Don’t Fear the Pumpkin

Delicious and nutritious, something special that only comes around once a year, pumpkins–the final product of the harvest—are synonymous with the fall. 

I haven’t always been able to look ahead and be prepared for what was coming next. For much of my life, the fall was spent in fear of trying to get everything ready for “Back to School” or “How Many Weeks to Get Things Done Before Christmas?” while I missed the actual enjoyment of preparing for and looking forward to what’s to come. Now, recognizing that I have full control over what we do and that we can choose to celebrate or not celebrate in any way we like, pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, making costumes and warming apple cider hold a lot more appeal.

My kids love the spooky Halloween stuff. We talk about it as a way to practice feeling scared while we are in a safe place. We repeat, “Just because I feel scared does not mean I am in danger.” And then they jump a little further ahead in their bravery at the playground…or with reading. 

Getting a little nervous and a little excited (so long as it is not too much for us to handle) is helpful in our lives. This ties into our skin care philosophy as well:


Peels and other products or techniques that actively remove some of the uppermost skin cells, can be scary. Perhaps the most intense product we offer at Brooklyn Herborium is our Pumpkin Peel. And it’s meant to make you just a little scared…that’s right. Hormetic Stressors such as High Intensity Interval Training,  Intermittent Fasting, or a freezing cold swim can be extremely beneficial when done right. Healthy bodies respond to being slightly nervous and slightly excited by boosting their game!

Here at Brooklyn Herborium, we do not think it is wise to use exfoliating products regularly, as they can over-strip the skin and make it more susceptible to damage. We consider the proper use of a peel, such as our Pumpkin Peel, as a special occasion event or as a catalyst to excite change in the skin that then encourages renewal.

Pumpkin Enzyme Peel

What’s In It & What Does It Do?

Pumpkin Peel in Bowl


This product is mostly made of Organic Pumpkin. Pumpkin contains a naturally occurring enzyme which digests proteins, breaking apart and releasing the dead cells on the surface of the skin. Also high in Vitamin A, the natural retinol-type properties from the pumpkin may be used by the body for immune function and cellular renewal.

A touch of Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C 

From various sources including Sugarcane, Bilberry Fruit, Orange Peel, Lemon.

We are never into using high percentages of glycolic acid for exfoliation, as we know how damaging that is for the skin, but sometimes it is useful for clearing out intracellular debris and wastes that have become stagnant within the pores. Normally, our skin can clear its own waste on it’s own, but if you are someone who has used a lot of controlling product in the past—including rich nightly moisturizers—or if your routine involves a lot of makeup, this small amount of active ingredients go a long way in clearing it out.

Ginger, Cinnamon, & Nutmeg

These warming herbs are highly useful for encouraging the body to move out that which is no longer serving it. The seasons are changing—let’s heat it up!

*Pumpkin Peel is in our Advanced Product Line. Advanced Products are made like conventional emulsions in that along with the completely natural and herbal ingredients, they have to have a preservative system. We use a system that is not only adequate as a preservative, but also gentle on both the human biome and the environment. If you would like to avoid all artificial ingredients, stick to our Functional Skin Care Line.

How to Use It

Special Occasions & Events

7-10 days before your event, spread a thick layer of Pumpkin Peel over clean skin (for super sensitive skin apply it over NO EVIL) and leave on for 3-7 minutes. Remove with a wet washcloth and compress with a cool towel.

As a Catalyst for Renewal

For thickened skin with lots of “texture,” apply once a week as described previously, for up to 3-6 weeks. Then take a break.

Yes, we know your skin looks great in the weeks following an invigorating, exfoliating treatment and we want you to enjoy it. But, please recognize that becoming dependent on that feeling of removing the outer layers of your skin is not safe or healthy.

Simple Math: If you “break down” faster than you “build up” you will be in a deficiency. And although it can be helpful to give your skin a little boost by making it “slightly nervous and slightly excited” it is never a good idea to make it truly frightened.

No Fear, Just Respect

Exfoliation and intentional heating of the skin is not necessary for beautiful skin nor is it recommended for all people.  It needs to be utilized judiciously and with caution.

There are some pretty scary face masks out there—and I don’t mean the Nixon one your Aunt Margie still has. It is important that you have respect for the integrity of your skin by considering that:

  • Not all products are appropriate for all people at all times. If you have thin, severely sensitive skin that is already feeling hot and reactive, be smart and don’t use active products that thin the skin even further!
  • When you exfoliate, have an understanding of what you are doing and why you are doing it. Not all exfoliation is bad, but it has to be done appropriately.
  • Keep “Special Occasion Products” for special occasions, otherwise they won’t be special when you use them!

Pumpkin Peel was originally created as a seasonal product. We now make it available year ‘round for our loyal followers with the opposite seasons as us, but it is up to you to know when it is appropriate. I hope that if it seems like the right time for you and your skin, you take this opportunity and enjoy it.


Pumpkin Enzyme Peel
By Emma Graves

Emma, a certified herbalist & highly skilled aesthetician, has been working in natural skin care since 1998. She originally developed the Between You and the Moon product line to serve her clients in finding a method of natural, holistic skin care that provided tangible results. A 4+ generation holistic practitioner, her love of skin care and holistic methods was chronicled in her early blog “The Pimple Whisperer,” some of which is still available on this website.

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