Ingredient Breakdown: Cucumber
Did you know that cucumbers were once considered to be poisonous? Some say that cucumbers may be behind the E. coli outbreak in 17th-century England. Today, people know better, and cucumbers are praised for their many health benefits. Cucumbers are even getting a lot of buzz in the skin care industry, and we’re going to help you learn why.
Cucumber is a common garden vegetable native to southern Asia; however, it is cultivated annually in many parts of the world. Cucumber is a part of the gourd family and a cousin to melons. It is a creeping vine that bears fruits that are often used as vegetables.
Whether eaten sliced, pickled, or on a salad or sandwich, cucumbers offer a unique taste and plenty of health benefits. They are low in calories but packed with nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. The percentage of water in cucumbers is a whopping 96% Each of these wonderful nutrients helps make cucumber a wonderful addition to your skin care routine. Here are a few reasons why:
Promotes Hydration and Soothes Skin
The fact that they are 96% water is a good indicator that cucumbers are excellent for hydration. For centuries, fresh cucumber juice has been applied to dry and sensitive skin for natural nourishment. Cucumbers provide a cooling, soothing effect. Full of flavonoids and antioxidants, cucumbers help to reduce irritations, swelling, and redness.
Cucumbers are effective in curing and relieving symptoms of skin rashes and other skin irritations. The hydrating and soothing properties of cucumbers make them an excellent natural remedy for sunburn. Because they relieve dehydration they also help to reduce the risk of sunstroke.
The benefits of cucumber are plentiful - their ability to soothe also extends to the eyes. You’ve probably seen, or perhaps experienced, a mud mask complete with slices of cucumber over the eyes. This is because the water content, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and caffeic acid in the cucumber slices help to eliminate puffiness, dark circles, and bags under eyes.
Helps to Manage Stress
Stress affects the skin more than you may realize. Many skin conditions such as acne, eczema, hives, rosacea, psoriasis, and vitiligo can all stem from the psyche. Stress can cause your body to release cortisol, a stress hormone that can increase the skin’s oil production. This excess oil can clog your pores, cause irritation, and eventually lead to pimples and acne scars. Studies also show that stressful events can also trigger an autoimmune reaction.
Cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins that are known to help protect against feelings of anxiety and can help prevent damaging effects of stress. B vitamins found in cucumbers include: Vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7.
Antioxidants protect the skin’s cells from damage caused by free radicals, or unstable molecules. Free radicals play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Foods high in antioxidants can drastically reduce your risk of various cancers and disease, including those related to the skin. Cucumbers are a great source of antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, and various flavonoids such as quercetin, luteolin, kaempferol, and apigenin.