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Frozen Cucumbers: The Latest Trend for TikTok Users

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  • Post last modified:September 26, 2023

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If you are continuously searching for simple, affordable ways to recreate a spa-like experience at home (without a costly spa-like price), you can rely on TikTok to present numerous concepts. For example, chances are you have come across videos of people massaging their faces with chilled cucumbers while browsing the app recently. It is a modern variation of the traditional practice of placing cucumber slices over the eyes during a spa treatment. TikTokers from around the world assert that this crunchy salad essential produces excellent results when frozen, including reducing swelling and dark circles, aiding in acne treatment, and minimizing signs of aging.

It appears that plenty of people are enamored with this trick, as videos with the hashtag #frozencucumber currently boast 37.5 million views on TikTok. The process involves freezing a cucumber (whether peeled, unpeeled, or sliced) and then directly massaging the water-rich vegetable onto the skin.

Beauty enthusiast Mireya Rios tried this trick and her initial video on the subject has received over nine million views. She has since incorporated this practice into her daily skincare routine, as evident from additional videos she has posted, where she highlights how the cucumber hydrates her skin while reducing puffiness and the appearance of imperfections. User @lisa.beautify also shared a video suggesting that followers use a frozen cucumber on their skin each day for a radiant complexion, which has gained a respectable three million views.

While it may seem like a dreamy self-care ritual, is the frozen cucumber hack safe? And if it is, does it actually work? Below, a skincare professional explains whether or not the produce section holds the key to healthier-looking skin.

What is the frozen cucumber skincare hack?

There is no singular method or defined set of guidelines for this TikTok beauty hack. Many users simply place a cucumber with at least one side slit open in the freezer. Once adequately chilled, they apply the exposed end directly onto clean, dry skin, similar to using an ice roller. Some individuals rub it in circular motions, while others make broad upward strokes for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, as shown in various videos on the app.

While most users choose this method, there are videos of individuals relaxing cucumber slices prior to applying them individually to their face like a facial mask. If you opt for sliced cucumbers, you can simply allow them to rest on your face while you enjoy a few moments of repose. This approach eliminates the need for massage.

Regardless of your chosen technique, placing frozen cucumber on your face will undeniably provide a cold sensation, but numerous users attest that it is refreshing. Just make sure not to reuse the same portion of the cucumber on your skin more than once. TikTokers suggest discarding the end slice after each use and gently wiping away any remaining cucumber residue from your face.

Does using a frozen cucumber for facial massage enhance your skin?

It appears that cucumbers are brimming with skin benefits; nevertheless, when utilized topically as many TikTokers recommend, these benefits may only be temporary, according to Michele Koo M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon and the founder of Dr. Koo Private Practice. “Cucumbers contain cucumulosic acid, which possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe redness, acne, and puffiness,” she explains. “They are composed of 90 percent water, which moisturizes and safeguards the skin; additionally, they contain minerals and vitamins that function as antioxidants.”

As for whether or not the frozen cucumber hack truly works, Dr. Koo elaborates on why it may not be the ultimate solution for skincare as some have claimed. “The anti-aging benefits would be minimal since the absorption of vitamins and antioxidants through the skin is likely limited,” she asserts. “However, the cooling and moisturizing effects can be highly effective in reducing swelling and redness.”

According to Dr. Koo, frozen cucumber may also aid in reducing inflammation caused by acne, and performing this hack daily may lead to diminished scarring from new blemishes. However, she mentions that its impact on existing acne scars would likely be “minimal.” Additionally, don’t expect this TikTok beauty trend to miraculously eliminate under-eye circles. “The cooling effect will certainly help with puffiness, but it will likely have little to no effect on dark circles in the short or long term,” she explains.

If you still want to give it a shot, Dr. Koo agrees with TikTokers who recommend applying chilled cucumber flesh directly onto the skin. “The key is to peel the cooled vegetable so that the flesh can come into direct contact with the skin, allowing it to benefit from the water, minerals, and vitamins,” she advises. “Although the absorption through the skin is limited, the moisture and coolness effectively act as anti-inflammatory agents.”

Is massaging a frozen cucumber on your face safe?

According to Dr. Koo, preventing freezer burn is crucial in this case. “I believe that using a cucumber that is chilled, not frozen, would be much safer and more effective in reducing puffiness and inflammation,” she explains. “Holding a frozen cucumber on the skin for more than a few seconds can actually cause skin burns, similar to frostbite, which can result in significant skin damage and irritation.” In fact, some TikTokers do mention experiencing mild discomfort due to the coldness.

To circumvent this obstacle, Dr. Koo proposes utilizing a undressed, chilled cucumber as opposed to a frozen one.

Is it true or false that massaging a frozen cucumber on your face improves skin?

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While you may not observe significant, long-term advantages from utilizing a chilled cucumber for skincare, this TikTok trick might provide temporary relief from swollen, irritated skin. Simply avoid using a cucumber that’s excessively chilly and exercise caution if you have an active breakout. (Next up: TikTok Users Are Putting Preparation H Under Their Eyes, and Dermatologists Have Thoughts)

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