Cool as Cucumber – natural summer skincare 26th July 2017 – Posted in: Skincare – Tags:

The old adage ‘as cool as a cucumber’ makes perfect sense when it comes to skincare. I grow both large ‘ridge’ and mini cucumbers in the Rather Lovely garden, the former as sprawlers and the latter as climbers which you can see pictured left with the herb pink clary sage and a beef variety tomato plant.

Primarily I grow them as edibles as personally I just can’t get enough. Cucumbers have a way of making the simplest things better, like a cold glass of water, a cheese salad or a sushi roll. They are the perfect hydrator, high in fibre which helps to naturally detoxify the body, and packed full of anti-inflammatory substances that support the skin, and help reduce pain and the risk of cancer and heart disease.

But you can have too much of a good thing and home grown fruit and veg does have a habit of producing gluts when the conditions are right. This season has been great for cucumbers (unlike last year when my harvest was pretty meagre) and before I turn to fermentation as a way of preserving the surplus for the winter I will have a bit of a skin-fest so I can use up as many of the fresh fruits as possible.

Cucumbers contain vitamin C and caffeic acid, two antioxidants that, when applied to skin, help fend off wrinkles, reduce irritation and inflammation and protect against sun damage. Half a medium sized cucumber roughly pureed with 2 tablespoons of yoghurt makes a perfect, natural skin mask. Include the peel as it contains silica that helps to firm up sagging skin. Yogurt is an exfoliating agent which works to remove dirt and dead skin cells and when combined with cucumber, which has cleansing properties, it produces a hydrating, soothing blend for all skin types. Whip the 2 ingredients together, apply to the face and leave for 15 minutes before removing with warm water, rosewater for dry, sensitive or mature skin (Rather Lovely Love Floral Organic Skin Tonic) or witch hazel (Rather Lovely Love Trees Organic Skin Tonic) for blemished or greasy skin.

Whilst everyone can benefit from a face mask from time to time don’t forget cucumber if you are looking for a natural way to deal with sore, puffy eyes or sunburn. Slices of cucumber when applied to the face or eye sockets act as little ice packs and the flavonoids and antioxidants they contain help shrink dilated blood vessels and decrease swelling, redness and irritation. Cover affected areas, lie back and relax for 15 minutes then remove and pat the skin dry before applying a light moisturiser such as Rather Lovely Love Purity Organic Facial Serum or Love Purity Body Lotion if you prefer a cream to an oil.