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Face it: Pumpkin peel may be good for your skin

mask November 1, 1996
Web posted at: 10:30 p.m. EST

From Correspondent Rhonda Rowland

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Now that Halloween is over, you have probably had it with pumpkin carving, toasted pumpkin seeds and sweet treats made from pumpkin. Did you know that there's a use for the pumpkin rind as well? Some doctors say smearing it on your face may help improve your skin.

The contents of a jar of Pumpkin Peel look like pumpkin pie filling, and smell like it, too. Why pumpkin? The company that makes the Pumpkin Peel says the orange squash contains over 100 ingredients that help skin look and feel younger.

"Pumpkin is high in zinc, which is really good for the skin, high in beta carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin A," nurse Phylis Larkins of the North Atlanta Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery practice said.

Vitamins A and C are known as antioxidants, the highly touted vitamins that are believed to help fend off diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants may even fight free radicals, thought by some researchers to bring on the ravages of aging.

But can "feeding" your skin antioxidants through an external application such as the Pumpkin Peel actually do any good? There are no sure answers.

Patient: Pumpkin Peel works


On the one hand, Duke University researchers concluded that when applied daily, Vitamin C can keep the skin's elastic fibers, or collagen, from breaking down.

FDA researchers say there is no good science backing a link between Vitamin C and better skin. They call the Pumpkin Peel a gimmick.

But plastic surgeon Dr. Miles Graiver, also of the North Atlanta Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery practice, offers the Pumpkin Peel to his patients, and says he wouldn't offer it if he didn't think it helped.

"We have tried a number of peels that are effective or not effective and we will not use the peels that the patients don't like or we're not seeing results from," he said. "In this case, I think we're seeing results."


At least, patient Layne Smith says she is. "The lines are softer, I have a glow, my husband says I have a nice glow and the make-up goes on better. Less break-outs, just overall improvement. I love it," she said.

What about making your own Pumpkin Peel from the remnants of Halloween? It could save you $85 per treatment. And if that doesn't suit you, just eat it.

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