5 Anti-Aging Benefits of Cucumbers
Cucumbers are a curious vegetable. We grow them in our gardens, we eat them in our salads. But we probably hear about them more for their use in spas to place over the eyes, or soaking in water at the gym or party for a refreshing drink. Cucumbers are the trendy vegetable whose popularity never really dies. So why are cucumbers so popular? Better yet, are they really all that beneficial to your body and skin?
Health Benefits of Cucumbers
Have you heard the phrase “cool as a cucumber”? Well it isn’t just a phrase. Cucumbers have many health benefits, including the ability to cool down the body. The above video from HealthPedia will definitely convince you to buy more cucumbers. Whether you eat them, drink them, or put them on your skin, the health benefits of cucumbers are vast!
Here is a high-level overview of the many health benefits of cucumbers:
- They are packed with nutrients that are essential for your body, like magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, B1, and C, and biotin. These are the same vitamins that help keep you skin looking young and vibrant.
- They contain 96 percent water, which makes cucumbers ideal for keeping your body hydrated.
- With all of that water, cucumbers are able to help cool down the body.
- They replenish the skin and mouth as well, helping to reduce dark circles and puffiness under the eyes, causing the skin to glow, and helping to keep your breath fresh and your gums healthy.
- With all of those benefits to the skin, cucumbers are a perfect addition to any detoxifying efforts. They also contribute to weight loss.
- Cucumbers even help diabetics control their blood sugar, and are good for our hearts and brains!
How cucumbers benefit your skin
While it’s clear that cucumbers can do a lot for keeping our bodies healthy, what is even more exciting is all of the benefits cucumbers provide to the skin. It is truly remarkable that such a common vegetable can do so much for our skin and appearance! So, why is the cucumber considered a powerhouse ingredient in beauty products? The cucumber:
Cucumbers are packed with silica. Ever heard of it? If not, silica is like the older sibling of collagen. It acts as a precursor to collagen, helping to fight those wrinkles and fine lines you struggle with.
If that doesn’t sound like enough of a win when it comes to cucumbers fighting those wrinkles, cucumbers are also loaded with vitamin C. And vitamin C is another powerful anti-wrinkle ingredient. However you apply it to your skin, whether in lotions or as a toner, consistent application will make a big difference.
Cucumbers also help to maintain the elastin in your skin. Elastin helps to maintain, you guessed it, the elasticity of your skin. Which is what makes skin look young and supple. But, as we age, the production of elastin decreases. Cucumbers help to slow the breakdown of elastin. This in turn helps to tighten your skin, promote cell rejuvenation, and build collagen.
Relieves Skin Irritations
Is your back bright red after spending a day sunbathing at the beach? It is painful to have your arm brush up against anything after a long hike without sunblock? Or did you burn your hand on the stove after picking up a pan that was too hot? However you may have damaged your skin, cucumbers can provide a great amount of relieve. How? With that high water content! While cucumbers can help cool your body internally, they act as a great cooling agent and help reduce swelling for any outer skin irritation, bringing relief to pain from mild burn and sunburns.
Antioxidants play an integral part in keeping your skin looking healthy, young, and vibrant. Your skin uses the antioxidants in your body to fight off the damage to your skin from the sun and environment. But as you age, your body produces less and less antioxidants. Which is certainly not something we want to hear when we’re working towards keeping our skin looking young and healthy! But the beauty of your skin is that it doesn’t just use the antioxidants it produces – it can absorb them as well. So when you apply antioxidants to your skin, you’re helping it in that battle against aging! And cucumbers are a perfect source of antioxidants. They contain several compounds that fight aging, such as curcumin and cucurbitacins.
Rich in Vitamins
We’ve sure mentioned vitamin C a lot, which plays a key role in keeping your skin looking healthy. But cucumbers contain other vitamins that contribute just as much to the restorative properties of cucumbers.
Vitamin K is found in cucumbers. This antioxidant is what helps relieve puffy eyes with dark circles. So next time you’re getting a facial and the esthetician places cucumbers over your eyes, know it isn’t just for looks – it’s actually helping to bring the skin around your eyes some relief!
And then there’s vitamins B-5 and A (or retinol). They help to keep your skin moisturized, and help to reduce the appearance of ago spots and freckles.
Vitamin C and caffeic acid, when working together, both help to reduce inflamed or irritated skin. In fact, cucumber seems to work well with all skin types, even if you have sensitive skin!
Keeps Acne Away
How many times have you wondered what causes those annoying breakouts you still seem to get? No doubt we can all agree that adult acne feels like a curse. A huge contributing factor to that adult acne? Oil. And when your body produces a lot of oil, that oil, mixed with dead skin cells, can clog up your pores. This is where cucumbers come in. Cucumbers lower the amount of oil your skin produces and helps to increase the loss of body water through your skin! This effect, known as trans-epidermal water loss, actually plays a key role in preventing acne. Talk about a win!
Protects from the Sun
Yes, that’s right, cucumbers can act as a natural sunscreen. Containing cannins, vitamin C, and flavonoids, cucumbers contain the antioxidant properties that protect the skin from those damaging UV rays. That is some powerful stuff! But don’t just rub your skin with cucumbers before going out in the sun. You want to look for creams and lotions that contain cucumber to keep your skin protected in order to guarantee the best skin protection!
Lightens Skin and Removes Sun Tan
Age spots and skin discoloration are one of the many frustrating ways we see our skin change as we age. These are caused by an excess production of melanin in your body. But prolonged sun exposure also contributes. What does that mean? That means that, if your skin is frequently exposed to the sun, eventually, more melanin is produced in that area of the skin, which makes your skin look darker. Yes, when it comes to tanning, it may seem like darker skin is great. But more sun exposure means your skin naturally produces more melanin, even when you aren’t trying to tan, appearing in blotches or spots. Talk about frustrating!
But cucumbers can help battle the age spots. Cucumbers are able to inhibit an enzyme called tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is what causes more melanin production in the body. Which means, if you apply cucumber extract on your face, your melanin production will decrease. The high amount of antioxidants in cucumbers also help to neutralize the free radicals produced by UV rays, which helps to keep that melanin production down.
Tones and Tightens the Skin
With its ability to help maintain the elasticity of your skin, and with melanin-fighting properties, cucumber acts as a wonderful toner. In fact, cucumber contains the same pH levels as healthy skin, which means it is incredibly effective at both tightening and toning. In fact, with its high water content, it will even moisturize your skin!
Convinced yet that cucumbers are good for your skin? We sure are! With a natural product that is good for every skin type, fights wrinkles, keeps skin looking supple and young, fights acne, and so much more, it seems like a no-brainer that we would start using it consistently on our skin. Which is why we researched DIY solutions for applying cucumber to your skin!
5 ways you should be using cucumber for your skin
Now that we know all the ways cucumbers can benefit the skin, how should you be using it? Below are five ways you can start using cucumbers on your skin:
1. Remove dark circles and puffiness under the eyes
By putting cool cucumber slices over your eyes, you’ll instantly feel relief. The cucumbers act almost like ice packs to help reduce the puffiness, as the coldness helps to shrink blood vessels. And with their antioxidant properties, the cucumbers are able to reduce any redness or irritation. Which means you’re left with eyes that look refreshed and ready for the day! And if you want that look all the time, doing this daily may even help reduce puffiness and dark circles over time. So start slicing those cucumbers!
2. Treat sunburn and irritated skin
When summer comes around, it’s hard to avoid getting a sunburn. And there’s aren’t many who can deny that getting a sunburn can be incredibly painful. But because cucumbers are loaded with just the right ingredients (like potassium, vitamins A and C, sulfate, and water), it can become the perfect treatment to relieve any pain from a burn. In fact, you can find over-the-counter sunburn treatments that contain cucumber extract, because it is so effective at relieving that pain! So next time you in need of some sunburn relief, reach for a cucumber. It will provide some much needed relief and can even help the burn heal quicker. Just place some thin slices of cucumber onto the affected areas of your face or skin and lie down for at least 15 minutes. Then remove the slices and apply a light moisturizer.
3. Tone the skin
As mentioned before, cucumber juice is a great toner. The fact that cucumbers can regulate the pH levels of your skin, reduce melanin production, and strengthen the elasticity of your skin makes cucumbers a powerhouse toner. Using cucumber juice as a toner helps to reduce any excess oil on your skin, brighten your complexion, and reduce freckles. But even more importantly, cucumbers are gentle enough that they work with any skin type. So even if you have sensitive skin, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of cucumber toner. Dab some cucumber juice on your face, leave it on for 15 minutes, and rinse with cold water. You’ll see a difference in no time!
4. Deeply moisturize with a mask
Remember all those wonderful properties of cucumbers that help keep your face moisturized? Applying a cucumber mask is a great way to keep your face as moist and supple as possible, even in those cold winter months when skin is most dry. With all of those antioxidants, your skin will feel softer each day you do it. And why not add some cucumbers to your eyes, kill two birds with one stone? Try making a puree of cucumber (without seeds) and avocado or egg white. Apply to your skin, and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
5. Fights anti-aging
We know we aren’t the only ones who are excited at the prospect of finding a natural way to look young. As we mentioned before, cucumbers have the ability to fight off the signs of aging rather effectively. With a high amount of vitamin C and caffeic acid, those two antioxidants are able to fight off any ailment to the skin, whether it be sun damage, wrinkles, or more. Using an anti-aging cucumber mask will start producing results in no time! Simply puree half a cucumber and two tablespoons of plain yogurt. Mix until it is thick, apply it to your face, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Even if you’re on the fence about cucumbers, the beauty of this vegetable is that they’re cheap and plentiful. So instead of wondering, try it out! If you decide that you don't like cucumbers for your skin, you can always just eat them. We’ve already stocked up our fridge.