Putting cucumbers over your eyes to treat dark circles and puffy skin is probably one of the best-known beauty remedies. There are plenty of people who swear by this remedy, and the evidence for using cucumbers on eyes is more than anecdotal.

There is some science that supports this treatment as a natural and gentle way to make your skin look and feel better. The key is in the unique hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties of the cucumber. Keep reading to find out what you should know about using cucumbers on your eyes.

What the science says

Studies have shown that the juice of the cucumber can reduce swelling, soothe damaged skin, and stimulate antioxidant activity.

The cooling effect of the cucumber juice can also help give skin a refreshed look and feel. Cucumbers are rich in vitamin C and folic acid. Vitamin C can “wake skin up” and stimulate new cell growth, while folic acid stimulates antioxidants that help your skin fight off environmental toxins that can make eyes appear puffy or tired.

Since cucumber has such a high water content, it can also moisturize the area under the eyes when it’s used as a treatment. One clinical trial indicated that cucumber juice would be an effective ingredient in products used to prevent wrinkles because it helps restore skin’s natural elasticity.

Much of this evidence is based on what we know about the contents of cucumber, and the fact that people have been relying on it for centuries as a way to heal and hydrate the skin underneath the eyes. We don’t currently have clinical trials that measure the way cucumber slices can help the skin around your eyes. There are multiple causes of under-eye inflammation and circles, and it’s possible that some people will respond better to this treatment than others.

How to use it

To use cucumbers as a beauty remedy, make sure to have chilled cucumbers on hand in the refrigerator. Start with clean, dry skin and prep an area of your home where you can lay down undisturbed for at least 15 minutes.

Cut off one end of the cucumber and discard. Then cut two slices off the cucumber, about half an inch thick. It’s important not to slice the cucumber too thin. You may want to peel the cucumber skin off, as it could contain pesticides that you don’t want near your eyes.

Set a timer nearby for 15 minutes or so. In a reclining position, place one cucumber slice over each eye and relax while the cucumber’s natural acids soak into your skin. If one side of the cucumber becomes warm against your face, flip it over and enjoy the cooling sensation all over again.

You can perform this remedy as much as you’d like, as many times as you’d like to try it. But if you don’t see any results from this remedy, you may want to consider speaking to your doctor about dark circles or excessive puffiness under your eyes. While rare, these symptoms could be an indicator of another health condition that should be diagnosed and treated.

You can also find products that use cucumber extracts to treat puffy eyes and dark circles. These products are fairly easy to find and available in most drug stores. Keep in mind that using a real cucumber is probably the most natural and simple way to get the benefits of cucumber for your eyes.