Looking and feeling your best doesn’t have to come from a fancy beauty salon or an expensive dermatologist treatment. In fact, it doesn’t even require a trip to the store! (well, maybe the grocery store). Cucumbers are a vegetable that you likely already have in your refrigerator, and it can be used in so many ways other than in a salad. Cucumbers have many great properties that make them a perfect addition to your beauty routine.
This might be one of the most well-known, classic examples of using cucumbers as part of a beauty routine. The reason you always see people with cucumbers over their eyes in images of spas and health retreats is because they are actually very effective at soothing puffy eyes. Cucumbers are made of mostly water, and tend to be kept cool (in the refrigerator for example). When placed over your eyes, the cool temperature of the water in the cucumber contracts the blood vessels in your eye area, which helps to reduce swelling as well as those dark under-eye circles caused by expanded blood vessels. The skin around the eyes is very thin and almost translucent, so it becomes very obvious when your blood vessels are irritated and swollen. The water content of the cucumber will also provide moisture to the sensitive eye area, which will also help reduce puffiness.
Before you go to bed (when your eyes are likely to be puffy and red, especially if you did not sleep well), slice up a cucumber and store the slices in the fridge in a zip lock bag with a little bit of water in it so that they retain their moisture. You could also keep them on hand in a glass jar filled with water. In the morning, put a cucumber over each closed eye and lean back to relax for about 10 minutes.
The same moisturizing properties that make cucumbers great for the eye area also makes them great for the rest of the skin on your face as well. They can be blended with other ingredients such as avocado to make a natural, at-home face mask or toner. Try blending together half a cucumber (with the peel) with half of an avocado (without the peel). The natural healthy oils in the avocado combined with the moisture of the cucumber will leave your face feeling refreshed and tight. You could also make the mixture the night before and store it in the refrigerator overnight. Just be warned that the avocado will probably have turned the moisture brown due to oxidization.
To fight facial oil, try combining freshly grated cucumber pulp with some turmeric and lemon juice to make a great facial mask. Leave the mask on your face for about 15 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water. The anti-bacterial properties of the lemon will help to clear up breakups, and the moisturizing and cooling properties of the cucumber will help fight inflammation and also tighten your pores.
The same cooling properties that help with eye redness and puffiness will work wonders for your sunburn. Try putting chilled sliced cucumbers on your sunburn to feel instant relief. It will also help alleviate the itching and stinging that comes with sunburn.
Of course, the most popular use for cucumbers is to eat them, and there are many great health benefits that come from eating cucumbers in addition to using them on your body.
Eating cucumbers with the skin provides a healthy amount of fiber, and fiber is important for cleaning out your system. When things are backed up internally, it will reflect externally, and the unhealthiness on the inside will start to reflect on the outside. Fiber helps to clear your intestines of any buildup and allows them to better absorb nutrients, which are critical for healthy skin, eyes, hair, and nails.
In addition, the high potassium content of cucumbers helps to neutralize sodium levels and re-balance your electrolytes. Excess sodium can make you look and feel bloated and puffy, so getting your sodium levels under control is very important. Flushing out the excess sodium from your system will give you clearer skin and reduce inflammation, while promoting healing in your skin. The high water content in cucumbers also enables them to act as a natural diuretic, helping to regulate your blood pressure.