What's The Real Deal With Putting Cucumbers On Your Eyes

They may be new to you, and they may be new to your friends, but jade face rollers are no trend. The elegant-looking tool, equipped with two roller balls made of jade or quartz, is meant to be rolled outward, up and away from the eyes, at least once a day for about 10 minutes. The idea is that the massaging motion bolsters circulation in the face, decreases puffiness and inflammation, and improves the skin's texture (via Healthline).

While the results pose no real threat to botox clinics in terms of longer-term facial improvements, the results are visible, the Cleveland Clinic says ... "Most people see results for a few hours after treatment." If you were to recite these benefits to people of Chinese descent, they might nod off in boredom. For thousands of years, their ancestors have known how stones can soothe and rejuvenate the skin. In fact, today's face rollers are similar to the traditional Chinese practice known as gua sha (pronounced "gwā sā"), which uses a flat stone to ease pain and muscle soreness (via L'OFFICIEL).

Using cold stones can enhance all of these benefits, which is why "frozen face rollers" are giving regular face rollers a run for their money. If these practices make sense to you, you're more than halfway to understanding why putting cucumbers on your eyes is the real deal.

Skincare treatments rooted in logic

Ironically, cucumbers also have a storied history in the annals of traditional medicine — this time, traditional Indian medicine. Practitioners used cucumbers to reduce swelling under the eyes and calm sunburn (via Planting Seeds). 

Just how they linked cucumbers with skincare — or what they knew about cucumbers — isn't entirely clear. Perhaps all they knew is that cucumbers consist of mostly water –  96% water, actually (via PharmEasy). Or maybe they assumed that as a vegetable, cucumbers were healthy. If so, they were correct since cucumbers are a good source of vitamin C (an ingredient in many of today's eye creams), folic acid, and vitamin K, which is effective at targeting dark circles (via the Cleveland Clinic). Besides, it wasn't until the 17th century that doctors, capitalizing on cucumbers' ability to hold water, advised fever patients to lie on a bed of cucumbers. By doing so, they would become "cool as a cucumber" (via University of Missouri). As it turned out, the Indians were as spot-on about using cucumbers on the eyes as the ancient Chinese were about stone treatments.

Of course, there are differences here. Face rollers are massaged over the skin while cucumbers simply rest on top of closed eyes as the restorative cucumber juice infiltrates the skin. And make no mistake: the real "power broker" in both methods is the presence of a big chill; both methods get a real boost when the stones or cucumbers are chilled first.

Cold spells the difference

Lancer is careful to give credit where credit is due, too: "...the cucumber itself may not be what's making a difference in reducing the swelling. Anything you place under the eyes that's cold will most likely reduce puffiness and eye bags."

A cold compress or washcloth are the most commonly offered suggestions, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. But if you prefer to use fresh, chilled cucumbers instead of the pre-moistened cucumber eye pads that try to replicate real cucumber slices, you should know: you won't be adopting a quirky look for nothing. Some research validates the practice, too. The Journal of Aging Research & Lifestyle, for example, says that cucumbers can reduce inflammation, hydrate the eyes, and brighten the skin. And this is where the benefits of eye rollers and cucumbers converge again, for as Medical News Today says, there is "a lack of research" that confirms whether putting cucumber slices on your eyes renders "any significant effect."

But you may be thinking about a short-term solution. And if it's a short-term pick-me-up you're looking for — a way to confidently face your co-workers after a night without sleep or a few too many alcoholic drinks — you could very well decide that cucumbers can literally help you save face. When your expectations are set properly, cucumbers can be the real deal.