What Is Cucumber?

Cucumis sativus belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, which also includes pumpkin, zucchini, watermelon, and squash. Cucumbers are technically fruits since they are the component of flowering plants that hold the seeds and are the way by which such seeds are disseminated. The plant is grown extensively in India and China, as well as in Europe and the United States.

How Cucumber Works?

The majority of cucumber varieties are made of 95% water. Despite its high water content, cucumber fruit provides a broad range of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, phytosterols, phenolic acids, fatty acids, and cucurbitacins. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), beta carotene, polysaccharides, and vitamin K are the main constituents that have skin benefits.

What Cucumber Does To The Skin?

  • Antioxidant Properties: The cucumber’s ascorbic acid showed substantial free radical scavenging activity. Antioxidants protect the body from the oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are harmful because they are extremely reactive and can attempt to become more stable by ripping electrons from all surrounding molecules in order to become more stable. This is troublesome since free radicals can react with critical cellular structures such as DNA, proteins, carbohydrates, and the cell membrane. The harm caused by free radicals to cells is referred to as oxidative stress. Thus, when utilising antioxidant-rich additives, such as cucumber fruit extract, the skin would be better preserved from free radicals.
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties: When added to the skin, cucumber fruit extract has anti-inflammatory properties. Tests show that cucumber extract helps suppress excessive inflammation, in part by inhibiting the action of pro-inflammatory enzymes (including cyclooxygenase 2, or COX-2). Ingredients that suppress inflammation will soothe any skin redness and pain, and can aid in the prevention of ageing signs.
  • Hydrating Properties: Cucumber fruit extract efficiently hydrates and conditions the skin due to its high polysaccharide content. A polysaccharide is a carbohydrate made up of a variety of sugar molecules that are bonded together. Polysaccharides are excellent water binders. Following topical application, they form a gel-like coating on the skin that serves as a shield to attract and retain moisture. You've also heard about the idea of rubbing slightly chilled cucumber slices over the eyes to help relieve puffiness. This is not because cucumber has de-puffing properties, but because the coolness of the slices constricts the skin and reduces puffiness.

Reference Sources

  • Cosmetic Ingredient Review, “Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) -Derived Ingredients as Used in Cosmetics”, 2012.
  • "Cucumbers and gherkins". Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2017.