The next time you enjoy a slice of watermelon, remember that the juicy fruit is much more than a satisfying snack. Every part of the food — from the rind to the flesh, and even the seeds — has multiple benefits for your skin. Incorporating it into your routine can help calm inflamed areas, heal damage after a breakout, and even control conditions like acne and eczema from the inside out. Read on to learn why watermelon should be in your regimen.
1. The rinds can soothe angry areas. For generations in Korea, watermelon rind has been used to comfort aggravated skin. It can reduce redness, calm inflammation, and even speed up the cell turnover process. “Reportedly, Korean grandmothers used to rub watermelon rinds on sunburn, rashes, or irritated skin to soothe it and help it recover faster,” says California-based dermatologist Anna Guanche. “Cooling masks where watermelon rind is combined with avocado or banana can help with healing.”
2. Seeds curb irritation and boost collagen. While the rind and flesh of watermelon calm and comfort our complexions, watermelon seeds are sprouting their own ingestible benefits. “Watermelon seeds contain protein just like other seeds,” says Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Harold Lancer. “They also have fatty acids, plumping linoleic acid, hydrating oleic acid, and a variety of ceramides.” Ingestible powders like DOPE Naturally Melonaid Protein Powder ($45) and Vital Proteins Collagen Sports Greens ($59) offer a daily fix of watermelon seed protein, which can also help lock in moisture thanks to those ceramides.
3. It’s chock-full of vitamins. If your face is showing signs of UV damage, dark spots, or dry patches, it’s time to break out the vitamin-rich ingredient to fast-forward healing. “The vitamins A and C found in watermelon can help restore damaged skin after it’s exposed to sun, wind, or even stress,” says Guanche. Vitamin E, which is also present in the fruit, can lighten hyperpigmentation, fill out fine lines, and help neutralize the effects of free radicals (like sunburn). “Watermelon has a ton of vitamin E, which is a rejuvenating antioxidant for the skin,” adds Lancer.
4. All skin types can benefit from this superfruit. Since watermelon isn’t very acidic, is mostly made of water, and is a pure sugar, so it’s very low-risk to add it to a routine for any complexion type. “Whether you have oily, acne-prone, sensitive, or anti-aging skin, using a high-quality product containing watermelon is universally, across the board, a positive factor,” says Lancer. Depending on what your goals are, you can introduce this ingredient to your routine in the form of a hydrating sleeping mask like Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask ($45), a nourishing moisturizer such as Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel ($52), or gentle cleanser like Basics and Organics Watermelon + White Tea Face Cleansing Milk ($20).
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