydration. Epicuren has also thrown in some cinnamon, orange and clove oils in there for some good spicy measure.
Looking for a little spa time with some yummy-sounding pumpkin treatments? Here are a few spas that currently have pumpkin on their Fall treatment menus:
The Spa at the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania has three treatments you can get separately or combine into a package for a half day full of pumpkin. They’re offering a Pumpkin Spice Scrub, Pumpkin Soufflé Wrap (which also includes a massage with whipped spice butter) or a Great Pumpkin Facial that also includes yam purée. Available in October and November only. To make a reservation, call (717) 520-5888.
The Spa at Travaasa in Austin, Texas has two pumpkin-centric treatments on their Fall menu, both involving the organic pumpkins they grown on-site in their garden. The first is their Farm to Body: Pumpkin Detox Wrap, which includes a yogurt peel, a wrap with organic pumpkin, ending in a massage with cream containing Carotene. The other treatment is the Farm to Face: Pumpkin Facial, which sounds positively divine, since it involves a shoulder, arms, hands and foot massage while the organic pumpkin is applied to your face in a few different ways. To make a reservation, call (877) 261-7792.
The Watercourse Way Bathhouse Spa in Palo Alto, California has an October special called the Pumpkin Pear body treatment. It starts with a dry brushing and follows with a pumpkin cream body wrap, a facial using the Eminence line of organic products (including their Pumpkin Latté Masque), and a massage using products with pear and green apple. To make a reservation, call (650) 462-2000.
The Elysian Spa & Health Club at the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago, Illinois has a Pumpkin Peel facial available as their October special. It’s a customized facial for all skin types that involves pumpkin enzymes. While they don’t offer much more information on this treatment, The Elysian Spa & Health Club was voted the #1 Top Hotel Spa in the US in the Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards Spa Poll for 2014 — so the facial is probably very nice, safe and effective. To make a reservation, call (312) 646-1310.
For something a little different, the Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie, Washington is offering a foot scrub and massage called A Gourd-eous Foot Revitalizer. Pumpkin and warm spices are incorporated into the treatment which begins with a foot soak, and is followed by a Shea butter scrub exfoliation, paraffin dip and ending with a relaxing foot and leg massage. The spa is also offering a Pumpkin Spice Scrub body treatment for their October special. To make a reservation, call 1 (800) 272-5474.