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Cucumber Face Mask! (and other recipes)

Cucumber-Feta-Tomato Salad, with Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

Holy cucumbers. I decided to grow five cucumber plants this year with the idea that, because they grow like a vine, I would wrap each of them around the plant beds since they act as a bunny barrier. In my rabbit repelling state of mind, I guess I wasn’t thinking of what the hell I would do with all of these cucumbers once they started producing. But hey, I guess I’d rather have the problem of my cucumber plant reproducing instead of the rabbits, right?

I have been making recipes like crazy as a result of all of the cukes, so here are some recipes starting with a ridiculously simple but effective face mask. Also, don’t miss the cucumber-tomato-feta recipe at the end of the post (pictured above) – it’s easy, refreshing and delicious for summer!

Cucumbers, when applied to the skin, can cleanse the skin, treat puffy eyes, reduce freckles, improve complexion, ease sunburn, and tighten up open pores.

Seriously Simple Cucumber Face Mask

You’ll need:

  • 1 medium cucumber, skin on, seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp purified water

Directions: Chop cucumber up into small chunks, and blend in food processer or blender along with the water. Once blended, place the pulp in a strainer with a bowl underneath to catch the liquid and allow it to strain for about 5 minutes. Apply the liquid to your face, using your hands or cotton balls. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse with tepid water.

Facial Recipe #2: Kick it Up A Notch

This recipe is a little more fired up, but I tried it, and it’s worth it!

  • Oats – ½ Cup
  • Honey – 2 tablespoons
  • Sliced cucumber – 1
  • Milk/Yogurt – 5 tablespoons

Directions: Place the cucumber slices in a blender and blend until you have a thick paste. Next, add the honey and yogurt and mix well. Now add the oats to the mixture and blend. Place the mixture into a large bowl it and freeze it for a few minutes. Cleanse your face thoroughly and then apply this face mask by gently spreading it on your face. *Note: If your skin is super dry, use milk instead of yogurt.

Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad, with Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

You’ll need:

  • 1 medium cucumber, seeds removed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 package of feta cheese, cubed
  • 1 tbsp chopped, fresh herbs (I used oregano, basil, and thyme)

Directions: Place all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, stir together.

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup juice from fresh squeezed lemons (about 4)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions: Place ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.

Before serving, drizzle the dressing on the salad. Enjoy!

Here is another list that I came across in an email not too long ago. I don’t know if all of these are true, (and states that research is still pending,) but WOW if even half of them are! And if you aren’t convinced by now to grow some cucumbers of your own, one of the many benefits of  simply picking them from your backyard is to not have to go to the grocery store and get on line with one cucumber in hand, catching the eye of the creepy pervert in aisle 3…

  1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need  every day, just one cucumber contains  Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin  B5, Vitamin  B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium,  Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus,  Potassium and Zinc.
  2. Feeling tired  in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda  and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good  source of B  Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can  provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for  hours.
  3. Tired of your bathroom mirror  fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a  cucumber slice along the mirror, it will  eliminate the fog and provide a soothing,  spa-like fragrance.
  4. Are grubs and  slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few  slices in a small pie tin and
    your garden  will be free of pests all season long. The  chemicals in the cucumber react with the  aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to  humans but drive garden pests crazy and make  them flee the area.
  5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove  cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try  rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your  problem area for a few minutes, the  photochemical in the cucumber cause the collagen  in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer  layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite.  Works great on wrinkles too!!!
  6. Want  to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a  few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake  up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers  contain enough sugar, B vitamins and  electrolytes to replenish essential  nutrients the body lost,
    keeping  everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a  hangover and headache!
  7. Looking to  fight off that afternoon or evening snacking  binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries  and often used by European trappers, traders and  explores for quick meals to thwart off  starvation.
  8. Have an important meeting  or job interview and you realize that you don’t  have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a  freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its  chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine  that not only looks great but also repels  water.
  9. Out of WD 40 and  need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber  slice and rub it along the problematic hinge,  and voila, the squeak is gone!
  10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage,  facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire  cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water,  the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber  with react with the boiling water and be  released in the steam, creating a soothing,  relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce  stress in new mothers and college students  during final exams.
  11. Just finish a  business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or  mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to  the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30  seconds to eliminate bad  breath, the photochemical will kill the  bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing  bad breath.
  12. Looking for a ‘green’ way  to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel?  Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the  surface you want to clean, not only will it  remove years of tarnish and bring back the  shine, but it won’t leave streaks and won’t harm  you fingers or fingernails while you  clean.
  13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside  of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the  pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!

Alessandra Macaluso is the author of What a Good Eater! , Lucy the Bee and the Healing Honey, and The Real-Deal Bridal Bible. Sheโ€™s also a Qigong and Tai Chi instructor, and overall wellness advocate. Her work has been featured in several anthologies which can all be found on her Amazon author page, and she has contributed to The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, TODAY Parents, and many other online publications.

Alessandra is a northerner-turned-southerner, enjoying the south with her children, Penelope and Ciro, and her husband, Greg.

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I used to regularly apply the cucumber mask made of Cucumber juice and yogurt on my face before the wedding.. it made my skin very soft and gave me a cooling effect…i guess before your wedding you take extra care of your skin and then kinda you start taking it easy.. thanks for the post.. it just hit me like a nail on the head and made me realize that I need to get back to my skincare routine again ๐Ÿ™‚

‘@Dhara Mistry Good point! I remember taking better care of my skin before getting married, too – it’s easy to fall off the wagon after that! If you have any others, feel free to share!

‘@Ali Mac There was one more: Papaya mask.. it’s not a mask actually.. Just juice.. apply it on the face and leave it on for 10 min.. it acts as a whitening and anti-aging mask ๐Ÿ™‚

‘@Dhara Mistry I’ll have to try that….thanks!!