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Does TikTok’s Viral Frozen Cucumber Skin Hack Really Work?

Two women lying on a couch with cucumbers over their eyes

From nail slugging to turning your powder bronzer into a cream, viral beauty trends have been sweeping TikTok far and wide. If you’ve been swiping through the app lately, you’ve likely landed on some clips of users massaging their faces with chilled cucumbers.

So we’re here to answer the question on everyone’s mind: does the frozen cucumber skin hack really work?

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What is the frozen cucumber skin hack?

If you’re trying to bring the spa experience to your home, then this new TikTok trend may be for you. It’s almost like the classic relaxation trick of donning cucumbers on your eyes, but with a modern twist. Makeup artists and users across the app are claiming that frozen cucumbers reduce puffiness and dark circles when you work them on your skin, ultimately reducing acne and signs of aging.

Essentially, you freeze the refreshing salad ingredient – peeled, unpeeled or sliced to your preference – and then massage it into your skin. There’s not really a specific method for this viral hack, but most users seem to place a cucumber with part of it sliced open in the freezer. Once it’s chilled, they roll the open section directly onto dry skin for somewhere around 10 to 15 minutes.

Some users have been chilling cucumber slices and then applying the pieces to their faces like a makeshift facemask, removing the massage element entirely.

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Cucumber sliced in half

Does the frozen cucumber skin hack work?

According to Shape,  cucumbers actually do have many skin benefits, but when they’re applied directly to the skin, the benefits could end up only being temporary.

“Cucumbers contain cucumulosic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties, calming redness, acne and puffiness,” board-certified plastic surgeon Michele Koo M.D. tells the outlet. “They are also made of 90 per cent water, which moisturizes and protects the skin, [and] they contain minerals and vitamins that act as antioxidants.”


Ultimately, Dr. Koo says that – while there are many skin benefits to cucumbers – the viral beauty hack might not be as effective as people are claiming it is.

“The anti-aging benefits would be minimal since the topical absorption of the vitamins and antioxidants is likely fairly minimal,” she adds. “However, the cooling and moisturizing effect is extremely effective for decreasing swelling and redness.”

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Despite that downfall, frozen cucumbers can still help with acne and they can even reduce scarring, albeit minimally. It will also help with puffiness, Dr. Koo explains, but it will have little short- and long-term effect on dark circles under your eyes.

A woman with a towel on her head wearing a face mask with cucumbers on her eyes

Dr. Koo explains how to properly do the frozen cucumber hack

Dr. Koo advises that the key to trying out this trend is applying chilled, peeled cucumber flesh directly on the skin. Beware of freezer burn, though.

“I feel a chilled, not frozen, cucumber would be far safer and more effective for decreasing puffiness and inflammation,” she explains.

Apparently, the frozen cucumber can burn the skin if it’s held to your face for more than a few seconds at a time, giving a similar experience to frostbite. Instead, you’ll want to use a peeled, refrigerated cucumber.

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If you’re actively dealing with an inflamed acne breakout, then you’ll want to stay away from both chilled and frozen cucumbers, as the skin will likely be too fragile.

Ultimately, the hack may not have such huge long-term benefits as many TikTok users tout, but it will likely offer you some short-term help with any puffy skin.


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