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pumpkin

Pumpkin is a type of squash with a high amount of antioxidant cartenoids and vitamin E. Pumpkin seed extract and pumpkin seed oil are also a great source of essential fatty acids (including linoleic acid) and zinc. It’s an excellent non-fragrant plant extract. See also squash, zucchini, gourd, courgette, etc.

The unique bioactives in these extracts seem to be triterpenoid structures, and there are some carotenoids and phenolic acids as well. Antinutrients (eg, oxalates, cyanide, tannin) have been identified in pumpkin seeds and leaves. Phytosterols (eg, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol), antioxidant tocopherols, antihelminthic cucurbitin, squalene, and cardioprotective fatty acids have been isolated from the seeds and seed oil.

Pumpkin seed extract is considered to have an anti-androgenic or anti-DHT effect as well as anti-inflammatory activity with regard to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This is great, but it has nothing to do with skincare or topical use. (BPH is an enlarged prostate gland.) Additionally, trials are limited and the results conflict.

Pumpkin seed extract functions by stimulating the synthesis of collagen and fibrillin and by inhibiting the activity of enzymes which contribute to its degradation. When used at 4%, Pumpkin Seed Extract has demonstrated that it will smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin vitality and tone. It may prove useful in preventing and attenuating the appearance of stretch marks, making it a useful addition to body care products. Pumpkin Seed Extract is excellent for use in formulations where an increase in smoothness, firmness, elasticity and skin tone is desirable. It is especially recommended for anti-aging formulations. – Source

Sources
Journal of Food Science, June 2012, pages C653-657
Natural Product Research, September 2011, pages 1,524-1,539
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