I've seen a big interest in pumpkin seed oil as a skin care product, and wanted to find out more about its skin boosting benefits. This article will share with you what I've learned about pumpkin and why it works so well in a modern skin care regimen.
It appears that the biggest skin benefits of pumpkin seed oil are that it possesses very high levels of the natural antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Pumpkin seed oil is especially high in the gamma-tocopherol form of Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant.
Antioxidants protect cell structure and health by neutralizing free radicals? which are unstable molecules generated from sources like radiation, air pollution, and peroxides. Left unchecked, free radicals can attack the skin's structure, leaving it vulnerable to wrinkling, infection, and other damage.
Vitamin E works by stabilizing the free radical- Vitamin E gives up one of its electrons to complete the unstable molecule. This, in essence, renders the free radical harmless, and helps the skin retain its normal structure.
Vitamin E has been shown to have a wide range of skin benefits. Vitamin E has been shown to reduce the amount of scarring from wounds, and has been shown to diminish the appearance of stretch marks on the skin. Also, it has been shown to decrease the effects of psoriasis, and to diminish the redness associated with erythema, which is one symptom of rosacea.
Aside from the high levels of Vitamin E found in pumpkin, there is also a high level of oil content (as high as 50%). The four fatty acids which comprise 98% of pumpkin seed oil are palmitic, stearic, linoleic, and oleic acids.
Palmitic acid works to promote natural oil regeneration. Oil is an important component for the skin to retain its protective barrier. With too little oil, the skin will crack and bleed; opening it to a greater risk of infection and disease.
Stearic acid acts primarily as a lubricant. It allows the skin to retain the proper moisture balance vital for good health (and good looks).
Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid, which means our bodies don't manufacture it, and so we must ingest it in our diets. Linoleic acid is one step for the manufacture of prostaglandins, which decrease inflammation in the body. Linoleic acid helps maintain smooth skin, and will help repair flaky, itchy, or rough skin.
Oleic acid is the final fatty acid found in pumpkin seed oil. It works to replenish and maintain skin's moisture and lubrication. It is an Omega 9 acid and has similar health benefits (both general and to the skin) as the more well-known Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids.
Benefits of Pumpkin Seed Oil
Taken together, it's clear that pumpkin seed oil has significant benefits for skin health and skin care. With powerful antioxidants, and essential fatty acids, it appears that adding pumpkin seed oil to your skin care regimen will help you retain moisture, maintain normal cell structure, and keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.
Ally McNeal is the owner of SkinCareSmarts.com and a self described "skin-a-holic"; someone who enjoys learning and teaching about skin care. To learn more about healthy skin nutrition, please visit: healthyhabits.skincaresmarts.com/vitamin-e-for-healthy-skin