Coconut oil may be the reigning queen of oils—and for a ton of good reasons—but pumpkin seed oil is worthy of a royal title of its own when it comes to beauty.
The iconic orange fruit pops up in everything during the fall months, including spiced lattes and rich, creamy pies, but it tends to falls off the map after Thanksgiving dinner ends. And that's a shame, because pumpkins—particularly the pumpkin seeds—are packed full of vitamins, fatty acids, and omega-3s that can boost your beauty naturally. How? Let us count the ways.
That Gorgeous Glow
The amount of antioxidants and fatty acids found in pumpkin seed oil help your skin retain moisture, while the vitamins A and E helps improve your skin's texture and tone. The zinc also works to fight free radicals, meaning it'll give you a youthful glow.
And—like coconut oil—pumpkin seed oil is a carrier, meaning you don't have to mix it with anything else before slathering it on your skin. (Though you can mix it with essential oils if you want the aroma.) Simply rub it onto clean skin, or add equal parts of tea tree oil or witch hazel to create an anti-acne toner that will keep your skin balanced all summer long.
Tresses That Rival Rapunzel's
All of the vitamins and fatty acids that make pumpkin seed oil so great for your skin makes it great for your hair, too. Pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamin K, a vital nutrient needed for strong and shiny hair. The zinc also helps with scalp health.
Sold? Create a simple deep conditioner by combining one tablespoon of shea butter to one tablespoon of pumpkin seed oil. Add the mixture to freshly washed hair and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing.
Goodbye, Hair Breakage
Can this oil really stop your hair from falling out? Recent research says yes. According to a 2014 study from a group of Korean researchers, pumpkin seed oil inhibits 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that is said to produce DHT from testosterone. Translation: It won't make new hair grow, but it could help strengthen the hair and keep more of it from falling out.
A Key Player in the Kitchen
Yes, you can cook with pumpkin seed oil, but don't assume you can use it exactly like you do olive or coconut oil. The dark, nutty flavor works well in marinades or dressings, but it has a low smoke point, meaning it loses its nutrition when heated.
You can also drink it straight to absorb its antioxidant benefits, which lets the oil do its magic from the inside out.
So give it whirl. Pumpkin seed oil may never take the place of coconut oil in your life, but if you want healthy skin and strong, shiny hair, it definitely deserves a spot in your pantry.