Thanksgiving “Pumpkin Pie” Skin Brightening Face Mask

You know how there’s always that little bit of pumpkin left over in the can after you measure out what you need to make a pie?

Well, this year, don’t just toss it! Pumpkin is actually an incredible natural brightening agent for your skin and an amazing ingredient for DIY anti-aging treatments.

About the ingredients


Pumpkin contains a boatload of nourishing fruit enzymes as well as naturally occurring alpha-hydroxy acid or AHA that brighten the skin. It also contains exfoliating retinoic acid (like those expensive Retin-A creams!) that removes dull, old skin cells and encourages cell regeneration. Add to that the free-radical fighting antioxidants, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C and E and you’ve got one serious seasonal superfood! 


Pumpkin is such a powerful exfoliator that it needs to be combined with a moisturizing agent like raw honey. Raw Honey is amazing for penetrating deep into the skin’s surface to nourish and repair cells. It’s also a natural anti-microbial, removing any acne-causing bacteria from pores.

Nutmeg and cinnamon

Finally, it’s time to spice up your life! (Or at least your face mask…). Nutmeg isn’t just for sprinkling on your PSL. It contains natural anti-inflammatories that help reduce redness and the appearance of pimples. It also has curative properties that help heal damaged skin cells, from sunspots to scars. Similarly, cinnamon contains powerful antibacterial properties, penetrating deep into pores to eliminate acne-causing dirt and bacteria. One caveat about cinnamon though; you should probably steer clear of it if you have sensitive skin. Because it’s so powerful, it can be irritating to those prone to redness and irritation.

Since you’ll already have these ingredients lying around as you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast, why not set a few ingredients aside to get a little self-pampering done in the process?

At a glance:

Facial mask


Skin brightening, anti-inflammatory, helps reduce redness, gentle exfoliation

All natural?
Yes, absolutely 

Shelf life:
Use immediately


  • 2 T organic pumpkin puree (canned is fine!)
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon (not for sensitive skin)


Combine all ingredients until you form an even paste. Apply the mixture to clean, dry skin. Leave on for 15 minutes (less if you have sensitive skin). Rinse away with lukewarm water and pat dry! Follow with your favorite moisturizer.


If you want to further minimize the look of pores, add 2-3 drops of frankincense essential oil to the mixture. Frankincense acts as a natural astringent, tightening skin and reducing the appearance of aging.

Frustrated by Expensive, store-bought products that don’t work? Curious about DIY beauty but don’t know where to start?

Let us help take the mystery out of customized, natural skincare you can make right at home. We created a free guide to share the basics of DIY beauty you can create in your kitchen.

About the author

As an only child who had to entertain herself a lot, Kelsey has always been a DIY fanatic! She grew up half beach bum in San Diego, CA, and half country bumpkin in Colorado Springs, CO. When she’s not researching natural DIY beauty and holistic wellness, you can see her pop up on TV once in a while on shows like ‘Modern Family’ and ‘New Girl’! Kelsey is a contributor to multiple editorial publications while also developing her original film and TV screenplays and writing a Young Adult novel.

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