Did you know that cucumbers are fruits, not vegetables? Or that they belong to the same family as melons? These unassuming green fruits are also packed with skincare benefits.
And it’s this natural coolness that makes them a summer favourite and an essential skincare ingredient.
The humble cucumber has plenty more uses beyond the slices on your eyes during spa days or in your sandwiches and salads. Cucumber has, in fact, been used through the ages to keep skin cool and calm, even when the rest of you isn’t. Whether it’s sunburn, puffy eyes, inflamed skin, or a dull complexion, cucumber has been a go-to remedy for generations.
Beauty and wellness products with natural ingredients are becoming more popular. And among these natural ingredients, cucumber has emerged as a favourite for skin revitalisation. Known for its cooling properties and hydrating benefits, cucumber is essential for skincare routines that need a cool burst of freshness.
A Brief History of Cucumber
The cucumber (kyoo.kum.buh), scientifically known as Cucumis sativus, belongs to the gourd family and is a close relative of pumpkins and melons. It is believed to have originated in India, where it has been cultivated for over 3000 years.
Cucumbers are cool – literally! They maintain an internal temperature of up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside and are known for their water retention capabilities. As a result, it is believed that 17th-century American physicians prescribed placing fever patients on a bed of cucumbers so they would become—as the famous phrase goes—“cool, as a cucumber.”
The cucumber is a versatile and multi-faceted ingredient. Its flesh is cool and hydrating, its seeds are rich in nutrients, and its skin is brimming with vitamins. In Indian households, it’s not just a salad staple but a tried-and-true remedy for various skin ailments.
When it comes to skincare, cucumber stands out as one of the most versatile and beneficial ingredients. From whole cucumbers to extracts and products, this humble fruit is at the top of the list to improve the health and appearance of your face.
The Skincare Benefits of Cucumber
- Ultimate Hydration: Cucumbers are made of about 95% water, making them a natural hydrating powerhouse. They replenish your skin’s moisture, combat dryness and leave your face soft, supple and refreshed.
- Calming Effect: If your skin’s feeling hot, irritated, or inflamed, cucumber can provide instant relief. Its cooling properties soothe your skin, reducing redness and calming inflammation.
- Antioxidant Boost: Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, flavonoids, and tannins. These compounds fight free radicals, which cause premature ageing and skin damage, helping your skin stay youthful and healthy.
- Skin Brightening: Struggling with dark spots, hyperpigmentation, or uneven skin tone? Cucumbers are your answer. They contain natural skin-lightening agents to help fade discolouration and brighten your complexion.
- Pore Tightening: Cucumbers have astringent properties that can help tighten your pores, giving your face a smoother and more refined appearance. This is especially helpful if you have oily or acne-prone skin.
- Skin Detoxification: Cucumbers can detoxify your skin by removing impurities and excess oil. They also help regulate sebum production, preventing breakouts and keeping your face fresh and clean.
- Under-eye Treatment: Those iconic cucumber slices placed over your eyes are not just for show. Cucumber’s cooling and anti-inflammatory effects reduce puffiness, dark circles and tiredness around your eyes.
How to Incorporate Cucumber into Your Skincare Routine
Want to enjoy the benefits of cucumber on face skin? Here’s how you can easily add it to your daily skincare routine.
- Fresh Cucumber: Slice a chilled cucumber and place the slices directly on your face for a quick, refreshing pick-me-up. Leave them on for about 10-15 minutes. Then you can remove and rinse your face with cool water.
- Cucumber Juice or Extract: Grate a cucumber and squeeze out the juice. Apply the juice on your face with a cotton ball or your fingertips. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off.
- Cucumber-infused Products: Cucumber Quench is a soothing and lightweight gel moisturiser enriched with cucumber and xylitol that gives the skin an instant boost of hydration. Well suited for skin types that feel normal to oily, Cucumber Quench is clinically proven to hydrate the skin, while also minimising sebum secretion—leaving the skin looking mattified.
Remember: As with any new skincare ingredient, it’s a good idea to perform a patch test on a small area of your skin before applying cucumber or cucumber products to your face, especially if you have sensitive skin.
A burst of hydration, a touch of cooling calmness, a radiant glow – just some of the cucumber benefits for skin. It’s a simple yet effective way to revive your skin.