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While cucumbers might not do much for your taste buds, they can do a lot for your skin. When cleaned, dried and cold-pressed, the tiny seeds yield an oil that may be an ingredient in your soaps, facial masks, body and massage oils, creams, lotions and serums. You can skip adding cucumbers to your next salad, but look for products containing the oil to benefit from moisturizing essential fatty acids.
Cucumber oil is 14 to 20 percent oleic acid and 60 to 68 percent omega 3 linoleic acid. It also contains 9 to 13 percent palmitic acid and 6 to 9 percent stearic acid. While acids may not sound like something you’d want to put on your face, these compounds are fatty acids, which absorb quickly and are highly moisturizing.
Cucumber oil contains tocopherols and tocotrienols which belong to the vitamin E family. Cucumber oil is also contains a significant amount of phytosterols, plant compounds that have antioxidant capabilities. Antioxidants are your skin’s friend as they help fight the free radicals that cause disease and aging. The phytosterols in cucumber oil can keep dryness and wrinkles away by helping restore natural moisture and improving elasticity. Phytosterols can also help create skin cells – giving you a fresh complexion.
The fatty acids in cucumber oil make it useful for treating chronic dry skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. It can also soothe the pain and potentially ease the damage caused by sunburn. Cucumber smooths the skin, helping reduce the appearance of unsightly stretch marks and acne scars.
You can purchase cucumber oil in specialty stores and online, but you mostly find it as one of many ingredients in skin products. Don’t try to cold press your own – it will take a few thousand fruits and a lot of muscle. Cucumber oil does impart a slight, fresh aroma.