If your TikTok FYP page looks anything like mine recently, you’ve probably seen a slew of people pulling frozen cucumbers from their freezer and rubbing them on their faces for glowing, blemish-free skin.
I was skeptical, so naturally, I had to try it out. Does it feel amazing? Yes. Will you see instant results? Sort of (but not as dramatic as TikTok makes them seem). Will you achieve long-lasting benefits comparable to medical-grade skincare and/or Botox-like results? No.
With those expectations in mind, let’s get into why this trend has gained popularity and the benefits of cucumber on the skin.
Benefits of Cucumber on the Skin
We all know that cucumbers are incredible for our overall health and wellness – they contain tons of nutrients and antioxidants, are low-calorie, and contain a good amount of water and soluble fiber. This makes cucumber ideal for weight loss and maintaining hydration levels that our body needs to function properly.
When consumed, cucumber can help the skin by helping to maintain moisture, fight free radical damage (due to antioxidants such as beta carotene), can help even skin tone, and helps promote collagen production.
But what about on the skin? There’s a reason that cucumber eye masks are synonymous with spas and self-care – they have incredible skin-benefiting properties!
Applied topically, cucumber offers the following benefits for the skin:
Brighten & Tighten:
As I mentioned before, cucumbers are full of tons of beneficial nutrients, including skin-loving vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, and caffeic acid.
Vitamin C has been found to help combat sun damage, reduce dark spots, improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and reduce acne.
Similarly, vitamin K can help protect collagen which reduces signs of aging and has been shown to help reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. This is due to vitamin K’s anti-coagulant properties, which help in strengthening blood vessels to prevent breaking or damage. This also means that vitamin K can help those with rosacea and stretch marks.
Helps with Hydration:
Because cucumbers contain up to 96% water content, they are a superior hydrator, even when applied topically. They also contain polysaccharides, which help the skin attract and retain moisture (a lot like aloe!).
Keeping the skin hydrated will help reduce signs of aging, and improve overall appearance in comparison to dehydrated skin.
If you have sensitive or irritated skin, cucumber may help! Cucumber has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce swelling or puffiness in the skin. According to an article from StyleCraze, “The ascorbic acid and caffeic acid in cucumber brings down the water retention rate which, in turn, diminishes the swelling and puffiness…”
Plus, cucumber is safe* to use on all skin types, so you won’t have to worry about further irritation.
*Unless you have a cucumber allergy or sensitivity.
Great for Acne:
Acne typically occurs when dirt, oil, bacteria, and skin cells become clogged within the pores of our skin, leading to white heads, blackheads, etc. Cucumber is a natural astringent, meaning that it can help clean the skin, tighten pores, and remove excess oil from the skin – which are all precursors to acne.
Plus, because cucumber is such a great hydrator, it will help regulate oil production. The more hydrated your skin is, the less it will have to compensate with oil production. Thus, less acne.
Does Cucumber HAVE to Be Frozen?
So, what’s the deal with freezing the cucumber instead of just a refrigerated one or even a room-temperature cucumber?
Frozen or cool skincare products/tools, whether it’s the uber-trendy ice face roller from Euphoria or cucumber you pulled from your freezer, have been found to help soothe the skin, tighten pores, increase circulation, reduce swelling and puffiness, and can help give your skin a more rejuvenated look and feel.
So, while the cucumber doesn’t technically have to be frozen to use as a part of your skincare routine, the benefits of it being frozen are so good why wouldn’t you want to try it?
After like, the fifth video of someone using this hack came across my FYP, I knew I had to try it. So, I headed down to my grocery store and got my $1.49 cucumber. Before adding it to the freezer, I chopped off an end of the cucumber and cleaned it thoroughly.
After about an hour, my cucumber felt ready to go, so I washed and patted my face dry like I normally do and before adding any other ingredients, I went to town. There was really no pattern to how I applied the cucumber – I sort of just followed how I would use my face roller.
I will say that normally the temperature would bother me (if my face roller and gua sha stones are too cold it makes me slightly uncomfortable), but in this case, the cucumber felt so nice! I’m not sure if I should attribute this to it finally being warm in Pittsburgh and the cucumber offering some relief, or if the texture of a cold vegetable compared to a cold stone was just something that my body was more accepting of. Regardless, it did feel relaxing!
Afterward, my skin did have a slightly “glowier” look to it and felt much more hydrated and firm.
Will I try this again? Sure! I still have a whole cucumber in my freezer that needs to be used, and I did see a slight difference in the appearance of my skin.
Do I think that this is a life-changing hack comparable to getting cosmetic injections or a laser treatment? No, but if your skin is not at the level where medical intervention or a dermatologist is necessary, then there’s really no harm.
After trying out the frozen cucumber hack, I totally see the hype. It feels great and cucumber does actually contain a ton of benefits for skin health and appearance.
What I’m not totally sold on is that doing this alone will give you the best skin you’ve ever had. But if you’re someone who experiences puffiness or the occasional breakout, a cucumber from the freezer might just give your skin the boost it needs!