Cucumber has a way of making the simplest things better, like a cold glass of water or a sushi roll. But did you know that this produce section staple can also dramatically transform your skin’s health and appearance?
According to dermatologist and psychiatrist Amy Wechsler, cucumber has skincare benefits including vitamin C and caffeic acid, which both fight to reduce inflamed or irritated skin, and hydration thanks to its high water content. The peel itself contains silica, which firms up sagging skin. Wechsler believes even people with the most sensitive skin types can use cucumber to their advantage.
Below are three ways the dermatologist recommends remedying your skin with cucumbers.
1. Calm puffy eyes. For an instant fix, place cool cucumber slices over your eye socket. They will act like little ice packs to relieve puffy lids. “Cucumbers contain flavonoids and antioxidants that decrease swelling, redness and irritation,” said Wechsler. “They also provide a cooling effect that helps shrink dilated blood vessels, therefore reducing the appearance of puffy eyes.”
2. Treat sunburn and irritated skin. The effects of too much sun can get real painful, especially on the butterfly region of the face (forehead, nose, cheeks and chin). Cucumbers are loaded with lots of nutrients like water, potassium, sulfate and vitamins A and C that soothe skin conditions like sunburns, according to Wechsler. Simply place thin slices of cucumber onto your face and lie down for at least 15 minutes. Then remove the slices and apply a light moisturizer.
3. Use as an anti-aging facial mask. Wechsler’s DIY mask calls for half a cucumber, barely puréed, and two tablespoons of plain yogurt. Whip into a thick mixture, apply to your skin and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before cleansing with warm water. “Cucumbers contain vitamin C and caffeic acid, two antioxidants that, when applied to skin, help fend off wrinkles, sun damage and more,” said Wechsler. “Yogurt is an exfoliating agent that works to remove dirt and dead skin cells. When combined with cucumber, which has cleansing properties, it is the perfect hydrating, soothing blend for your skin.”