Cucumbers on the eyes have long been a stereotypical staple of spa visits and facial treatments – but why? Though many of us are familiar with the “cucumber eyes” associated with a visit to a spa, few people are aware of exactly why this has become such a quintessential part of spa treatments.
First and foremost – cucumbers on eyes are quite comforting. They provide a soothing, cool sensation when applied, which lasts for 5-10 minutes or more, depending on the kind of cucumber being used, whether or not cucumbers are in season, and the ambient temperature and humidity. This is because cucumbers are very heavy on water content. As such, while they rest on the eyelids, they create a cooling sensation as a result of the process of evaporation that occurs. Like many other home remedies for dark circles under the eyes, this remedy works by lighting the skin by reducing the flow of blood to the areas underneath the eyes. Treatment for Dark Eye Circles
To alleviate dark circles underneath the eyes using cucumber slices, apply them to your eyes in the morning, shortly after waking. It is generally best to do while laying down somewhere other than your bed, to avoid falling back asleep. Of course, using an alarm is helpful as well. Simply take the freshly-sliced cucumbers and place them over closed eyes for 5 to 10 minutes. Though most people enjoy the coolness of cucumber directly from the refrigerator, some people find it somewhat uncomfortable. If you prefer your slices to be warmer, simply let them warm up before applying them.
The process of evaporation is crucial for this treatment, so avoid cutting lots of cucumber slices ahead of time, then storing them somewhere that the evaporation process will begin. For instance, pre-sliced cucumbers will still release moisture if stored in a sealed plastic baggie, or in a plastic food storage container. In addition, when stored in this manner, cucumbers are quite prone to quick spoilage. If you choose to slice cucumbers ahead of time, then be sure to store them in a plastic food storage container that is filled with clean tapwater. In addition, if you are feeling adventurous, you can place some crushed mint or spearmint leaves in the water. This will create an extra chilling sensation when the cucumbers are applied to your eyes. Of course, once a cucumber has been cut, it should be used within a few days at most. Otherwise, you risk exposing your eyes to undesirable bacteria or molds that are naturally present in cucumber skin. Though these can be helpful for some kinds of pickling, it is certainly not ideal for your eyes.
This treatment can be used in tandem with an evening treatment that uses warmth. A hot towel or warm teabags can be applied to the eyes for 5 to 10 minutes in the evening in order to help sooth the eyes after a long day, and to alleviate dark circles under the eyes. Teabags (particular, green tea) are favored for this process, since they contain many antioxidants.When to Treat
Dark circles are often caused by a number of conditions, but aging is predominant among them. Among the prominent causes of dark circles are allergies, eczema, heredity, lifestyle, sinus problems, and abuse of alcohol or drugs. In addition, a lack of proper sleep is also known to be a primary cause of dark circles underneath the eyes. In cases where dark circles are indicative of an underlying condition, then that underlying condition needs to be treated before determining whether or not trying a home remedy like cucumber slices on the eyes is appropriate. For instance, cucumbers on the eyes, or any number of other remedies is unlikely to help if dark circles under your eyes are the result of allergies, or chronic insomnia. If remedies for dark circles are not helping you, and you suspect that you might have some other underlying condition causing them – then look into treating that condition before resuming treatments for dark circles under the eyes.
Also note whether or not dark areas underneath your eyes are the result of changes in skin color, or due to shadowing. If you have dark circles that result from shadowing, it is likely that neither cucumber slices, nor other home remedies will help you. If this is the case, you should look into treatments that pertain to rejuvenating the skin, or restoring collagen. More importantly, if you suffer from dark circles because of unhealthy lifestyle choices such as abusing alcohol or drugs, it is very important – for your own sake – that you focus on treating that condition rather than the circles under your eyes; cucumbers cannot do anything to help you, in this case.
Some people have dark circles as a result of blood pressure issues, or because of use of nicotine products. Solving both of these issues is necessary before making gains against dark circles under the eyes.