The Classic K-Beauty Cucumber Massage Is So Easy & Effective

By Minji

  • Have you heard of the K-Beauty "Cucumber Massage"?
  • All you need is one cucumber and a peeling tool and it's guaranteed to give your skin a major hydration boost 
  • If you’re looking for something easy but 100% natural to do for your skin, I highly recommend it

One of my earliest memories of skincare involves cucumbers.  Even starting from when I was in grade school, my mom would once in a while slap a few cucumber peels onto my face as she was doing her own DIY cucumber peel mask. 

I can still recall how cool and hydrated my young small face felt with a handful of carefully arranged cucumber peels on my face.  Back then, my pores were non-existent and wrinkles was not a word in my vocabulary so I remember appreciating the feeling of being adult and glamorous more than the direct skincare benefits.

Now well into my 40s, the cucumber peel face mask is the only DIY mask I’ll even consider doing and I love and appreciate the amazing skincare benefits. Not that I don’t think other DIY face mask recipes wouldn’t be effective – I’ve become so spoiled with facial sheet masks these days, I can’t fathom the thought of having to rinse a mask off.  Why, when I can just peel it off and be done, right?

If you’re anything like me and looking for something easy but 100% natural to do for your skin, I highly recommend you try the classic cucumber peel mask.  All you need is one cucumber and a peeling tool – you know the ones that help you peel carrots or potatoes and will give you nice long and thin slices.

It almost feels weird to call these "instructions," since it’s so simple, but basically, wash the cucumber well, peel off a bunch of slices onto a plate, and carefully arrange the peels all over your face (as if you were making yourself a cucumber mummy like my pic above!) and neck too if you can, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then peel them off and continue on with your regular skincare steps, starting with Step 1 toner.

I guarantee your face will feel as hydrated as it ever has since cucumbers are 96% water.  In addition, cucumbers are rich with flavonoids and antioxidants like vitamin A and C that can help decrease swelling, puffiness and irritation on the skin.  They also provide a nice cooling effect that feels fabulous. 

In Seoul, we call this a “cucumber massage.”  If you’re a fan of K-dramas, you might’ve seen this once or twice depicted in every day scenes.  Like my story, many girls grow up doing this as a fun skincare ritual to share with mom and pass on to their daughters, etc.

So for anyone else out there like me who might be looking for a natural DIY remedy that won’t require mixing a bunch of different ingredients, has zero potential to get stuck in your hair and mess it up and also doesn’t require face washing at the end, give the classic cucumber massage a try!