You've seen it on countless TV shows and movies -- the woman sitting in a fluffy robe, face covered with a thick layer of facial cream and cucumber slices on her eyes. She's enjoying a fancy drink while getting a pedicure and complaining about getting older. You might not be there yet, but you're probably at least curious how effective those cucumbers are.
Cucumbers have an anti-inflammatory effect that reduces puffiness. The vegetable not only has a high water content, it but it's often stored in the refrigerator and comes out cold. This means that the water hydrates your skin, and the cool temperature decreases the flow of blood to the space around your eyes. Together, additional hydration and reduced blood flow can sooth the skin around your eyes and alleviate swelling [source: Harmon, Hopkins].
Smoother, more hydrated skin around your eyes means less stretching and fewer lines and wrinkles in the future. Since the skin around your eyes is some of the thinnest tissue on your body, it is very susceptible to damage from stretching and swelling. While cucumbers might not be your choice for a daily eye moisturizer, they can help in a pinch when you realize your eyes are puffier than normal.
To use cucumbers as an eye treatment, grab a cold cucumber from the refrigerator and cut two thick slices. Then, find a comfortable place to relax and set the cucumbers over your closed eyes for about 10 to 15 minutes. The cucumbers will then act as a cold compress on your eyes [source: WebMD].
Next time you're at the store, you might pick up a few extra cucumbers. Treating yourself to a weekly cucumber eye therapy session could prove beneficial in more ways than one. After all, your whole body can benefit from relaxation.
For lots more information on skin care, see the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Almasi, Mary Rose. "The No-Knife Eye Lift." WebMD. Oct. 8, 2008. (Sept. 9, 2009) http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/the-no-knife-eye-lift
- Harmon, Katherine. "Slide Show: The Science Behind 10 Natural Skin Remedies: Why They Work -- or Don't." Scientific American. May 7, 2009. (Sept. 9, 2009) http://www.scientificamerican.com/slideshow.cfm?id=slideshow-natural-skin-remedies&photo_id=18237569-D3B2-EB69-95A742BD4558EF24
- Hopkins, Sharon. "Cucumber Benefits for Great Skin and Eyes." Disabled World. April 4, 2007. (Sept. 9, 2009)http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/cucumber_benefits.shtml