Picture the age-old stock images and/or movie scenes of a blissed-out woman with cucumber slices over her eyes (usually wearing some variation of a robe, a mud mask, and perhaps a towel around her head, too). Is the aforementioned woman actually doing anything for her sleep-deprived peepers, or do the slimy slices of gourd simply provide… dramatic flair?
According to Erin Larson, Esthetician and Director of Brand Management & Education at HydroPeptide, there’s a method to the madness. “Applying cucumber slices to the eye area can help to reduce puffiness”, she explains, “because the coolness of cucumber slices acts as a vasoconstrictor, slowing blood flow.” Dermatologist Dr. Robert Anolik agrees, noting that “[eye] puffiness can occur with vessel dilation and swelling; the cool temperature of the cucumber assists in constructing those blood vessels, relieving puffiness”. In other words, cucumbers can come in handy next time you consume an entire bottle of wine while watching This Is Us.
Dry under-eyes? The crunchy crudité can also give skin a major hydration boost. Research conducted by Dr. Howard Murad notes that, when applied topically, cucumbers can “fortify cells so they may retain hydrated and work at the highest levels”. Larson adds that they can provide “immensely beneficial hydration to the eye area”. Her hydration hack: Apply a cooling eye gel containing hyaluronic acid (which “draws hydration from the environment into the skin”), and place cukes as an applicator on top.
But wait — there’s more! According to Dr. Murad, cucumber slices can combat undereye darkness, thanks to their high levels of vitamin K, which has been proven to improve blood circulation. Seems like sleep-deprived spa-goers are actually onto something.
Bottom line: cucumber slices have more potential than being vehicles for hummus (though they’re fab at that, too). So next time you practice #SelfCareSunday, consider adding cucumbers to the mix. We promise you’ll emerge with a brighter, dewier eye region.
Putting veggies on your face not your thing? Try these products which harness the superfood’s depuffing, hydrating properties:
1. K Aesthetics Earth Therapeutics Recover-E Cucumber Eye Pads
These K-beauty under-eye patches are a quick fix for worn-out peepers. Vitamin E plays a key role in reducing darkness while our hero ingredient, cucumber, works its cooling magic to depuff.
$8 (Shop Now)
2. Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel
This cooling eye cream is so gentle, making it a treat for sensitive skin. With cucumber, green tea, and spirulina extracts, it doesn’t compromise on efficacy.
$15 (Shop Now)
3. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
Aside from cucumber extract, these squishy patches contain a bevy of natural ingredients including arnica, hyaluronic acid, and caffeine. The result: a plump—not puffy—undereye area.
$48 (Shop Now)