PUMPKIN SEED CARRIER OIL - HEALTHY SKIN AND HAIR BENEFITS
- Pumpkin seed oil comes from the seeds of the pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo), botanically related to the cucumber and the gherkin that are grown all around the world.
- Pumpkin seed oil is a stable oil with a long shelf life, which makes it ideal for a wide range of agricultural and cosmetic applications.
- Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fatty acids, it is highly beneficial for skin and hair care.
- As a carrier oil, pumpkin seed oil blends well with essential oils and is suitable for most skin types.
- Pumpkin seed carrier oil moisturizes and rejuvenates skin through essential oil formulations, helps protect from sun damage, and promotes shiny and healthy hair.
HISTORY OF THE PUMPKIN AND THE OIL FROM ITS SEEDS
The pumpkin, or Cucurbita pepo, belongs to the melon family (Cucurbitaceae), botanically related to the melons, cantaloupes, squashes, gourds, gherkins and other cucurbits such as cucumbers and zucchini. And yes, it is a fruit, even though it resembles a vegetable. An average pumpkin weighs anywhere between eight to nineteen pounds. Pumpkins are grown all around the world for a variety of reasons, ranging from agricultural purposes to commercial. If pumpkins are easily available in your country, especially during the autumn season, (looking at you, Halloween) it should be no surprise, because, internationally, the United States, Canada, Mexico and China are its biggest producers.
Pumpkins are a great source of antioxidants. They also contain vitamins A, B2, C, and E, iron, copper, manganese and fiber, with small amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, zinc and folate. Pumpkin seed, also known as pepita in North America, is the edible seed of a pumpkin. The seeds, typically flat and asymmetrically oval, are green in color. Often a cultivar, pumpkins are sometimes grown only for their seeds. People like to snack on roasted pumpkin seeds for they are rich in nutrients and calories, with especially high fat, protein, dietary fiber, and numerous micronutrient content. Pumpkin seed oil, when extracted with the cold-pressed method, unlocks a whole new range of benefits for skin and hair.
Valued for its skin-healing properties, the pumpkin seed oil is very popular in Europe since many centuries ago. The cold-pressed oil extraction process results in the oil. This rejuvenating liquid has many desirable outcomes with respect to skin-ageing and restoration. Due to the presence of the omega fatty acids like linoleic and oleic acids in the Pumpkin seed oil, it has a distinct aroma to it.
PUMPKIN SEED OIL BENEFITS
The versatility and ease of use of Pumpkin seed oil makes it possible to be incorporated within a wide range of skin care, hair care, body care, hand care, sun care, and lip care formulations. This oil contains high amounts of zinc, selenium and vitamin E that help with skin renewal and improved skin tone. With minimal clogging of pores, the oil readily absorbs into the skin, leaving it hydrated and renewed. The vitamin C in the oil helps the production of collagen that retains skin elasticity while also plumping and building firmness of the skin. Suitable for most skin types, the unsaturated fatty acids (such as, palmitic, oleic, and linoleic acids) in the oil containing antioxidant properties correct skin inflammation and promote healing and new skin-cell growth. The soothing and smoothening effects of the oil even out age-related blemishes and wrinkles. The antioxidants of the vitamin A present in the oil protects the skin from sun damage. The vitamin B2 in the oil is great for dryness and acne, also bringing about an improved skin tone and radiance of the skin.
Used in skin, pumpkin seed oil’s nourishing and conditioning qualities are known to benefit those with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. In addition to the fatty acids, pumpkin seed oil is rich in vitamin E and carotenoids that help your skin look visibly younger.
CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY PUMPKIN SEED OIL
Pumpkins are heavy feeders. In a crop rotation, they are best grown after a green manure or an application of compost. Growers wait until the soil is warm (for example, above 15°C) and the threat of frost has passed before planting. The naked seeds are vulnerable to rotting in cool soil due to the lack of a hull on the seeds. Packing after planting will improve germination rates. However, transplanted seedlings grow faster, and produce larger fruit and more seeds than direct-seeded plants.
A spacing of 1 to 1.5 plants per square meter is ideal. Plants can be 1.5 to 2 meters apart in a row with the widest possible spacing between rows. When plants are too dense, the number of fruit-per-plant is reduced. To control weeds, you can plant cover crops (for example, a cereal with a legume) at least a month before planting the seeds.
When the leaves are yellow and the fruit has turned orange, the pumpkins are ready for harvest. You can remove seeds at harvest or after the pumpkins have matured during storage. Fully mature fruit have seeds with greater oil content than those from immature fruit. You can store the crops for several months at 10 to 13°C at a relative humidity of 50 to 70%. Dry the seeds until their moisture content drops to 8 to 10%.
EXTRACTING AND REFINING PUMPKIN SEED OIL
Oil pressing companies have different ways of extracting oil from pumpkin seeds. The temperature at which the extraction happens varies among these companies. Although it’s easy to assume “cold-pressed” means using cold temperatures, some warmth is generated from the pressing or grinding, and the process allows up to a certain temperature to still be considered cold-pressed, typically between 32 to 38°C.
The flavor of the pumpkin seed going into oil extraction is retained by what is known as a light roast, where the seed is exposed to heat of approximately 150°C for about one second or less. This is also said to increase the efficacy, as well as not harm the stability nor the antioxidant present in the seed. After the brief high-temperature exposure, they are compressed and the resulting oil is forced to go through a fine mesh screen into a large drum where it is allowed to clarify for four to six weeks before being bottled.
PUMPKIN SEED CARRIER OIL USES
Pumpkin seed carrier oil is highly beneficial for healthy and young-looking skin. The high levels of vitamin C in the oil helps repair sagginess and firms up the skin. Zinc helps balance the production of oil in the skin. Vitamin E protects skin from the effects of stress and ageing. Also, the fatty acids penetrate into deeper levels of the skin to hydrate and moisturize, keeping the skin fresh and moist.
Pumpkin seed oil can also be used in lip care, DIY hair care, homemade cosmetics and as a carrier oil for essential oils and aromatherapy. Pumpkin seed oil is known to soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks. Also, it is easy to make a skincare formulation with pumpkin seed oil as it mixes well with other ingredients and enhances the texture and consistency of the formulation.
Its deep nourishing value adds quality when coupled with face creams and masks, body lotions, massage oils and hair serums. If you are making a natural face serum at home, for example, with 4 drops of frankincense essential oil, 1 drop of geranium essential oil, 1 drop of lavender essential oil and 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil, you can combine them with one tablespoon of pumpkin seed oil. This will leave your skin rejuvenated, cool, healthy and youthful.
Rich in vitamins A and E, minerals and fatty acids, pumpkin seed oil helps strengthen your hair. If you are making a natural hair serum at home, for example, with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and castor oil each, a few drops of any essential oil of your choice, add 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seed oil to the mixture. Regularly applying this serum onto your hair helps provide sun protection, retains moisture and enhances the look and feel.
GUIDE TO PUMPKIN SEED CARRIER OIL
Botanical name: Cucurbita Pepo
Country of origin: China
Processing type: Refined
Extraction method: Cold pressed
Consistency: Typical and characteristic of carrier oils
Shelf life: Up to 1 year with proper storage conditions (cool, out of direct sunlight). Refrigeration after opening is recommended.
- Tighten and plump up skin
- Enhance skin elasticity to prevent symptoms of premature aging, such as wrinkles
- Hydrate and retain skin moisture
- Reduce skin redness and inflammation
- Moisturizes, nourishes and adds luster to hair
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR PUMPKIN SEED CARRIER OIL
As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, Pumpkin Seed Carrier Oil is for external use only. Topical use of this product may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction in some individuals. To minimize the risk of experiencing an adverse reaction, we recommend performing a skin patch test prior to use. The test can be performed by applying a dime-sized amount of Pumpkin Seed Carrier Oil to a small area of skin that is not known to be sensitive. In the event of an adverse reaction, immediately discontinue use of the product and see a medical healthcare professional for appropriate remedial action.
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