Biting into a crisp cucumber you can taste the freshness. The juicy cucumber is rich with refreshing water and can add the perfect flavor to encourage you to hydrate throughout your day! Dehydration can definitely make matters worse if you already suffer from dry skin, so let’s talk hydration first.
Why is hydration important for you skin?
Giving your skin the moisture it needs from the inside out will help to encourage good elasticity, make it more resilient and keep your barrier function strong. With a durable barrier function, your skin will hold onto moisture better and be less affected by detrimental external factors (such as the sun and toxins). One of my favorite infused water recipes comes from Cassie over at Wholefully. This strawberry, lime, cucumber and mint infused water recipe is especially good if you are pregnant, nursing or just trying to make sure you have all the hydration to help your skin glow. Here’s a benchmark to gauge your water intake: try to drink half your weight in ounces everyday (i.e.: If you weigh 150lbs then you should drink 75 oz). I love to carry a reusable water bottle with me and keep track and set a goal of how many I need to drink throughout the day. Here are my most-loved reusable bottles:
- Hydroflask: this is definitely my #1 pick. I bought mine from Dutch bros, but they don’t sell them anymore. I love to use the straw lid cap which I purchased separately at La Grande Orange Grocery Market. It keeps my water cold all day, which can be challenging in the 100 degree heat of Phoenix! My only complaint is that the straw lids can get noisy and mine has broken in the past. However, your Hydroflask bottle and accessories come with a lifetime warranty and their customer service is great and they sent me a replacement extremely fast.
- Contigo: Another great option. When I purchased mine they didn’t have the stainless ones available yet, and so my only complaint was that the water got warm. But, Contigos are leak-proof which is important for those of us that have toddlers ready to turn them upside down at any moment!
- Ello: I have the Ello Thrive, which is glass with a bamboo lid. I love the design on the outside and esthetically this one is on top for me. Obviously, it isn’t kid friendly though.
- Zulu: I have the Zulu element. This one is also made of glass, but has a silicone wrap around it which makes it a little more resilient.
We know that cucumber is good for our bodies internally, but what about topically?
From movies like Princess Diaries to Legally Blonde, we picture facials being covered in a colorful goopy mask with cucumbers on our eyes. Every time I see cucumbers used in the skincare world, I think about the makeover scene from Princess Diaries. A young Anne Hathaway sits with headphones in while her makeover artist says, “Do you want to know a big secret… the cucumber does nothing! This is something we make up.” Although that scene makes me smile, let me tell you all that this under appreciated ingredient can be such a winner for your skin.
Cucumbers were used in folk medicine to treat a myriad of diseases from burns, cancer and diabetes to a battery of skin disorders (Nafessa). While I cannot prove the effectiveness of cucumbers for disease, I can tell you that people were on the right track with treating skin disorders. Here are three ways cucumber can help your skin today!
Cucumber contains a high content of silica. Silica is an essential element of healthy connective tissue (Kapoor). Providing areas where the integrity of your skin may have been compromised through dry skin, breakouts, skin thinning or sun exposure with products containing this ingredient you can expect your skin to be fortified. Cucumber also can help to speed the healing process and provide your skin with support.
After that first bite of cucumber, it is easy to see that this vegetable is filled with water. That high water content is perfect to help hydrate your skin (Kapoor). Dry skin often appears textured, dull and any aging is accentuated. This moisturizing effect will help to soften any rough texture you may be experiencing (Packianathan) and provide your skin with nourishment. Another benefit of moisturizing your skin with cucumber is that it will reduce the appearance of fine lines.
3. Clarify & Tighten:
This ingredient will also provide a deep cleanse. When your skin is dry, it can trap debris under a layer of dead skin cells. Cucumber works by purifying and unclogging pores. It will go even further by working as an astringent tightening these pores to reduce their appearance and help keep them clear (Packianathan).
Which products and why?
- Cleanser: Deep clean your pores and counteracts drying formulas.
- Toner: Cucumber helps to constrict pores. It also encourages healing when applied post breakout.
- Moisturizer: Reduce the appearance of fine lines, decrease the breakdown of elasticity (Kapoor) and hydrate dry skin.
- Masks: Purify with a deep cleanse and soothe/calm irritated skin.
- Eye cream: Anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce puffiness (Packianthan) and reduce the look of fine lines.
Let water and cucumbers be the answer to you dry skin. Say goodbye to dull, irritated and textured skin through natural skincare and hydration! Cucumber has a purpose in our skincare routine beyond just covering eyes!
Leave your two cents:
What’s your biggest struggle with dry skin?
Do your skincare products contain cucumber?
What tricks do you use to get enough water?
Kapoor, S., & Saraf, S. (2010, Oct). Assessment of vicsoelasticity and hydration effect of herbal moisturizers using bioengineering techniques. Retrieved from Pharmacognosy Magazine: http://www.phcog.com/article.asp?issn=0973-1296;year=2010;volume=6;issue=24;spage=298;epage=304;aulast=Kapoor
Nafeesa, Z., Shivalingu, B. R., Neema, K. N., Achar, R. R., Venkatest, B. K., Hanchinal, V., . . . Swamy, S. N. (2017, June). Procoagulant serine glycoprotease from Cucumis sativus L.: action on human fibrinogen and fibrin clot. Retrieved from Spring Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13205-017-0686-9
Packianathan, N., & Kandasamy, R. (2011). Skin Care with Herbal Exfoliants. Functional Plant Sciene and Biotechnology.
Script-O-Rama. (n.d.). Princess Diaries Script – Dialogue Transcrip. Retrieved from Script-O-Rama: http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/p/princess-diaries-script-transcript-hathaway.html