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pure skin science

Patients love experiencing new treatments in their medical spa, especially ones which have a wonderful aroma, produce a great feeling while on the skin, and have positive results which are immediately visible and support their treatment goals. When chemists get all three of these properties formulated into one treatment product, they know they have an offering which will keep patients coming back again and again. Pumpkin treatment masks have that triple attraction: they smell great, a natural, rich, spicy fragrance of pumpkin bringing back fond memories of holidays and treats and even the colour is warm brownish orange just like the inside of a ripe pumpkin in autumn; the patients feel like ‘something’s happening here’ when they are applied; and great results can be seen immediately when they are removed. The pleasing aromas, tingle, and the visible results produce an excitement in both the patient and the medical aesthetician right from the very first use.

“My first patient with pumpkin was an acneic teenager, and within minutes of the first treatment, the skin had a more even tone and a very fresh appearance.” – Kristyn Smith, Medical Aesthetician, CosmetiCare, Newport Beach, CA. “It is results oriented, but with much less sting than the salicylic peel, an alternative that produces great results,” she says

Natural Ingredients

Pumpkin, from the family Cucurbitaceae, is widely used in many cultures as a food. But it is also a good resource for the skin care industry, as an ingredient for pre and post treatments, to fight aging, and for treating and preventing acne. The whole meat of the pumpkin, as well as a solution of its enzymes, is used in mask products for healthy exfoliation of the epidermis.

Results achieved using: DermaClear Cleanser; Delicate Soothing Serum; DermaClear Serum; Youth Protection SPF 30; DermaClear Spot treatment
Professional Treatment: Power Pumpkin Resurfacer performed every other week for a total of 6 treatments

The enzymes break down the bonds of the dead surface cells, allowing their exfoliation and exposure of younger epidermal cells. Beta Hydroxy Acids cause a tightening of the skin, allowing the client to immediately feel that their skin is tauter. The Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids penetrate the layers of the skin to encourage the turnover of the cells in the epidermis and the follicles, bringing younger cells to the surface and cleansing the follicles of debris and dead cells. In the meantime, the antioxidants strengthen the skin’s defences against free radicals, fighting the ravages of aging. Later, collagen and elastin rejuvenation are stimulated by the AHAs. The immediately visible results with pumpkin masks are a nice exfoliation, evening of skin tones, and a tightening of the skin.

“my patients compare the results on their skin to how they look after a microdermabrasion. they like the immediate improvement in smoothness, more even coloration, and the glow they have when they leave the salon.”

McCormick uses this mask on her acne patients because it produces results which can be noted immediately following the treatment. “It is rare to see immediate results with these patients, but this treatment delivers such a revitalizing and soothing benefit, it allows them to leave very encouraged,” she says. She also uses this peel in a pre-laser mini-series of three treatments. “It has a very noticeable cleansing effect on the skin, as well as generally enhancing the skin’s health,” she says. She also uses it in post-treatment series as it boosts the results noticeably.

Does it hurt?

The pumpkin mask is warm when first put on the face, caused by a natural exothermic property in pumpkin. With a well-formulated product, patients will call the feeling something like ‘warm and prickly,’ and it will last for several minutes. Then, it quiets to a pleasant feeling of tightening. The patient knows something good is happening here and can’t wait to see what it is.

“The patients are very pleased with the results – all of them,” Andrea Riggs, Aesthetician for Dr. Sassan Alavi, a Cosmetic Surgeon in San Diego, CA. Some patients have come to believe that a results-oriented mask must sting or it is not producing results. Product lines know this so some pumpkin masks are purposely formulated with a lower pH to produce a noticeable sting, maybe even irritating, leaving the skin inflamed and sensitive. However, ‘no pain or no gain’ does not have to be the theme with a well formulated product. With pumpkin, a properly balanced pH and percentage will prickle, but not sting, and will still produce the needed results.

Professional Treatments: Primary Pumpkin Resurfacer; Salicylic Acid Peel

More than a Prevision

Pumpkin enzyme masks are unusually versatile and can be used many ways in the skin care room. It can be an enzyme treatment in the deep cleansing step to clear the surface of the skin, and produce an immediate tightening while enhancing penetration of the ingredients in the following treatment mask. It can be the treatment mask for acneic, dehydrated, or aging patients, exfoliating the epidermis and killing the bacteria in the follicles. The mask can be used on mature skin with fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and on dehydrated and dull skin. This treatment lessens the appearance of the fine lines, lightens the hyperpigmentation, and refines the texture when used in a series. Pumpkin masks provide a needed change of pace in treatments, patients need more options in your chair, and this mask is a great one for that. Not only does the patient become bored when having the same treatment appointment after appointment, their skin does also, slowing or stopping its progress towards the goals.

“these treatments are fast, effective, and non-invasive, making them the perfect facial for a busy patient.”

Pumpkin is a great treatment to alternate with others in the aesthetic treatment room as it performs well, with no irritation, on all skin types. It ensures the client’s continue to move toward their goals, ‘waking it up’ if it has stopped responding to other treatments and taking it to the next level of treatment, or aiding it in maintaining achieved results. Pumpkin can also be performed in a dual modality to enhance other peels or microdermabrasion’s, if the client has previously had both treatments and has had no reaction to either.

Some medical aestheticians are using pumpkin in a series of six or more weekly treatments. It awakens the epidermis and dermis on dull, lethargic skin, and stimulates production of elastin and collagen to support hydration in dehydrated skin. Dr Riggs uses it post-facelift and other skin care professionals are using it to moderate oil production, to treat Grades 1 and 2 acne skin, and as a change of pace to a salicylic series on higher grades of acne. Pumpkin is here to stay, and not only in the autumn as a promotion.

The Cornucopia of natural ingredients used to create our pumpkin treatments

Natural Fruit Acids

Pumpkin contains natural lactic acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid, to enhance cell turnover of the epidermis both on the surface of the skin and in the follicles, as follows: Lactic acid and glycolic acid enhance cell turnover on the surface and stimulate the rejuvenation of collagen and elastin in the dermal layer. Salicylic acid, a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), being lipophilic, will penetrate the follicles to enhance cellular turnover in the walls of the follicles. Additionally, it is antibacterial. The combination of these properties make pumpkin a good resource for masks for acne patients and for anti-aging and hyperpigmentation patients, also.

High Powered antioxidants

Antioxidants are important to anti-aging as they scavenge free radicals, preventing them from attacking healthy cells. Pumpkin contains the highest concentration among vegetables of Vitamin A (beta carotene), a highly active antioxidant. It targets the cell receptors responsible for activating cell turnover. It also stimulates growth of the base layer of the epidermis, helping the cells progress to maturity, and giving structural integrity to both the epidermis and the dermis. Vitamin C, another active antioxidant beneficial to warding off free radicals, is also present in pumpkins.


Pumpkin contains proteolytic enzymes which help in breaking down the keratin bond between dead cells. This allows the sloughing of the outer layer of dead cells without damaging the inner living cells. A smooth, more even toned and clean skin is the result of proteolytic enzyme activity in a treatment mask.

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