According to Wikipedia, Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. It is a creeping vine that bears cucumiform fruits that are used as vegetables. There are three main varieties of cucumber: slicing, pickling, and seedless. Within these varieties, several cultivars have been created. In North America, the term “wild cucumber” refers to plants in the genera Echinocystis and Marah, but these are not closely related. The cucumber is originally from South Asia, but now grows on most continents. Most of us use slices of cool cucumbers usually in our salads and appetisers. The beneficial nutrients cucumbers come with like Vitamin K, C and manganese and beta-carotene are useful for ensuring healthy hair and skin as well. It acts as a key ingredient for a long-lasting beauty regime.
The flesh of the cucumber is mostly water, but also contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling. These acids prevent water retention, which may explain why cucumbers applied topically are often helpful for swollen eyes, burns and dermatitis. Cucumbers are a great treat for the skin. They have the same pH as the skin so they help restore the protective acid mantle; they also possess hydrating, nourishing and astringent properties.
The skin of a cucumber is rich in fibre and contains a variety of beneficial minerals including silica, potassium and magnesium. The silica in cucumber is an essential component of healthy connective tissue, which includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone. Cucumber juice is often recommended as a source of silica to improve the complexion and health of the skin, plus cucumber’s high water content makes it naturally hydrating—a must for glowing skin.
Cucumber and Yogurt
Cucumber as a single ingredient resolves many skin problems and ensures healthy, younger-looking skin. Cucumber can be used as a natural toner and astringent too, due to its cooling properties. It is an easy way to get rid of oiliness or sebum on skin and leaves you with a glow. Its juice is ideal to be used as a cleanser to relive blemishes and acne. Due to its 95% water content, the cucumber and yogurt method will leave the skin glowing and well-moisturised.
- Cut a small cucumber into pieces and blend to make a paste.
- Stir in 3 teaspoons of yogurt then apply to the affected skin.
- Allow to dry and absorb for 30 – 45 minutes.
- Rinse off with clean lukewarm water and pat the skin dry.
- For additional rejuvenation, spray cool water or an ice cube on your face.
Cucumber Face Mask for anti-aging
Cucumber is extremely beneficial for firming up the skin and tightening it. Early use of cucumber reduces and rather reverses signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles and dull skin. This is due to the presence of manganese and potassium.
- Blend cucumber pulp in a blender with some fresh mint leaves.
- Separate egg white from an egg and beat thoroughly before adding to the juice.
- Apply this on the face and neck and leave for 15 minutes.
- Wash with water and pat the skin dry.
- Repeat the same process regularly.
- Note: You can use milk, honey or rosewater instead of egg white.
Cucumber skin hydration and diet recipe
Cucumber is the perfect way to help hydrate dull skin due to its water content and can easily substitute any moisturiser cream. Cucumber acts well also when mixed with a complementing ingredient. Curd could be used for a soothing and hydrating face pack.
- Peel, chop and blend a cucumber.
- Drink the juice everyday on an empty stomach as first thing in the morning.
- Or Soak cucumber in water for an hour and then drink the infused water.
- Adding salt to juice as it acts as an astringent.
- Note: You can add a little neem juice or turmeric powder.
- Or Use fresh cucumbers to make salads.
- Add cucumber slices to sandwiches, burgers and rolls.
- Or just consume slices throughout the day.
- Regular intake of cucumber can give multiple benefits.