Does The Frozen Cucumber Hack Really Help Reduce Puffiness?

Waking up with a puffy face and eyes can put a damper on your morning. There are multiple reasons why you could be suffering from a puffy face. Dermatologist Dr. Kathleen Viscusi explained to Byrdie, "Facial puffiness, or excess fluid retention, may be transient and temporary swelling due to day-to-day changes in our lifestyles and exposures, such as seasonal allergies, high sodium diets, excess alcohol consumption, crying, and lack of sleep." Other factors include hormones and age. For example, the older you get, the more likely you are to develop puffy under eyes. Luckily, getting rid of puffiness is straightforward.

Experts recommend staying hydrated and reducing the amount of salt you eat to prevent facial puffiness. If you need to depuff your face, try a facial massage with either a jade roller or a gua sha for lymphatic drainage. You could also use an ice roller to do this. However, there is a viral hack on TikTok inspiring many users get rid of their fancy tools in place of something affordable and easily found at your local supermarket: a frozen cucumber. Of course, using cucumbers on the eyes as a form of self-care is nothing new, but can it really depuff your eyes and skin?

Cucumbers offer an array of benefits to the skin

While there are viral under-eye products that make puffiness a thing of the past, cucumbers are a natural alternative. In short, applying the frozen cucumber to the skin slows down blood flow,which can de-puff your eyes and skin fast. However, experts say that cucumbers, especially when they're frozen, can do more than you probably realize. Esthetician Joie Tavernise told Byrdie that using a frozen cucumber on the skin can tighten pores and has multiple soothing properties. 

She explained how a frozen cucumber works and said, "Introducing a low temperature to the skin will cause a few things to happen: the blood vessels to constrict to reduce redness, inflammation and puffiness will subside, undereye dark circles will appear brighter, and you will feel instantly refreshed and more awake." But these are not the only perks of using a frozen cucumber. Because they are mostly water, cucumbers can hydrate your skin beautifully. 

Esthetician Erin Larson told Allure that the eyes could benefit from this feature. She noted that she likes applying eye gel before putting sliced cucumbers on top for extra hydration. Frozen cucumbers could also improve acne. Moreover, as explained by dermatologist Dr. Joyce Park on TikTok, cucumbers have vitamin K in them. They also have vitamin C, which helps with puffiness. Another bonus? Both vitamin K and vitamin C can prevent dark under eyes. 

Tips on how to use a frozen cucumber correctly

If you're ready to try the frozen cucumber hack for de-puffing and more, you should prep the vegetable correctly to ensure it's sanitary for facial use. There are different ways to do this. Dermatologist Dr. Nazanin Saedi told Taste of Home her protocol for this. She said, "Wrap the cucumber before freezing to avoid any contamination to your skin and consider using a new cucumber for each use. And grab a towel, it will protect your hand from freezing!" In a TikTok, user @emmafreece shows how she preps her cucumber by cutting one end and placing it in a baggie before freezing it.

Once it's frozen, she uses it all over her face. In another TikTok, @emmafreece says she slices off the piece she uses and refreezes it. In Shape magazine, plastic surgeon Michele Koo M.D. advises the cucumber to be chilled briefly instead of frozen to prevent freezer burns or pain. Koo added that the frozen cucumber should be peeled to reap the benefits it has to offer. Koo noted that frozen cucumbers are not miracle workers but will certainly help with eye or facial puffiness.

To give yourself a facial massage with a frozen cucumber, dermatologist Rebecca Marcus recommended to Byrdie to "Use long strokes in an upward, outward motion." She added, "Avoid pulling down on the skin and use only very light pressure." Likewise, you can target the areas of your choice by massaging the frozen cucumber in a circular motion.