-- Still using coconut oil for your skin-care needs? That's so ... a few months ago. The beauty set has moved on to a more seasonal ingredient.
Time to replace your coconut oil with pumpkin seed oil, it seems. "It's super trendy right now," said Alexis Wolfer, editor of The Beauty Bean and author of “The Recipe for Radiance.”
She said it has seen a steady growth in popularity in the past few years, especially come fall.
Jillian Wright, owner of the Jillian Wright Clinical Skin Spa in Manhattan, said she frequently uses pumpkin in her facials. Pumpkin serum, or oil, she said, is great for "tired, lifeless, dehydrated and oxygen-deprived skin."
Wright uses it for facial massages and softening the skin before extractions.
OM Aroma & Co.’s "bestselling" Pumpkin Seed Renew Serum sells for $58 on its website. And luxury skin-care brand Soveral sells a $94 Nourishing Body Oil with pumpkin and castor oil as the main ingredients.
But far cheaper versions -- in both capsule and liquid from -- can be found online. An 8.5-ounce bottle of Flora organic pumpkin oil is sold for $20. La Tourangelle Toasted Pumpkin Seed Oil, meant to be used primarily on food as a salad dressing or dips, is $13.
Pumpkin oil's popular predecessor, coconut oil, is similarly used both topically on the body and in food. There was also, of course, the recent oil-pulling craze for which coconut was a popular choice.
"Pumpkin seed oil is packed with healthy fats to hydrate and vitamin A to encourage cell turnover, which helps keep skin looking younger, prevent breakouts, and even fade scars," author Wolfer said.
It also has vitamin E that helps to promote healing. "It's great for both acne prone and aging skin," she added.
And while coconut oil isn't rich in vitamin A or E, it has lauric acid that, Wolfer said, serves a similar purpose to vitamin A when used topically. She said coconut oil is antimicrobial and antibacterial, where pumpkin seed oil isn't.
"Bottom line, they're both great for your skin," Wolfer said, "and like with your diet, which you wouldn't want to be comprised of one food, your beauty routine should similarly include more than one ingredient."