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Why is cucumber homemade skin care so soothing? Because of the array of nutrients and phytochemicals found in this natural food. Cucumber flesh is an excellent source of hydration, necessary for a glowing complexion. It also supplies both ascorbic and caffeic acid. These compounds prevent swelling and are highly useful for the areas around the eyes.
Cucumber skin is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, E, magnesium, and potassium. Vitamin E is particularly beneficial, promoting healing, good blood circulation, and fortified capillary walls. The hard skin also contains silica, which is sometimes known as the beauty nutrient. This essential mineral strengthens the body's connective tissue, benefiting not only the skin, but also the hair, nails, and bones. Silica may be why cucumbers are used to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, as well as improve complexion.
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Sliced cucumbers are excellent for the area around the eyes. This skin in this region is extremely delicate and thin, making it susceptible to age lines and swelling. Treat puffiness, dark circles, tired, brittle, and inflamed skin. Slice cucumbers thinly enough so they are more flexible than rigid. This allows the vegetable to come into contact with more of the skin, rather than simply resting on the bone structure. Rest for ten to twenty minutes, allowing the cooling water and phytochemicals to seep into the skin, hydrating cells and bringing relief. Try this three or four times a week, with noticeable results in about two weeks.
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Skin Care Recipes
Fresh cucumber can also be used to make homemade skin care products. The combination of silica, vitamin E, and water will smooth the complexion, reduce wrinkles and blotchiness, and provide moisture to help the skin glow. Cucumber is also useful for oily skin, acting as a mild astringent. Be sure to use the skin of the cucumber as that is where most of the nutrients are found.
For a cucumber facial cleanser:
- half a cucumber
- one half cup milk
Throw the cucumber in the blender and blend until a juice. Add milk and blend just enough for a gentle froth. The milk acts to sooth skin and refine pores, while providing nourishing lactic acid. Cleanse skin, and then rinse well with warm water. This mixture can be stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for three or four days.
For a cucumber moisturizing cream:
- a three inch slice of cucumber
- one egg white
- about two teaspoons honey
- two tablespoons olive oil
Blend all ingredients well in a blender. Apply to skin after cleansing, rubbing in a circular motion, focusing on areas with fine lines and blotches. Gently wipe off with a warm, wet wash cloth. The egg white is good for oily skin; honey acts as an astringent, tightening pores and reducing wrinkles, it is also good for acne (use a natural, organic honey for best results); the olive oil acts as a deep moisturizer.
Cucumbers work well with all skin types, from oily to mature skin. Drinking cucumber juice on a regular basis will also greatly improve skin by providing the same valuable nutrients and hydration, but also supporting the liver in cleansing. Try a cucumber homemade skin care treatment and find out how good it feels to use natural, nourishing ingredients on the skin.
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Green with Cucumbers
There are more advantages to making skin care products with cucumbers than simply beautiful skin. This is a way to make your living environment more natural, organic, and environmentally friendly. By mixing natural ingredients at home, you are eliminating the packaging, the manufacturing process, the transportation, and of course all the preservatives, dyes, and other ingredients found in skin care products that are not biodegradable. Imagine the long term benefits of only introducing the residues of cucumber juice and honey into the water and earth as opposed to processed ingredients, which are found in most commercial skin care products. Also, the cost of making homemade skin cleansers and creams is much less than purchasing commercial ones. Enjoy the true, natural clean, knowing that this small step that benefits you, benefits everyone.
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Page, Linda. "Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition" (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
"Homemade Facials." (Imam's Daughter) <umibrahim.tripod.com/id26.html>
"Health Benefits of Cucumbers." (World's Healthiest Foods) <whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=42#healthbenefits>
photo credit: Darek Gavey (CC/flickr) <flickr.com/photos/derekgavey/4245269567/>