December 16, 2008

You Ask, I Answer: Cucumbers

The turkey myth posting had me thinking about people putting cucumbers on their eyes because they supposedly help get rid of bags.

Is that a myth or is there an antioxidant in them that helps reduce puffiness?

-- Rachel (last name withheld)

Morristown, NJ

There's no secret compound to speak of.

Cucumbers are great at reducing puffiness simply because they maintain their cool temperature and are largely made up of water.

The mechanism that creates bags under the eyes is the same one that promotes swelling after, say, a baseball strikes you in the face.

In both cases, the best course of action is to apply some sort of cold compress to the affected area.

It helps that cucumbers hold well and, since they can be sliced into the perfect shape and size to cover our eyes, provide an aesthetic touch.

It just wouldn't look or work the same if you placed celery stalks, apple slices, or something as acidic as lemons, limes, or oranges over your eyes at the spa!

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