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Cucumber Seed Oil in Skincare

Whether you are looking for a skin-beautifying oil that will nourish, hydrate and moisturise your skin or just looking for inspiration, look no further. Cucumber Seed Oil is a perfect pick. 

Light with a fast absorption rate, cucumber oil is a nourishing emollient abundant in Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids, vitamin E, and various phytochemicals that work in harmony to moisturise the skin, improve its elasticity, tone and texture, manage acne, relieve dry skin and even sunburn.

Cucumber seed oil is used in a variety of skincare products for its multitude of benefits. Perhaps the best-known use is in skincare products such as facial cleansers, masks, body oils, and cooling lotions. So without further ado, let’s delve deeper into this fantastic oil!

What is Cucumber Seed Oil?

Cucumber seed oil is a pale yellow lightweight emollient with a pleasant mild fragrance. Derived from the seed of Cucumber Sativus, it is abundant in Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids, vitamin E, and various phytochemicals making it an excellent emollient and moisturiser with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action. 

Native to India, cucumber or Cucumis Sativus is a wildly grown vine plant in the Cucurbitaceae family related to the zucchini, squash, and pumpkins that bursts with vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C and K in addition to minerals like calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium (1). It has been long used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat inflammation, excessive thirst, headaches, pain, strengthen nails and support digestive health. 

The seed oil has gained popularity in skincare due to its hydrating, moisturising (2) and anti-inflammatory effect. If you need to soothe sunburn inflammation, reduce dryness, fine lines or wrinkles, cucumber seed oil can certainly help. 

“Did you know cucumbers consist primarily of water? 96%, to be precise“.

QUICK FACTS

INCI: Cucumis Sativus Seed Oil
Common names: Cucumber Oil, Cucumber Seed Oil
Common extraction method: The cucumber oil is extracted from the seed using the cold-pressed method, a mechanical method that helps the oil retain its nutrients and beneficial plant compounds that could otherwise break down under high heat. 
Appearance: Pale yellow.
Fragrance: Light fragrance, reminiscent of cucumber.
Absorption rate: Light oil that absorbs readily into the skin.
Recommended usage: You can use up to 100%.
Substitute: Light oils with a similar composition of fatty acids such as acai oil.
Suppliers: Acai oil from Rainforest Chica is sourced sustainably from local communities and of fantastic quality.
Uses: To mention just a few, it works great in face masks, facial cleansers, facial oils, moisturising creams, and lotions.
Storage: Store in a cool, dark, dry container, away from the sunlight. The oil should last for up to 24 months.

Let’s take a closer look at the oil’s composition and its numerous bioactive compounds.

Fatty acids are essential components of the skin and play a vital role in the function and integrity of the skin. They protect the skin’s barrier from external threats and keep it moisturised. Linoleic, oleic and palmitic fatty acids are the main lipids present in cucumber oil. 

  • Linoleic fatty acid Omega 6 (60%-68%) is a natural component of the skin’s lipid barrier that smoothes and softens the skin through improved hydration, promotes gentle exfoliation, reduce inflammation, help with acne breakouts and even suppress melanin production.
  • Oleic fatty acid Omega-9 (14%-20%) is a monounsaturated fatty acid with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing actions. Thicker than linoleic acid, oleic fatty acid nourishes, repairs, and replenishes the lipid skin barrier – protecting it against toxins, irritants, and other environmental stressors. It helps treat dry skin, eczema and psoriasis. 
  • Palmitic fatty acid (9%-13%) is a natural emollient that locks in moisture by creating a protective film on the skin.

Bioactive compounds: Cucumber oil is naturally abundant in vitamin E, saponins, terpenoids, phytosterols and flavonoids (3), making it an excellent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. Its high content of unsaponifiable matter makes it a winning natural emollient.

  • Tocopherols and tocotrienols, also known as vitamin E, are the moisturising agents of cucumber seed oil that protect the skin from dehydration and oxidative stress and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier.
  • Phytosterols are naturally occurring steroids found in plants and have been shown to aid recovery of skin barrier function, improve skin elasticity, decreased skin roughness and increase collagen production. Their UV protection makes them an ideal ingredient in anti-ageing skincare formulations, while their anti-inflammatory effect makes them a perfect ingredient for treating atopic eczema (4). 
  • Flavonoids are the pigments that give plants their colour and are known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and even anti-tumour activity (5). 

“Major phytochemical compounds identified in cucumber seed oil are saponins, terpenoids, phytosterols and flavonoids (3)”. 

Cucumber Seed Oil Skin Benefits

Cucumber Seed Oil Skin Benefits

Cucumber oil is an abundant source of linoleic acid, oleic acid and various bioactive compounds, which work in harmony to hydrate, moisturise and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier. It is a versatile emollient that:

Keep the skin moisturised

Dry skin can be uncomfortable to deal with. The cucumber seed oil is a natural emollient and moisturising agent that can help prevent dry skin by forming a thin layer, effectively preventing moisture loss and giving the skin a smooth, soft and plump look that we all desire.

Slows down the ageing process

UV radiation is a primary cause of photoaging. It damages fibroblasts in the skin resulting in collagen degradation, leading to increased wrinkles and sagging. Rich in vitamin E, the cucumber seed oil is an excellent anti-ageing agent that strengthens the skin’s protective barrier against bacteria and inflammation. Tocopherols and tocotrienols present in the cucumber oil are moisturising compounds that help protect the skin from UV radiation, environmental pollution and convert free radicals compounds that could cause skin wrinkles (3). 

May reduce skin discolouration, dark spots and acne scars

Excess exposure to the sun can be harmful to the skin. UVA and UVB rays can trigger excessive production of free radicals, which can lead to dark spots, sunburn and even wrinkles. Abundant in antioxidants and vitamin E, cucumber oil provides a natural solution for brown skin discolouration, dark spots and acne scars.

Relieve sunburn

The cucumber seed oil is a natural emollient rich in antioxidants that may help to reduce cell damage and reduce inflammation induced by UV radiation. In addition, fatty acids present in the cucumber seed oil may soothe and replenish the skin’s moisture barrier, making it a good choice for soothing sunburn. 

May help in managing acne

The anti-inflammatory activity of cucumber seed oil makes it a good alternative for acne-prone skin. It can soothe and calm the inflamed skin, reducing redness and inflammation. The linoleic acid help rebuild damaged barrier and repair damaged skin cells by promoting cell regeneration, thus making it a good choice for people experiencing acne.

May help in treating eczema and psoriasis skin

Inflammation plays a crucial role in eczema. It causes the skin to become itchy, red and scaly. The cucumber seed oil is rich in linoleic acid (omega-6) that moisturise the skin while strengthening its barrier function. Phytosterols in the oil also help combat inflammation and improve the skin’s texture and tone, making it a good pick for people with dry, rough and scaly skin.

Give your skin a healthy glow

The phytosterols have been shown to improve skin elasticity, hydration and promote skin cell turnover. The vitamin E present in the oil also plays a vital role in skin rejuvenation. Daily use of this oil may help reduce the signs of ageing while promoting cell regeneration, giving your skin a healthy glow. 

Who should use it?

Well-tolerated by all skin types, the cucumber seed oil is suitable for all skin types, especially those with ageing, acne-prone or oily skin. Thin and light, it absorbs quickly without leaving a visible residue on the skin. Based on its anti-inflammatory, hydrating and regenerative effect, it will benefit:

 mature, dry skin – phytosterols and linoleic acid present in the oil strengthen the skin’s barrier function and improve skin elasticity. At the same time, vitamin E helps to prevent free radical damage.

– oily skin – mildly astringent, cucumber oil can help draw out impurities and clear the pores making it suitable for people with oily skin.

– acne-prone skin – light, quickly absorbing with mildly astringent and anti-inflammatory action, cucumber oil will keep your skin barrier strong, moisturised and clear of inflammation.

3 Ways of Incorporating Cucumber Oil Into Your Skincare Regime

Our skin is a marvellous organ that does its best to maintain the delicate balance of oil and water. Constantly exposed to harmful environments, chemicals, and pollution, it’s vital to keep it moisturised to prevent wrinkling and signs of ageing. A great way to do this is by incorporating cucumber oil into your skincare routine.

Here are 3 ways of incorporating this cool oil into your skincare regime.

1. Make a cucumber face mask to soothe irritated skin.

Cucumber is well known for its cooling properties and antioxidants, so it is a great natural ingredient to help diminish inflammation and irritation. For a mask, blend 1-2 teaspoons of bentonite clay, a drop or two of cucumber oil, and a drop of tea tree oil until thick paste forms. You can apply the mask and leave it on for around 5-10 minutes before rinsing it off with tepid water. 

Cucumber oil works well as a natural moisturiser, while the anti-inflammatory action of tea tree oil will soothe irritation. Finally, bentonite clay draws impurities from the skin, making it a great agent for detoxification. 

2. Prepare a soothing DIY cucumber oil facial cleanser.

Facial cleansers are often harsh, stripping the skin of its natural oils and leaving it dry and irritated. To counter this, you can prepare your own facial cleanser using cucumber oil to get rid of any grime and make-up without stripping it dry. 

To prepare 50g of cucumber oil bi-phase facial cleanser, you will need:  

22g Cucumber hydrosol

2.5g Glycerin

24.25g Cucumber seed oil

0.5g Vitamin E

0.13g Tea Tree essential oil

0.13g Peppermint essential oil

0.5g    Preservative Eco

Mix cucumber hydrosol and glycerine in a glass beaker, add the preservative and set it aside. 

Mix cucumber oil, vitamin E and essential oils in another beaker. 

Check and adjust the pH if needed. 

You can now transfer both of the mixtures into a bottle with a spray top, don’t forget to label with name and date. 

As this is a bi-phase cleanser, you need to shake the bottle well before use to combine the ingredients. 

3. Prepare your DIY cucumber and lemongrass facial oil to soothe acne-prone skin.

Facial oils are beneficial for all skin types, especially when looking to keep your skin moisturised. The cooling cucumber oil will keep your skin moisturised while lemongrass (naturally astringent) help combat pimples, leaving your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

To prepare 50g of facial oil, combine 24.25g of jojoba oil, 25g cucumber oil in a beaker, and add 0.5g Vitamin E and 0.25g lemongrass essential oil until well combined. Transfer to airless bottle, label and date before use. 

For the best results, apply in the evening allowing the oils to seep in and work their magic. 

Summary

The cucumber seed oil has been used for centuries. The cooling properties and its gentle astringent action make it a popular beauty oil, especially in the summer. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are excellent for soothing aggravated skin, while its mild astringent action helps with cleansing the pores. Most importantly, it is suitable for all skin types, so you can use this versatile oil whenever you need it!

F&Q

What are good essential oils for acne? 

Are you trying to get rid of acne naturally? Adding essential oils such as tea tree, lavender or bergamot essential oil to your skin regimen might be a good option. They help unclog pores, reduce or even prevent breakouts, and reduce inflammation. Thyme, rosemary, cinnamon and rose essential oils are excellent for your skin as they can also help you in fighting bacteria that causes acne.

What emollients are suitable for acne-prone skin?

To keep acne at bay, you should opt for cleansing oils rich in omega-6 to help you eliminate impurities from your skin and clear blocked pores. Oils that work best for acne-prone skin include watermelon seed oil, passion fruit seed oil, and evening primrose oil. To learn more about natural emollients, click here

References:

  1. USDA database entry
  2. Assessment of viscoelasticity and hydration effect of herbal moisturisers using bioengineering techniques
  3. Phytochemical and Proximate Composition of Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus) Seed Oil
  4. Phytosterols are safe for use in cosmetics and skincare products.
  5. Flavonoids: an overview

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