From the category archives:

Frugal Beauty

Frugal Beauty: Hydrating Pumpkin Face Mask

by Jess on October 13, 2010

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited that it’s Fall. Nothing makes me happier than splurging on a Pumpkin Latte over at Starbucks and breathing in the crisp cool autumn air. This time of year is also really drying to the skin, so what better way to remedy that by taking advantage of the soon to be deals on canned pumpkin and mixing up your own at-home frugal pumpkin facial!

The ingredients in the facial below are almost identical to those found in a very high end luxury organic mask you would pay a fortune for at a Salon. Save yourself a hundred dollars and pick up a can of pumpkin, or better yet, puree your Halloween pumpkin :)


Hydrating Pumpkin Face Mask

This mask is incredibly hydrating, but without being oily so it’s great for all skin types. In addition to being naturally hydrating, pumpkins are also filled with powerful enzymes and antioxidants which work as a natural exfoliator to leave your skin looking radiant and incredibly soft.


  • 3 tsp. Pumpkin Puree (the canned stuff works great, just don’t use pumpkin pie filling with sugar!)
  • ½ tsp. Honey
  • ¼ tsp. Milk (if your skin is extra dry, buttermilk or whipping cream will work better for you)


  1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

  3. Starting with a clean face, splash warm water to open the pores.

  5. Apply the mask with your fingers, or a fan brush (you can get these at a craft store like Michael’s inexpensively) for a smoother, more even application.

  7. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and wash with warm water.

Why does this work?

The enzymes in the pumpkin eat away at dead skin cells leaving your skin exfoliated, smooth and beautifully radiant. Pumpkin, as well as honey, are naturally hydrating, without leaving an oily residue so it’s safe for even oily skins to use (it seems counter intuitive, but hydrating masks like these help to balance the oil production out.) Pumpkins are also rich in Zinc, which helps to soothe irritated skin as well as Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.

How often should I do this?
The enzymes in pumpkins are pretty powerful, so once a week, or on an as needed basis is fine.


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Photo Credit: Natalie Dee

Besides hunting down deals and blogging, another one of my passions is skin care. Before I was laid off, I was the Director of Marketing for a small organic skin care company and my obsession with masks, peels, and cleansers hit an all time high. Having access to facials whenever I wanted them spoiled me to death and my pocket book was happy because I didn’t have to pay anything. Oh the good old days :)

But lets face it, if you’re on a budget, facials at a salon or spa are crazy expensive.

Over the next few weeks I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite at home beauty recipes that really do work and are super duper cheap to make. Enjoy!

Rejuvenating Lemon Facial Scrub

I just love this all-natural scrub made with sugar and lemons because not only does it smell yummy refreshing, it also makes your skin absolutely beautiful by sloughing off dead skin cells and leaves your skin silky soft without the hefty price tag of an expensive chemical peel at a spa. Only two ingredients are needed for this scrub, and many of you probably already have them on hand at home!

This scrub is wonderful if you have:

  • Acne
  • Blackheads
  • Sun spots
  • Age Spots
  • Freckles
  • If you went a little crazy with self-tanner (I know I’m not the only one here…)

(1) tsp. fresh lemon juice (for oily/combo/normal skin)
OR (1) tsp. fresh orange juice (for dry/sensitive skin)
¼ tsp. organic granulated sugar (brown sugar also works)
(1) cotton ball or cotton round

*Tip: When making homemade beauty products, always splurge on organic ingredients whenever possible. The skin is the largest organ on the body and whatever you put on it will be absorbed into your system. If you go the cheap route and use ingredients that are mixed with chemicals they can actually irritate your skin – ick, who wants that?! Not me, that’s for sure.


  1. Open your pores by splashing warm water onto your face.
  2. Next, take a cotton ball or cotton round (rounds are easier to work with) and thoroughly soak it with about a teaspoon of lemon juice and sprinkle about a ¼ teaspoon of sugar on top.
  3. Gently buff your skin in small soft circular strokes concentrating around the hairline, nose, and any of your problem areas. If you find the lemon juice is stinging your skin too much, dilute it with some water.
  4. Rinse with warm water, and then with a couple splashes of cold water (to close up the pores) and oohhh and ahhh over how soft your skin has now become! That’s right, you’re gorgeous!
  5. Make sure to apply a good SPF! Lemons make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

Why does this work?

Lemons are filled with AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHA’s (beta hydroxy acids) which help to remove the top layer of dead skin cells, lighten hyper pigmentation (sun spots, freckles etc), and kill bacteria (acne, blackheads). Sugar aids in sloughing off dead skin cells and leaves the skin silky smooth.

How often should I do this?
I do this little scrub two to three times a week during the Fall/Winter when I’m less exposed to sunlight, and about once a week in the Spring/Summer.

Try it out, I’m sure you’ll love what it does for your skin and best of all…it’s so cheap!


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