It’s a common sight in movies and television: A person is at the spa, getting a facial, and their aesthetician places cucumber slices over their eyes. It sets the scene, communicating that this is a moment for relaxation and self-care. We’ve all seen it—and if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably wondered whether or not there’s actually a reason for the cucumber-over-the-eyes imagery. Is cucumber good for your skin, or is it just an unfounded media trope?
It turns out that cucumber isn’t just a yummy (and healthy) snack: When used in skincare formulas, it boasts beauty benefits, too. To learn more about cucumber benefits for skin, we spoke with aesthetician and cosmetic scientist Carly Musleh. Ahead, Musleh breaks down the benefits of cucumber and cucumber extract in skincare products and details how to use this refreshing ingredient in your regular skincare routine. Read on to discover two cucumber benefits for skin.
2 Cucumber Benefits For Skin, Explained
The phrase “cool as a cucumber” wasn’t born from nothing: Cucumbers are known for their cooling, refreshing properties. And as Musleh explains, they’re “linked psychologically with being mild and gentle,” which is why cucumber often features in products designed for sensitive skin. However, the mental association with freshness is far from the only benefit associated with formulas featuring this humble fruit (yep, cucumber is a fruit). Here, learn two cucumber benefits for skin.
Cucumber Skin Benefit #1:
Cucumber Is Known To Help Visibly Calm The Skin
According to Musleh, one of the primary benefits of cucumber for skin is that it’s soothing. The fruit has been used for decades (if not longer) to help calm the skin. Part of its calming properties is likely due in part to its high water content: Raw cucumbers are about 95% water. Skincare products containing cucumber can therefore be a useful ingredient for those with stressed or sensitive skin.
Cucumber Skin Benefit #2:
Cucumber Extract Can Help Boost Skin Hydration
Thanks to its high water content, cucumber can help nourish the skin’s natural moisture barrier and hydrate the skin. This is especially true of cucumber extract, which Musleh explains is “a preparation with a higher concentration” of the plant’s natural nutrients. In skincare products, cucumber extract provides instant hydration and helps strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier to prevent future dehydration. It’s a useful ingredient in products for those with dry or dehydrated skin and can often be found in moisturizers, hydrating toners, and masks.
Can You Put Raw Cucumber On Your Skin?
Rather than mimic your favorite movie makeover scenes by plopping cucumber slices over your eyes, at Kiehl’s, we recommend seeking out products with cucumber in their formulas. A couple of our favorite skincare essentials feature cucumber extract, and they’ve been expertly formulated to help hydrate and refresh your skin.
Kiehl’s Products That Contain Cucumber
Below, discover two Kiehl’s must-haves made with cucumber that you can incorporate into your regular routine.
Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser
Start your skincare routine on a refreshing note with Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser. Formulated with cucumber extract and glycerin, the gel-to-foam face wash gently melts away impurities without drying or stripping the skin. The conditioning formula helps maintain the skin’s natural moisture and leaves it feeling soft, fresh, and clean. Though this mild face wash is suitable for all skin types, it’s especially beneficial for those with dry, sensitive, or stressed skin. Use it morning and night as the first step in your gentle skincare routine.
Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner
After washing your face, soothe and refresh your skin with Kiehl’s gentlest facial toner, Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner. It contains cucumber extract and allantoin and helps tone and balance the skin after cleansing, leaving it feeling fresh and soothed. The mild toner is fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and suitable for all skin types, especially dry and sensitive skin.
Can I Use Cucumber On My Face Every Day?
At the end of the day, Musleh says, cucumber is mild and gentle and has been shown to possess notable skin benefits. If you find that you like using cucumber in your routine, with the right product(s), there’s no reason you can’t enjoy it every day. Both of the Kiehl’s formulas we discussed above are suitable for daily use.
Next: Learn about another popular skin-soothing ingredient in our article What You Don’t Know (But Should) About Aloe Vera for Skin.
I. Murad, H. “Evaluating The Potential Benefits of Cucumber For Improved Health and Skin Care.” The Journal of Aging Research and Lifestyle. 2012.