Cucumber - a member of the gourd family, cucurbitaceae - originated in India and has been cultivated in Western Asia for three thousand years. From India, the fruit spread to Greece, Rome, Europe, New World and China. There is evidence of cucumber cultivation in ninth century France, fourteenth century England and mid-sixteenth century North America.
In ancient Rome, cucumber was used for treating a host of medical conditions - from poor eyesight to scorpion bites, from high blood pressure to diabetes. It was a favourite of the Roman Emperor, Tiberius (his gardeners grew the fruit using artificial methods, to ensure he had cucumber on his table every day). The fruit is even referenced in the Bible: “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic.”.
‘As cool as a cucumber’... The cucumber has been used as a healing and calming skin treatment for centuries and we commonly think of it as having cooling and soothing benefits. There is truth to this: the inside of the fruit can be 20 degrees cooler than its environment and, with its 90% water content, it delivers a refreshing sensation.
To obtain the oil, the seeds are removed from the centre of the fruit, then cleaned and dried. After going through a cold-press process, the oil is filtered - yielding a clear, golden-yellow oil with a mild, refreshing aroma. This form of extraction means that the oil maintains a high percentage of its nutrients.
A soft and delicate oil that’s ideal for sensitive or dry skin, cucumber offer offers numerous skincare benefits:
- Rich in tocopherols and tocotrienols (collectively known as vitamin E), it helps to protect the skin against environmental pollution and UV rays. Combatting free radicals, it helps to relieve itchiness and redness.
- Possessing an incredible amount of phytosterols, cucumber oil helps to keep skin hydrated and healthy. These compounds support the lipid barrier to ensure good moisture balance, while also promoting regeneration of healthy skin cells.
- Cucumber oil contains approximately 60-80% linoleic acid (omega 6) that helps to fortify the skin’s barrier, thus providing defence from UV damage and pollution. This fatty acid also moisturises and has healing properties.
- Cucumber oil contains approximately 15-20% oleic acid that helps to lock in the moisture necessary to keep skin hydrated.
- Also containing antioxidant-rich palmitic acid, cucumber oil helps to soothe irritation - making it ideal for skin problems such as dermatitis and eczema.
Gentle enough for baby, cucumber oil also offers anti-ageing benefits for mum. You’ll find it in the following Little Butterfly London products:
Products for babies and little ones:
Products for Mums: