I worked on a couple of very special recipes today, both involving cucumbers. I’m telling you this now so you can run out to the store and be ready for tomorrow. On your list: A cucumber, an apple, and peppermint tea. Oh, and vodka. Make it a double for me.
In any case, as I was slaving away for you crunchy beauties, I started wondering about the story behind why people put cucumbers on their eyes.
(I will put cucumbers in just about anything, so I never really questioned it.)
Turns out, there’s not a lot of information out there about the historical first meeting of cucumbers and eyeballs, but although I have no amusing anecdotes to share, here are some reasons why cucumbers work for puffy eyes and dark circles:
Cucumbers, before being placed on eyes, are typically very cold. And coldness, as you know, mitigates swelling. It’s the same reason why, ten years ago when I thought I’d paralyzed myself by lifting a sofa and then sleeping, my chiropractor told me to never put heat on sore muscles. Heat contracts and exacerbates inflammation. Cold does the opposite and makes you squeal.
So, to start: Cold. That will reduce the puffiness under and around your eyes.
Cucumbers are full of water–90% full, to be exact. This water, in turn, hydrates your skin, which then helps flush out the ickies that are causing puffiness and even dark circles.
The caffeic acid in cukes do some fab things for your skin. Research shows that caffeic acid in cucumbers helps soothe skin and – BONUS – reduce swelling.
Vitamin C. We all know how awesome vitamin C is, but to reiterate, it’s an antioxidant and it helps keep wrinkles at bay. It is, in fact, also soothing.
You just look so darned chill. This is my favorite reason as to why you should put cucumbers over your eyes. Seriously, you look like a diva. Do it more.
Now that we all understand why cukes work for puffy, tired eyes or even for helping lessen the dark circles (Side note – when I was a teenager, I thought dark circles made girls look mysterious and hot. I still kind of do. Jealous if you have them), it’s time to go to the store.
Not only will there be a really fun cuke-related summer recipe tomorrow, but I’m about to give a most delightful, most simple 4th of July cucumber recipe – and it’s to put in your tummy this time! It’s been my staple for three years now. Yum! (PS – go heavy on the wasabi!)
Cucumbers with Wasabi and Rice Vinegar – from Epicurious
Now, my crunchitas, tell me about how you help your eyes unpuff on tough mornings!
(PPS – I have been wanting to do this recipe for days, and my lovely friend and neighbor was supposed to model the cucumbers for me, but she flaked one too many times, and I got impatient today. Thus, teddy bear got to spend the afternoon relaxing. Lucky.)