We could probably write a thesis on how great cucumber is for – well, everything. You can juice it and spritz in some lemon and gulp it down on hot, summer days, you can chop it up for a refreshing salad or ferment it for pickles in your burger – and of course, you can mash it up and rub it all over your face.
Cucumber is no new ground-breaking ingredient in DIY home remedies and skincare – if anything, when we think spa, we think pale green face masks and cucumber slices resting on our eyes. But it helps to know just why this superbly hydrating green is so great – and how to give it an extra boost of goodness to tailor it down to your needs. It’s a known cooling agent, helping soothe irritated or damaged skin, and reducing puffiness and redness, but cucumber also has brightening and whitening properties – use over time can leave you with glowing, blemish-faded skin moisturised and smooth from the brilliant reparative properties this ingredient has. Packed with antioxidants and vitamins, this is a multitasking, multitalented component we absolutely love incorporating into our skincare.
Best of all? It’s super inexpensive and easy to get hold of and use in a variety of face masks addressing different skin concerns.
Cucumber slice mask
Okay, so we’ve touted the goodness of cucumbers a lot already, so you might be asking what we possibly might need to add to make it better. The answer is – you don’t have to. Not necessarily. Cucumbers are just that hydrating and naturally good for you – like fresh aloe vera or a cool green tea bag or most other amazing natural skincare goodies, you can use it on its own, fresh and raw, as a super soothing, moisturising and refreshing mask, especially after a hot day out in the sun.
Cucumber & yogurt
Cucumber is really, refreshingly cooling, and add to that the soothing creaminess of yogurt, and you get the ultimate face mask to try out on a burning summer day when you want to do nothing but lie back and chill – as well as pamper your skin a bit. Yogurt does a great job exfoliating, moisturising, and brightening up your skin and evening out skin-tones, as well as tackling any dirt and impurities lodged into your pores, and coupled with cucumber, can leave your face glowing and fresh. This mask is great for oily, dull or irritated, acne-prone skin.
Cucumber & honey
Raw or pure honey – sans any industrial ingredients or artificial additives, so make sure you’re getting an organic brand – is an amazing natural moisturiser, is full of antioxidants to help fight off the effects of aging in your skin, and is also a natural antibacterial agent, so it’ll tackle any impurities in your pores and help you combat acne. Combined with cucumber, it’s a luxurious little treat to give yourself some stay-at-home pampering. The video tutorial linked here suggests adding olive oil for an extra moisturising boost, or you can opt to include some granulated brown sugar for some exfoliating action, but this is optional. We recommend anyone with a tendency to have dry skin troubles to give this one a shot.
Cucumber & milk
Milk is a natural conditioner for the skin, with amazing anti-aging benefits, like boosting collagen production to improve elasticity, filling in fine lines and wrinkles, tightening up pores and battling against impurities and free radicals. You’ll notice visible results after using this mask, with moisturised, brighter, glowing skin.
Cucumber & Lemon Juice
Anything that has a ton of Vitamin C in it we’re instantly crazy for, so it only makes sense that we’d want to add in some lemon or lime juice to our favourite cucumber masks. As natural astringents and antioxidants, you have all the goodness of cucumber with the addition lightening, brightening, skin-tightening and anti-bacterial benefits of lemon juice as well, a great mask if you’re looking to combat dull and/or congested skin. Be mindful of how much lemon/lime juice you use though – citric acid might be a bit hardcore for your skin to handle sometimes.