Cucumber and oil in the same sentence seems a little odd, doesn't it? Cucumbers are all about droplets of watery freshness and a mild scent of green dewiness. Cucumber doesn't associate with anything oily.
Nevertheless, there is an oil that has its origins in cucumber – the seeds to be exact – and I've been in love with it ever since I started working with it last year.
Cucumber seed oil is a skin-loving joy to use that I don't expect to grow tired of any time soon.
PressedDespite the watery make-up of this vegetable, cucumber seeds actually contain a fair amount of oil – around 45%.
Still, it takes quite a few cucumbers to provide even a handful of seeds. Now imagine how many cucumber seeds are needed to provide a mere teaspoon of oil and you'll appreciate why cucumus sativus is among the pricier carrier oils.
From my experience so far though, it's worth every penny.
The oil I have been working with is cold pressed ("to preserve as many nutrients as possible" according to my supplier).
Packed With Good StuffCucumber seed oil is rich in all kinds of goodies that skin and hair thrive on:
- omega 6 fatty acids
- omega 9 (oleic acid)
- vitamin B1
- vitamin C
- and more...
Cucumber seed oil offers astringent, nutritive, and calming properties, as well as refreshing, soothing the skin.
Yet an Average OilCharacterized as an 'average' type carrier oil (read: it absorbs at an average speed and leaves a slightly greasy feeling on the skin), cucumber seed oil is recommended for a variety of uses: masks, creams, and lotions, as well as nail, hair, and scalp care products.
It is highly recommended as a moisture-binding, curl-loving conditioner for coily, kinky, and curly hair.
Oh, That ScentIf you are familiar with the distinctly misty light, fresh, and green scent of freshly sliced cucumber, then you know the scent of (water soluble) cucumber extract. Now, multiply that scent by 20 – that's the scent of the oil.
This is one ingredient that has the same fragrance in both oil and water-soluble form.
The best part: even when the scent is 'intensified-by-20' like the oil is, it never becomes cloying, heavy, or tiring in any way.
My nose tends to linger over the open bottle every time I am using it.
Hot and ColdAlthough the oil can be heated and used in emulsions, it took me a while to actually use it in a formula where it required heating. The mere thought of 'killing' any of the nutrients made me hesitate.
However, after loving how it behaved in personal oil blends, an emulsion had to be tried. The goal: create a very light, cucumber-themed serum that includes both oil and (water-soluble) extract and is equally suited for day and night use.
TestingAt the moment, I am testing batch 4 of my 'Cucumber Day and Night Serum'. Aside from consistently maintaining a perfect viscosity, the scent is so fresh and inviting that I simply can't get enough of it.
As a day serum, it melts in quickly and gives a toning feeling, and as a night serum, it provides a non-greasy, thoroughly hydrated sensation.
I've only given samples to a very few of my testers so far. That's because I'm taking my time with this serum, which incorporates several other new ingredients.
About Cucumber in CosmeticsRealize Beauty: Selecting a Good Oil
Tentative Safety Assessment by Cir-safety.org