Cucumbers are often associated with relaxation and beauty. Some evidence suggests that applying cucumber directly to the eyes can help soothe puffiness and reduce dark circles under the eyes.
A person may apply cucumber to the eyes in its raw form or as an ingredient in cosmetic products, such as herbal moisturizers, eye lotions, and gels.
These products use different parts of the cucumber, including its juice, seed extract, and fruit water.
In this article, we discuss whether applying cucumbers to the eyes can benefit the skin.
Why do people do it?
Placing cucumbers on the eyelids is popular as part of many relaxation routines. People sometimes use cucumbers alongside face masks or during baths.
People use cucumbers on the eyes to soothe puffiness and reduce dark circles on the skin, which can give an impression of tiredness. When eyes become dry, cucumbers can offer a hydrating effect, reducing dryness and redness.
Research suggests that applying cucumbers to the eyes can benefit people by:
- having a cooling effect on the skin
- hydrating the eyes and surrounding tissues
- reducing dark circles due to the high levels of vitamin K
- reducing inflammation due to the presence of lignans
- helping treat sunburn
- brightening the skin due to its ability to inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme that is involved in the production of melanin
Additionally, according to 2013 research, cucumber helps extract toxins and waste material, cleansing the area.
The same research also states that the cooling effect of cucumber relaxes the skin and alleviates irritation or swelling around the eye.
Earlier research from 2010 notes that the compound silica, which is present in cucumbers, offers benefits for connective tissue, lightening the skin around the eyes.
It also suggests that cucumber increases skin hydration and viscoelasticity, which improves the appearance of the skin around the eyes when a person uses it on the eyelids.
How to apply cucumber to the skin
A 2014 study concludes that all parts of the cucumber, from the seed extract to the fruit water, have little toxicological concern and are, therefore, safe for use on the skin.
However, if a person is allergic to cucumber, they should avoid putting cucumbers on their eyes.
A cucumber beauty routine should be relaxing and enjoyable. Before starting, a person can prepare a comfortable space in which to lie down and make sure that there is a cucumber in the refrigerator or an equally cool storage unit.
They can then follow these steps:
- Wash and dry the face so that it feels clean and fresh.
- Remove the end of the cucumber, wash the outside, and cut two slices, each about 1 centimeter in thickness. Some people prefer to remove the skin to minimize the risk of any agricultural chemicals, such as pesticides, getting in the eyes.
- Lie down in a comfortable position. Close the eyes, and place a slice of cucumber on each eye. If using cucumbers alongside a face mask, apply the face mask first.
If the cucumbers begin to warm up, the person can turn them over. The side facing outward should still be cool.
People can also use this period to relax. For example, they can meditate or listen to music or a podcast.
The fruit itself poses few risks provided the person is not allergic, so there is little harm in repeating the routine on a regular basis.
However, it is important to ensure that the cucumber is clean before placing the slices on the eyes, as lingering bacteria pose a risk of infection.
For this reason, people should not reuse the same cucumber slices.
Looking after the eyes is an important aspect of self-care.
Moisturizing is key for maintaining skin health. According to a 2019 article, using eye creams can reduce wrinkles. It can also help reduce puffiness and improve skin pigmentation.
If possible, people should also attend regular checkups with an optician and ensure that their prescription is accurate if they need glasses.
Other ways of reducing strain on and around the eyes include getting enough sleep, avoiding too much screen time, and taking appropriate precautions when out in the sun.
The risks of UV exposure to the eyes are widely recognized.
Precautions to reduce these risks include wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat and staying out of the sun during peak hours.
Frequent exposure can cause wrinkles and dry skin around the eyes, and it puts the person at risk of more serious conditions, such as cataracts and blindness.
People can use cucumbers to reduce puffiness and dark circles around the eyes. However, there is a lack of research to confirm that this routine has any significant effect.
Although cucumbers have little toxicological concern, people should be cautious if beginning this routine for the first time.
It is advisable to try a patch test, placing the cucumber slices on less sensitive areas of the skin. A person may unknowingly have an allergy to cucumber, and the eyes are a delicate part of the body.
It is also important to make sure that the cucumber is clean before applying it to the eyelids to minimize the risk of eye infections.