An Aesthetician's Thoughts on the Frozen-Cucumber Hack That's Taken Over TikTok

  • The frozen-cucumber hack has taken over TikTok over the last month.
  • The trend involves freezing a cucumber and applying it to the skin in order to reduce redness and puffiness.
  • While the hack isn't unsafe, you'd be better off using an ice cube to benefit from skin icing.

I can think of a lot of things I can do with a cucumber, including but not limited to the obvious act of chopping one up and throwing it in a Greek salad, though one thing I've never considered when throwing this veggie in my basket after perusing the produce aisle is freezing said cucumber and immediately putting it on my face. This, of course, is where I and many TikTok users differ, as the new beauty trend that's taken over the platform in recent months involves doing just that.

The frozen-cucumber hack took off earlier this summer after one user, Alexa Rae Loebel, shared a video to the app alleging that icing the skin with a frozen cucumber "reduces redness and pores, and helps with acne, dark circles, and hydration" while leaving you with a "dewy glow." It's essentially just another version of the skin-icing trend that was all over TikTok back in January, which has proven to have its own benefits.

"Some of my favorites are a reduction in inflammation, a reduction in cystic and inflamed acne, as well as reducing puffiness and helping with lymphatic drainage," aesthetician Nicole Caroline told POPSUGAR regarding skin-icing benefits. "Immediately after icing your face, you will likely notice a reduction in puffiness and a tightening of the skin."

With that in mind, would a person be able to see the same benefits of skin icing by doing so with a cucumber? Well . . . sort of. Any depiction of a spa treatment in media will tell you that using cucumbers in skin care isn't new or revolutionary at all. "Google the word 'facial' and 90 percent of the pictures will show slivers of cold cucumbers on the eyes," Caroline said. "Cucumbers are high in water content and vitamin K, plus make them cold, and it absolutely can help reduce the look of dark circles and puffiness."

While the aforementioned hack hasn't been deemed harmful or unsafe, you'd likely be much better off using a cube of ice or a tool made specifically for icing if you want to see a real improvement in your skin. Caroline added: "Cucumber differs from ice in that it will not hold the coldness of actual ice, and you may lose the full benefit after about 30 seconds."

Though other variations of the trend involve using ice cubes to get the job done, that direct contact can sometimes be too harsh for people with sensitive skin. If you fall into that category, there are a handful of other options out there that'll better suit your needs.

"I like ice rollers because they're the most comfortable of the tools to use on yourself, in my opinion," celebrity aesthetician Candace Marino told POPSUGAR in January. "The ice globes and cryosticks are great, too, but I prefer those in the treatment room on a client."

The TLDR? Maybe just eat the cucumber.