Cucumber juice as a skin toner

Cucumber is well known for its benefits to the skin, which makes it a common ingredient in many topical skin preparations and a popular choice for preparation of homemade face masks. Cucumber extract can be found in various skin care products like skin moisturizers, anti-aging creams, face and neck creams, lotions, skin cleansers, eye tonics, after-sun products, hair care products and many others. Such a broad palette of cucumber-based skin care products exists due to versatile effects of cucumber to the skin. 

Cucumber juice as a skin toner


As already mentioned above, cucumbers are also very popular for making homemade facial masks. Fresh cucumber slices, juice or puree can be applied directly to the face. The best known effects of cucumber to the skin are that it refreshes, moisturizes, cools and soothes puffy eyes and tired skin, but cucumber skin treatment does much more to the skin due to its complex mixture of vitamins, minerals, and various phytochemicals that are highly beneficial. 

Applying cucumber in the form of juice is the most convenient, because it can be used as a leave-on product. It is also an all-natural alternative to store-bought facial toner because it acts as a refreshing skin conditioner and moisturizer. 

Cucumber juice is suitable for all skin types, even for people with sensitive skin. It moisturizes dry skin, soothes irritated skin, regulates sebum and shrinks pores on oily skin, and nourishes devitalized skin.

Active ingredients contained in cucumber are for the most part water-soluble, thus most of them will end up in the squeezed cucumber juice. High water content, combined with low concentrations of various active compounds, makes cucumber juice mild to the skin. Therefore it is suitable for application as it is – freshly squeezed and undiluted.

Drops of cucumber juice

Cosmetic effects


Due to its complex chemical composition, the cucumber is attributed a rather long list of skin benefits. Most of them are proven in practice and confirmed by science. However, some of its active compounds are present in minute concentrations which are not enough to evince their healing effects.


Here are some of the effects to the skin that are commonly attributed to the cucumber:

Homemade cucumber skin toner-    Skin conditioning agent
-    Moisturizes skin, making it soft and smooth
-    Hydrates and revitalizes skin
-    Skin rejuvenation 
-    Cooling and refreshing effect
-    Deep cleansing action
-    Astringent
-    Reduces fine lines and acts as anti-wrinkle treatment
-    Shrinks pores
-    Tightens tired and loose skin
-    Soothes puffy eyes 
-    Lightens dark under-eye circles
-    Lightens the skin due to inhibition of melanin production 
-    Soothes sunburns and insect stings
-    Reduces facial redness 
-    Reduces sebum secretion 


Cucumber juice rinse is also recommended for hair care:

-    It contributes to hair growth and makes hair silky and shiny
-    Reduces UV-induced hair color fading 


Constituents and active ingredients

Cucumbers are, along with lettuce, on top of high water content vegetables. On average, an unpeeled cucumber fruit consists of 95-96% of water and only 4-5% of other constituents. Amongst them, the most abundant are carbohydrates (3.5- 4%), then proteins (0.5-0.8%) while fats make for only around 0.1%. Cucumbers also contain various organic acids, vitamins, phenol compounds, glycosides, minerals and trace elements, all at relatively low concentrations. 

Carbohydrates (mono-, oligo-, and polysaccharides) in cucumber play a significant role in its moisturizing properties. They are hygroscopic and form a protective gel-like layer on the skin which attracts and retains moisture. Polysaccharides found in cucumber are very similar to the ones in Aloe vera. 

The most abundant vitamin in cucumber is vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and many skin benefits of cucumber are credited to it. It plays an important role as an antioxidant, increases production of skin collagen, reduces photoageing and hyperpigmentation. Beside vitamin C, cucumber contains vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin, vitamin PP or nicotinic acid), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin E (tocopherol), vitamin K and other vitamins in smaller quantities. Vitamins are responsible for most of beneficial actions of cucumber like moisturizing, skin rejuvenation, lightening of the skin and healing of sunburns. 

Various minerals and trace elements are found in cucumber, too. Potassium is most abundant amongst them, followed by phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, silica and many others in minute quantities.  

Organic acids in cucumber are responsible for its deep cleansing action because they gently remove the surface layer of old and damaged skin cells. Some of them have UV- protective activity. 

Phenol compounds found in cucumber are powerful anti-oxidants, and in great rate they take part in anti-aging effects and other beneficial actions of cucumber. 

Cucumber skin contains 85% of water, while pulp consists of more than 97% of water. Because of this, unpeeled cucumber contains higher content of nutrients than peeled cucumber. 


How to prepare, handle and use fresh cucumber juice for skin care

Fresh cucumber juice

Choose a fresh, organically grown cucumber. It is very important to use only pesticide-free cucumbers. Choose a cucumber with dark green skin, with no signs of yellowing. Active ingredients in different varieties of cucumber are the same, so you can take any of them. Avoid waxed cucumbers, they are probably not as fresh as you want. One small or medium-sized cucumber is enough because its juice cannot be kept more than 24 hours. Wash the cucumber, and slice, grate or blend it in the food processor. It is entirely up to you whether you will use it with skin or peel it off. 

Leave it for 10-15 minutes to release the juice, then squeeze it with clean hands (if it is sliced), or strain it using a clean cloth to separate small particles and seeds. Finally, collect the juice. 

Squeezing of cucumber juice     Making of homemade cucumber skin toner

Use a cotton ball to apply cucumber juice on the skin and leave it for 10-15min, then rinse it with lukewarm water. Another way of application is to leave it on the skin without rinsing. You can repeat this procedure several times a day. 

Always use freshly prepared juice. You can keep it fresh in the refrigerator for no more than one single day. Since it is raw, unprocessed and free from any preservatives, it is highly sensitive/prone to bacterial and fungal spoilage and deterioration by naturally-occurred enzymes. This is also a reason why you should never incorporate raw cucumber juice (or any other raw, unpreserved herbal juice or puree) into your cosmetic preparations if you want them to last longer than one day.

If you want to preserve your cucumber juice to last longer than one day, you can mix it with alcohol (final mixture should contain no less than 15% of pure ethanol), or boil it and add cosmetic-grade preservative. In any of these cases, your cucumber tonic is no longer the same as the raw one, and its properties and skin effects are different.


In general, cucumber is considered to be non-irritant to the skin, but some people can be sensitive to it. Cucumber can cause allergy, usually with symptoms in the mouth and pharyngeal area. It usually indicates an allergy to all members of the gourd family (like watermelons, zucchini, cantaloupes, pumpkins and others). Cucumber allergy (as well as to other gourds) is associated with ragweed allergies because the proteins in the cucumber are very similar to those present in ragweed pollen, so that the body misidentifies them. Since persons who suffer from ragweed allergies may cross react with cucumber, they are recommended to avoid any form of raw cucumber.