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Aging is a natural phenomenon that primarily manifests as visible skin changes such as wrinkles, fine lines, dryness, thinning, and sagging of the skin. You lose bone, fat, and collagen in the skin. As a result, the youthfulness of the face diminishes with time.
With age, your skin becomes delicate and prone to injury, and the blood vessels turn fragile. As a consequence, the skin tears on rubbing or pulling.
Furthermore, the repairing process slows down. Skin healing may also be affected because of lowered immunity, blood vessel changes, diabetes, smoking, and other environmental and lifestyle factors.
Various factors influence the process and rate of skin aging. Some of these, such as genes, cannot be controlled. However, you can manage some of the factors.
Aging caused by genetic factors is medically known as intrinsic aging. (1)
Extrinsic aging factors, such as your environment and lifestyle choices, can cause premature aging of the skin. This process may be delayed with some preventive measures. (1)
Staying under the sunlight for long, accelerates the aging process and may result in dryness, age spots, wrinkles, or even cancer. Therefore, taking steps to protect your skin can help rejuvenate it.
A cucumber mask is a good option for your aging skin due to its nourishing and moisturizing properties. It has astringent and soothing agents that provide relief from acne and sunburn.
Benefits of Cucumber for Skin
Cucumber, or Cucumis sativus, has high water content and is low in calories. It helps in detoxifying and cleansing the body by removing accumulated waste and chemical toxins.
Fresh juice made out of cucumber acts as an excellent skin nourishing agent. It provides relief from irritation and inflammation, giving a soothing effect. The vegetable may also be used to alleviate the symptoms of sunburn. (2)
Cucumbers are packed with phytonutrients, such as flavonoids, triterpenes, and lignans, that are beneficial for health. They are rich in vitamin K, molybdenum, and pantothenic acid. Additionally, cucumbers contain potassium, vitamins C and B1, copper, manganese, biotin, magnesium, and phosphorus. (3)
Cucumbers also help condition the skin by strengthening the connective tissues leading to improved elasticity and rejuvenating it. (4)
The silica found in cucumbers plays a vital role in the strength and development of connective tissues, such as tendons, bones, muscles, cartilage, and ligaments. The high water content of cucumbers makes them an excellent moisturizing agent. (7)
Other Components of the Antiaging Masks
Adding the following ingredients to the cucumber face mask may help enhance its benefits:
- Aloe vera: This natural product has gained popularity in cosmetology practices. It is known to prevent skin damage caused by radiation. Aloe vera helps inhibit and fade wrinkles by stimulating fibroblast cells to produce collagen and elastin fibers that are responsible for skin elasticity. (8)Aloe vera has cohesive effects on loose epidermal cells, therefore preventing skin flaking, and thus, softening the skin. (8)
- Banana: Both the peel and pulp of bananas are rich in phenolics, carotenoids, and amine compounds, making them good sources of natural antioxidants and pro-vitamin A. (9)
- Tea tree oil: This oil is generally used for improving skin health and fighting skin infections such as onychomycosis, acne, and lice. It can also be topically used as a local antiseptic on abrasions and cuts. (10)Tea tree oil can help treat dandruff in the hair and reduce hirsutism in women. Rinsing your mouth with formulations containing tea tree oil can also help prevent dental plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath. (12)
- Rose water: The Rosa plant exhibits multiple health benefits, including anti-microbiological and antioxidant effects. Rose water helps freshen up the skin while giving out a soothing aroma. Adding rose water to the face mask gives it sufficient fluidity, making it easier to apply. (11)
Possible Allergic or Irritant Reactions
Refrain from using the mask if you are allergic to any of its components. You may test how your skin reacts to the mask by conducting a patch test on your arm.
Look out for these possible reactions:
- Cucumber: Generally, cucumbers are safe for use, rarely producing an allergic reaction. However, you may experience a reaction if you are allergic to ragweed or have other food allergies.The immune system can also react against any protein in cucumber that might be similar to the triggers of gourd family allergies.
- Banana: The topical application of banana can cause contact urticaria in people sensitive to it.
- Tea tree oil: While the topical application of tea tree oil is likely to be safe, it may cause swelling and irritation in some cases. Individuals with acne problems should use it with caution as it may lead to itching, burning, skin dryness, stinging, and redness.
Note: These masks are to be made at home using all-natural products. It is essential to take precautionary measures while mixing the ingredients and to perform a patch test before a full-scale application to the face. Avoid using the masks if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
DIY Cucumber Face Mask
This cucumber face mask made by adding aloe vera gel, tree tea oil, and rose water may have antiaging effects and should be given a try.
- Half a cucumber
- 2 tbsp fresh aloe vera gel
- ½ tsp pure rose water
- ½ tsp diluted tea tree oil
How to Make
- Peel half of a cucumber and cut it into small pieces.
- Put the chopped cucumber in a blender pot.
- Add aloe vera gel, rose water, and tea tree oil to the pot.
- Blend the ingredients for a couple of minutes.
How to Use
- Wash and pat your face and neck dry.
- Apply a layer of the mask to your face and neck.
- Leave it on for about 20 minutes.
- Rinse off the mask.
- Splash cold water on your face.
- Pat your skin dry and apply a moisturizer that suits your skin.
Use this mask once or twice a week.
Note: The astringency of this face mask may render it unsuitable for those with sensitive skin.
Homemade Cucumber and Banana Face Mask
Cucumber is loaded with anti-aging properties. Using it in combination with sweet almond oil and banana boosts the reversal of fine lines. This mask will not only prevent premature aging but will also help repair damaged skin.
- 1 tbsp blended cucumber
- 1 tsp sweet almond oil
- 2-3 tsp mashed banana
How to Make
- Peel and mash the banana into a fine pulp.
- Combine 2-3 tsp of the pulp and the cucumber puree.
- Add the almond oil and mix well.
How to Use
- Scrub and clean your face.
- Apply a layer of the mask to your face.
- Leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
- Wash off the mask with tepid water.
- Apply face cream on slightly wet skin.
Use this mask once a week.
How to Make Cucumber Cold Compress
Using a cucumber cold compress is an efficient way to soothe your skin by relieving it of any inflammation and tiredness after a long day. This topical therapy is popularly used for relaxing the eye muscles.
How to Use
- Cut out two slices from one end of a cucumber, around 0.25-0.5 inch in thickness.
- Put them on a clean plate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Alternatively, you may place them in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Lie down on your back, and place the cucumber slices on your face for around 15 minutes.
- Discard the slices after use.
You can use this cold compress daily for smooth and youthful skin.
Note: If your skin does not improve or it worsens after 2-3 weeks, seek help from a dermatologist.
Skin changes are the most notable signs of the aging process. Using a cucumber face mask can help clean, refresh, and rejuvenate your skin. It is also a way to relax the body and mind, provided you lie down after applying the mask and let it produce its results.