A Pumpkin Mask Can Save Your Dull, Dry Skin—and These Are 9 of the Best Ones
PSL season may be winding down, but our love affair with pumpkin is just getting started. As it turns out, this seasonal gourd is good for a whole lot more than decorating your porch or flavoring your coffee mug—it's actually the perfect year-round addition to your skincare routine. Thanks to its ultra-concentrated levels of antioxidants, collagen-boosting enzymes and sweetly scrumptious, earthy scent, pumpkin makes for an incredible face mask, promising to gently exfoliate your face, amp up dull complexion tones and make your skin look like it's glowing from the inside out. We've researched the best pumpkin masks on the market to help you transform your dry, flaky epidermis in a hurry.
What Does Pumpkin Do For Your Skin?
Pumpkin enzymes have a lot of different benefits for your skin. For starters, they contain high levels of antioxidants, or molecules that work to fight free radicals, like beta carotene (the body converts this to anti-aging darling vitamin A) and vitamins C and E. Vitamin C is regularly used in an effort to brighten the skin and lessen hyperpigmentation, while both C and E have been proven to aid in the prevention of sun damage (though it's by no means a replacement for daily SPF).
Beyond its antioxidants, pumpkin enzymes have natural alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that work as chemical exfoliants, breaking down the cellular glue that keeps dead skin cells hanging on and gently sloughing them away to increase your skin's cell turnover and reveal a smoother, brighter face beneath. What's more, the seeds of this fruit are packed with essential fatty acids, like omega 3 and omega 6, that enhance the skin’s natural moisture barrier, mitigate some harm associated with ultraviolet radiation exposure and stimulate collagen production for a more youthful and radiant appearance. Researchers have found that applying these essential fatty acids topically might even be a more efficient delivery route to the skin than ingesting them, making a pumpkin mask an attractive choice of delivery.
Last but not least, research from The Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure found that pumpkin extract could have the potential to relieve contact dermatitis, a common inflammatory skin condition that presents as swelling, itchiness and blisters, as a result of the boost in antioxidants. What's more, pumpkin masks allow the rest of your products to better penetrate your skin's surface, thereby improving their overall efficacy.
How Does a Pumpkin Mask Work?
While you could probably take the cut-out remnants of your Jack-O-Lantern and rub them all over your face, it's not exactly the most palatable—or effective —option. Pumpkin face masks are often made with pure pumpkin puree or pumpkin seed oil that work as exfoliants, take care of dry skin that accumulates on the skin’s surface. Other ingredients, like honey, aloe or alpha hydroxy acid, may also be added to these masks to address a range of skin issues. In short? While pumpkin may be the star of the show, it takes a village—er, an orchard, vineyard or field—to address conditions on a more wholistic level.
The Best Pumpkin Masks At A Glance
- Best Overall Pumpkin Mask: Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask
- Best-Smelling Pumpkin Mask: Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask
- Most Exfoliating Pumpkin Mask: Arista Pumpkin Facial Mild Peel
- Most Hydrating Pumpkin Mask: Bliss Pumpkin Powerhouse Resurfacing & Exfoliating Enzyme Mask
- Best Cruelty-Free Pumpkin Mask: Model Off Duty Superfood Skin Glow Mask
- Best Pumpkin Mask for Sensitive Skin: Pumpkin & Spice Face Mask
- Most Convenient Mask: The Body Shop Pumpkin Instant Radiance In-Shower Mask
- Best Pumpkin Mask Alternative: Dermelect All-Aglow All Over Scrub
- Best Value Pumpkin Mask: Urban Skin Rx 2-in-1 Pumpkin Pore Detox Mask and Scrub
1. Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask
Best overall pumpkin mask
Averse to harsh chemcials in your skincare? Us too. Andalou Naturals prides itself on using fruit stem cell science that relies on natural botanicals instead. This mask is no exception—it's laden with pumpkin, honey and vitamin C to brighten, protect and speed up collagen production.
WHAT WE LIKE: We love a good power couple, and the pumpkin and honey found within this formula fit the bill here, working together in this mixture to gently exfoliate while also nourishing and plumping the skin. The addition of aloe vera also strengthens your delicate protective barrier.
2. Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask
Best-smelling pumpkin mask
This mask is something of a triple threat. It uses pumpkin enzymes to chemically exfoliate, additional alpha hydroxy acid to peel away impurities and aluminum oxide crystals to physically exfoliate your face and give your skin a polished finish.
WHAT WE LIKE: There's a reason this pick is a universal cult favorite. For starters? The smell. A favorite of Assigning Commerce Editor Nicole Briese, this mask is a treat to apply thanks to its delectable pumpkin pie scent. Don't let its sweet smell fool you, however: This stuff works, making your face tingle as it sloughs away dry, flaky skin to leave behind a brighter complexion and clearer pores.
3. Arista Pumpkin Facial Mild Peel
Most exfoliating pumpkin mask
With ingredients that are regularly found in your favorite festive beverages, like pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, this yummy formula works to gently exfoliate and nourish your skin in a way that’s effective, yet far less harsh than a chemical peel.
WHAT WE LIKE: We love a good tingling sensation. What better way to know when a product's powerful pumpkin enzymes are actually working their magic? This mask delivers in spades. It also contains 1 to 3 percent glycolic acid and vitamins C and E in an effort to help fight signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. All in all, Amazon customers say that it's not only a cheaper alternative to the Peter Thomas Roth option above, they find that it works even better. Wrote one happy buyer, "For a fraction of the price of these high dollar brands, my skin feels and looks amazing after using this!"
4. Bliss Pumpkin Powerhouse Resurfacing & Exfoliating Enzyme Mask
Most hydrating pumpkin mask
Bliss’ whipped and creamy pumpkin mask contains all of the usual exfoliating suspects, but also has prebiotics, which are meant to balance the good and bad bacteria on your face. And as gross as it may sound, that's actually a good thing (trust).
WHAT WE LIKE: Those with dry flakes and patches will be particularly impressed with this one, which has sodium hyaluronate that the company claims will actually bind moisture to your skin. It also has shea butter added in for good measure, which will not only hydrate, but soften and promote elasticity, according to Bliss.
5. Model Off Duty Superfood Skin Glow Mask
Best cruelty-free pumpkin mask
WHAT WE LIKE: Unlike thick clays that take lots of muscle to remove, this light and creamy mixture rinses off in a flash. It's cruelty-free (we see you, animal lovers), clean and sustainable too, making it one purchase you'll feel good about all the way around.
6. Pumpkin & Spice Face Mask
Best pumpkin mask for sensitive skin
If your skin flares up at the drop of a hat, you'll want to look to this ultra-gentle pumpkin mask, which has anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties.
WHAT WE LIKE: Coupling all-natural, vegan and cruelty-free ingredients, including kaolin clay and minerals, with detoxifying pumpkin seed oil, this mask aims to unearth your skin from behind any run-of-the-mill dirt, grime and flakes. Customers with even the most sensitive of skin rave that it didn't cause them problems, and it comes with a free applicator brush that will be far more sanitary to use than your hands.
7. The Body Shop Pumpkin Instant Radiance In-Shower Mask
Most convenient pumpkin mask
Multaskers, rejoice! This mask, which is comprised on 96 percent natural ingredients including exfoliating pumpkin enzyme and vitamin C-rich cranberry fruit powder, can be used as you shower.
WHAT WE LIKE: In as little as five minutes, this vegan, whipped mousse mask will be ready to rinse off, saving you precious time. It's designed to be left on your skin while you scrub down the rest of your body and washed off with the rest of your products. The result? "Next-level radiant-looking skin straight of the shower."
8. Dermelect All-Aglow All Over Scrub
Best pumpkin mask alternative
If you’ve got mask fatigue, this apply-it-and-dry-it scrub is ideal. With its pumpkin seed, sweet almond oil and reportedly firming willow extract, it’s got all the benefits of a pumpkin enzyme mask (it can also be used as one, since you can leave it on as long as you like), but it can also be washed off in a hurry.
WHAT WE LIKE: This fan-favorite formula is gentle enough for the skin on your face and potent enough for the skin on your body—you can even use it on leathery elbows! We also love that it's cruelty-free.
9. Urban Skin Rx 2-in-1 Pumpkin Pore Detox Mask and Scrub
Best value pumpkin mask
This popular find doesn't actually have a whole lot of pumpkin in it—it's made of exfoliating jojoba beads and detoxifying kaolin clay to scrub out impurities, with salicylic acid to help fight acne—but shoppers say it smells just like a pumpkin pie.
WHAT WE LIKE: The warming nature of this option lets you know when it’s time to stop massaging it into your skin and let it get to work. It’s a soothing sensation that’ll both perk you right up in the morning and help you wind down before bed. You also can't beat the value for the price.