As you may know, we’re crazy for pumpkin around here this time of year (well, all year really). One reason we love pumpkin is the number of amazing ingredients (104 to be exact) found in this super fruit that make it so beneficial to the skin. Found to stimulate collagen in the skin, pumpkin is commonly referred to as nature’s own collagen therapy. With its naturally high content of zinc, beta-carotene, and vitamins A and C, it also helps inhibit other factors that would cause the collagen to deteriorate.
What exactly is in pumpkin that makes it such a spectacular ingredient?
Here are the 104 ingredients that make pumpkin such a vital nutrient for the skin:
1. Abscisic Acid: a plant growth hormone that slows the cellular biological clock.
2. Adenine (L): A nucleic acid base, it improves cellular respiration by increasing the cell’s ability to accept nutrients and eliminate waste. It does this by attracting vitamin B to help repair DNA damaged by the ultraviolet radiation.
3. Adenosine (D): A sugar of adenine, it rebuilds subcutaneous fat in a more smooth and uniform structure. It’s also an anti-inflammatory.
4. Alanine: Aprotein-building amino acid that suppresses crystallization of glucose around protein fibrils.
5. Alpha-Amino-Adipic Acid: A protein-building amino acid that greatly strengthens the lysine (essential amino acid) subunits that make up collagen and elastin.
6. Amino Butyric Acid (Alpha, Beta and Gamma): A potent inhibitory amino acid also found in the brain. Its potent, neutral anti-oxidant properties have been found to inhibit production of super oxygen free radicals in the skin by preventing disconnection with the skin’s natural spin traps.
7. Arachidic Acid: Amoisturizing fatty acid also found in sunflowers.
8. Arginine: A semi-essential amino acid responsible for “fixing” (securing and concentrating) nitrogen-based spin traps in the skin thereby thwarting runaway free radical production. It works with Alanine (see #4) to suppress crystallization of glucose in protein fibrils.
9. Ascorbic Acid (L): A vitamin C, it delivers a potent dose of antioxidants to the skin, stimulating the production of collagen/elastin.
10. Aspartic Acid: A protein-building amino acid responsible for DNA production supporting all areas of tissue respiration.
11. Boron: An elemental plant growth factor, and a catalyst for the benefits Abscisic Acid delivers to the skin (see #1).
12. Caffeic Acid: A cinnamic acid derivative that has a softening effect on pigmentation.
13. Calcium: Itkeeps epidermal cell proliferation and differentiation on a healthy, non-malignant path through activation of epidermal calcium-binding protein. This is made possible only through the photosynthesis of pre-vitamin D, which co-activates this protein with calcium.
14. Carboxy-Phenylalanine: A moisturizing fatty acid form of the protein-building amino acid phenylalanine.
15. Beta-Carotene (D): A antioxidant pro-vitamin that protects against UV damage. It is also a precursor to vitamin A.
16. Chromium: A mineral that improves RNA structure and function, helps in the prevention of A.G.E.
17. Citrullin: An amino acid that improves the communications between the skin and the liver.
18. Cobalt: An important bio-element and co-enzyme component that increases nitrogen access for the production of spin traps in the realignment of free radical processing.
19. Copper: Animportant bio-element involved in transporting radical-free oxygen from the blood to the skin.
20. Codecarboxylase: Avitamin B-type co-enzyme that removes carbon dioxide from the more sensitive tissue-respiratory mechanisms (preventing age-related “smothering” effect).
21. Crypto-xanthin: An escort carotenoid that improves the activity of beta-carotene.
22. Cucurbic-acid: An amino acid with antibiotic effects, it is unique to pumpkin family.
23. Cucurbita-xanthin: Aunique pumpkin carotene that has a higher antioxidant content than beta-carotene.
24. Cucurbitin: An anti-cancer sugar unique to pumpkin family.
25. Cucurbitol: A watermelon seed-type fatty alcohol that improves moisture retention in the skin.
26. Cysteine: A protein-building amino acid containing natural sulfur, it improves the efficiency of oxidation-reduction reactions in the epidermis. It also moderates and mediates melanin dispersal.
27. Dehydroascorbic Acid: An oxidized form of ascorbic acid with the same vitamin C activity as ascorbic acid. It also helps enhance the uptake of vitamin C.
28. Edistine: A globular protein similar to those found in hemp seed. It improves water circulation through cell walls in the skin.
29. Alpha-Ethyllathosterol: An amino acid sterol that has a conditioning effect on skin.
30. Ethyl-alpha-cholestadien-beta-oil: A cholesterol derivative with a smoothing effect on subcutaneous fat.
31. Ferulic Acid: Aderivative of caffeic acid, it enhances the effects of caffeic acid (see #12)
32. Fibe: This ingredient has a cleansing and micro-filtration effect on the epidermis.
33. Flavo-xanthin: A carotenoid pigment with potent beta-carotene antioxidant properties.
34. Gibberellin: Aplant growth hormone that promotes healthy epidermal cell differentiation.
35. Glutamic Acid: A protein-building amino acid that promotes the synthesis of NaPCA in the skin for greatly enhanced moisture retention.
36. Glutinol: A form of glutathione with particularly potent free-radical neutralizing effects.
37. Glycine: the simplest of all protein-building amino acids, a part of the glycolic acid cycle, it provides nitrogen from the production of the body’s natural spin traps.
38. Glyoxalic Acid: Aglycine derivative, pro-allantoin compound, it is important for tissue respiration.
39. Guanosine: A guanine-based sugar essential to healthy cell metabolism.
40. Histidine: An essential protein-building amino acid that is the catalytic center of many enzymes. It improves the skin’s immune system.
41. Hydroxy-Brenztrauben Acid: Pumpkin’s version of pyruvic acid, it is helpful in metabolizing age-induced sugar-crystals, stimulating collagen production and cross-linking collagen and elastin fibrils.
42. Hydroxy-Butyric Acid: A fatty acid that increases solubility of the skin’s waste products in sweat. It improves the skin’s self-cleaning capabilities.
43. Delta-Hydroxylysine: An essential amino acid derivative, important for the uptake of skin’s immune cells originating in the bone.
44. Iron: An essential bio-element, it is a catalyst for the oxidation-reduction reactions responsible for communication between dermal and epidermal cells.
45. Iso-Leucine: An essential amino acid that improves the activities of #41 and #42.
46. Iso-Rhamnetin-Rutinoside-Rhamnoside: This is a mannose sugar plant pigment related to quercetin that improves the mannoprotein-enhancement of the skin’s immune system. The result is excellent capillary protection! It is also a powerful flavonoid anti-oxidant.
47. Kaempferol: A plant flavonoid (a plant pigment not in the carotene group) related to #46, it offers protection from ultraviolet radiation, and is a powerful antioxidant.
48. Alpha-Keto-Beta-Methyl-Butyric Acid: Related to #6 and #42, it delivers combined effects.
49. Alpha-Keto-BetaMmethyl Valerainic Acid: This anti-neoplastic fatty acid, is a valeric acid derivative, similar to valerian extract.
50. Lauric Acid: An emollient fatty acid often found in spermaceti.
51. Lecithin: A phospholipid (phosphatidylcholine), it is a basic constituent of bio-membranes for lipid integrity.
52. Leucine: (see #45 and #28) this ingredient improves utilization of edestine. A valeric acid-type compound essential to the citric acid (Krebs) cycle for cellular energy production with low free-radical evolution.
53. Linoleic Acid: An essential fatty acid helpful in the implementation of phospholipids.
54. Alpha-Linolenic Acid: An essential fatty acid that improves utilization of glycerophospholipids like lecithin.
55. Lupeol: A sterol with surfactant properties that aid in the cleansing of skin.
56. Lutein: A xanthophyll, one of the most widespread carotene alcohols in nature, it has a similar emolliency to egg yolk, and is a powerful anti-oxidant.
57. Lysine: An essential protein-building amino acid and growth-promoter.
58. Magnesium: A bio-element that encourages proliferation of keratinocytes.
59. Manganese: A bio-element that improves the integrity of cyto-skeleton (i.e. the epidermal cell’s tubular scaffolding).
60. Mannitol: A derivative of mannose sugar, the energy unit driving the mannoprotein’s use by the skin’s immune system.
61. Methionine: An essential protein-building amino acid containing sulfur, it is derived from cysteine (see #26). It improves co-enzyme presence in utilizing activated or “methylated” collagen and elastin. Linked to vitamin B activity in cell differentiation.
62. Myristic Acid: An emollient fatty acid.
63. Neoxanthin: A xanthophyll (see #56) and carotene with antioxidant effects.
64. Niacin: A vitamin B3 (also see #3, 20 and 61), it is vital for energy release in tissues and cells, and plays an essential role in the growth and maintenance of healthy skin.
65. Oleic Acid: The most widely distributed unsaturated fatty acid, it is a component of phospholipids and makes the skin more receptive to the benefits of other fatty acids.
66. Ornithine: A catalyst in the Urea Cycle, this amino acid helps convert waste nitrogen into non-toxic, soluble urea. Topically, it tightens the communication links between the skin and liver.
67. Oxalic Acid: A carboxylic acid produced in the body by ascorbic acid metabolism. Applied topically, it helps condition the skin to be more receptive to alpha-hydroxy acid treatments.
68. Oxycerotinic Acid: A saturated fatty acid with evening effects on pigmentation.
69. Palmitic Acid: A fatty acid commonly used in cosmetic formulations.
70. Palmitoleic Acid: An unsaturated fatty acid that enhances epidermal nutrient effects of topical phospholipids, along with palmitic acid.
71. Phenylalanine: An essential protein-building amino acid and precursor to melanin, it improves the skin’s melanization response time.
72. Phospholipids: Pumpkin’s answer to ceramides.
73. Phosphorus: A bio-element that improves photosynthetic conversion of pro-vitamin D in the skin. It suppresses the number of errors in transcription of particular genes in the skin, thereby promoting healthier skin-renewal.
74. Phytic Acid: Known as “myo-inositol,” this is a phosphoric acid compound that sharpens the skin’s cellular response to external stimuli such as hormones. It greatly utilizes pumpkin wine’s calcium and magnesium content to achieve this.
75. Phytosterols: Plant steroids in alcohol form, these promote healthy enzyme levels in the epidermis, and are responsible for lipid replenishment and barrier repair in the stratum corneum.
76. Potassium: A bio-element, this plays an important role in the genesis and correction of imbalances of acid-base metabolism that result from chemical peels.
77. Proline: A protein-building amino acid essential to collagen production.
78. Protein: A unique sequence of amino acids characteristic of pumpkin family (including squash and gourds), these mesh well with skin proteins.
79. Quercetin: (see #46) A plant pigment that protects the dermal capillary bed and reduces incidence of visible facial capillaries. Also a potent flavone antioxidant.
80. Rhamnazin Rutinoside: see #46
81. Riboflavin: Part of the vitamin B group, it is necessary to the proper development and function of the skin.
82. Salicylic Acid: A beta hydroxy acid and natural spin trap, pumpkin has the highest natural concentration of salicylic acid of any plant.
83. Selenium: A powerful physiological antioxidant comparable to glutathione in potency. Pumpkin-based selenium is particularly power, as it is blended with natural carotenoids for extra power.
84. Serine: A protein-building amino acid that is the major component of “pumpkin silk.”
85. Silicon: An essential trace element in human nutrition, this mineral is responsible for the linking of mucopolysaccharides to protein in the skin (and throughout the body), essentially fixing (concentrating) them where they are most needed.
86. Beta-Sitosterol: (see #75) This is the most potent of the phytosterols (plant steroids), and much safer than animal steroids.
87. Sodium: (see #76) delivers hydration to the skin and has a plumping effect.
88. Alpha-spinasterol: Aspinach-type steroid that strengthens the desmosome fibers connecting skin cells, it has overall firming effect.
89. Stearic Acid: A fatty acid commonly used in skin care as moisturizing vehicle.
90. Alpha-Stigmastadien-Beta-0il: (similar to #88) This targets the granular layer of the epidermis, making the membrane coat more pliable.
91. Stigmastenol: (like #90) It imparts horizontal integrity to the filaments of the epidermal spinous layer.
92. Stigmastenyl-glucoside: A “sweet” steroid of the phytosterol group, this has a lubricating effect on the keratohyalin, the protein matrix that supplies the scaffolding for epidermal keratin fibers.
93. Sucrose: This suppresses the crystallization of glucose around collagen and elastin fibrils.
94. Thiamin: Vitamin B1 (see #41), this vitamin maintains stability of pyruvic acid-type compounds in supplying ATP (cellular) energy to the anti-A.G.E. process.
95. Threonine: An essential protein-building amino acid that suppresses age-related cross-linking of collagen and elastin fibers.
96. Alpha-Tocopherol: A vitamin E, it prevents the spontaneous oxidation (damage) of the skin’s lipid layer.
97. Trigonelline: A metabolite of vitamin B2 complex, it has similar effects of riboflavin in that it supports the preservation of the skin around eyes, lips, and nose.
98. Tryptophan: An essential amino acid, and vitamin B precursor that suppresses hyperpigmentation along with associated hyperkeratosis and scaling.
99. Tyrosine: A protein-building amino acid, and precursor of melanin, it improves communication between the skin and thyroid gland, which is essential in mediating any vitamin-A effects in the skin (carotenoids to retinoids).
100. Valine: An essential protein-building amino acid, it boosts antibacterial pathways of skin.
101.Viola-xanthin: An extremely important plant carotenoid and powerful antioxidant.