Cucumbers are not only a healthy addition to your diet, but they also have a string of surprising uses around the home and garden, and you can learn more about those here. This great vegetable has one other skill that needs sharing though because it is also extremely beneficial for your skin and hair - especially when used alongside some other basic ingredients you can find in your kitchen.
This list runs through 10 great skin and hair care remedies you can easily make at home using a humble cucumber. And yes, they are entirely appropriate for both sexes, so there is no excuse for the men out there not to look after their skin too!
1. Cucumber Eye Brightener
We might as well start off with the most obvious use of cucumbers for skin care. We have all seen people put slices of cucumber over their eyes, but it's no pointless practice. The phytochemicals in cucumbers help collagen tighten and reduces puffiness, while cucumbers also encourage a subtle, skin lightening effect to reduce dark circles.
For best results, apply the cucumber when its cold (so straight from the refrigerator) and cut thick slices, and place them over your closed eyes for 10 - 15 minutes. As it's a completely natural process and chemical free, you can repeat the process as often as you like!
2. A Cucumber Skin Toner
Many people ignore toners as part of their skincare regime, but toning can have major benefits for your skin. Toners help soothe and tighten the skin and close open pores so that dirt and grime cannot enter. This cucumber-based toner is great at calming and tightening your skin, especially as you get older. Simply use:
• ½ a chopped cucumber, with the skin
• 3 tablespoons of witch hazel
• 2 tablespoons of distilled water
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture through a sieve to remove any remaining solids and then transfer the toner to a clean container with an air-tight lid. The mixture will last for several weeks, and you can apply it to your skin daily using cotton balls or pads.
3. Oily Skin Remedy
If you suffer from oily skin, you may well find yourself prone to blemishes and spots. This mixture uses a few natural ingredients to create an oil-eliminating mask. You will need:
• Equal parts turmeric and cucumber juice
• A couple of squeezes of lemon
Mix the ingredients together and then apply directly to the face. Leave for 15 minutes before rinsing off. Repeat as regularly as necessary.
4. A Cucumber Rejuvenator
Cucumber is fantastic at rejuvenating tired skin and improving a damaged complexion. In many ways, this is the very best use of cucumber as a skin care product. This mixture could not be simpler. You will need:
• The juice of one whole cucumber (blended or processed)
• A few drops of lemon juice
Apply the mixture directly to your face and try to leave it there for a good amount of time before washing off. You should find that you have a smoother complexion and added glow. Repeat regularly for best results.
5. Refreshing Cucumber Skin Tonic
Cucumbers contain numerous properties that can help give your skin a lift when it is feeling lifeless, or increasingly damaged by the rigors of the modern day world. This remedy provides an instant tonic for your skin:
• Chop one cucumber and puree it in a blender with 4 tablespoons of mint
• Strain and sieve out the juice, and place it in a clean, sealed container
• Apply to the skin as soon as the mixture is cool
• The remedy will stay fresh for up to 24 hours
6. Cucumber Cellulite Fighting Scrub
Cucumber mixed with a natural, mild abrasive and a gentler, soothing product can help strengthen areas of skin prone to cellulite build-up. That's why this recipe works so well:
• Juice a whole cucumber and strain away most of the remaining solids
• Mix with coffee granules and honey to create the scrub
• Scrub cellulite prone areas thoroughly, rinse off after use and moisturize
7. Cooling Summer Bath Oil
During warmer months, you might not fancy a piping hot, steamy bath. But your skin will definitely need to be revitalized after spending so much time in the heat of the sun. This mixture is just what the doctor ordered:
• Fill a bath with warm water (not too hot)
• Add 2 cucumber (sliced), 5 sprigs of peppermint and 2 cups of Epsom Salt
• Get in, soak and relax
• As an added bonus, aromas released by the mint and cucumber will also help you de-stress after a hard day
8. Cucumber Hair Conditioner
If you enjoy swimming, you will be aware of the damaging effects that chlorine can have on your hair over time. You should also know that cucumber has widely accepted powers that work wonders to re-condition damaged hair. You will need:
• ¼ cucumber (peeled)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 egg
Don't juice the cucumber this time, pop it in the blender with the egg and olive oil and give it a blast until it turns into a thin paste. Spread the resulting mixture evenly and smoothly throughout the damaged hair and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly before drying. If you are a regular swimmer, repeat this treatment at least once a month.
9. Cucumber-Avocado Moisturizing Face Mask
There are good reasons why both cucumbers and avocados are used in a variety of skin care products. This face mask allows you to harness the power of both ingredients for fantastic results! You will need:
• ½ cup chopped cucumber
• ½ cup chopped avocado
• 1 egg white
• 2 teaspoons of powdered milk
Whizz all the ingredients through a blender until they take on the consistency of a smooth paste. You can apply the mask immediately but may achieve better results if you put it in the fridge for half an hour before using. Massage the mixture on to your face using smooth circular motions. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes, until it dries, and then rinse off.
10. Cucumber Treatment for Combination Skin
Cucumber combined with plain yogurt provides a great solution for people who have separate patches of dry and oily skin on different parts of their face. It's really easy too, just take:
• ½ cucumber
• 1 tablespoon of plain natural yogurt
Puree the cucumber in a blender and then mix in the yogurt. Massage onto the face and neck, and leave the mixture on for 20 minutes while relaxing. Rinse off with warm water, before splashing yourself with cold water. Your skin will feel smooth and replenished.
Try out some of these great remedies and see what a difference they make. Aren't cucumbers fantastic?