Here’s Why Watermelon is a Total Skin Star

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a person who doesn’t enjoy watermelon in at least one form or another. The fruit — basically just water, sugar, and essential nutrients, like vitamin C, lycopene, and citrulline — tastes like candy, effectively hydrates and fights hangovers, and may improve heart health. All that, and it’s got some impressive skin benefits to boot, which is why it was a no-brainer for us to put it in our Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer, Sleeping Mask, and brand-new Jelly Sheet Mask.

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But where did the wonder fruit come from? Experts agree that the watermelon in its original bitter form (it’s since been mutated over generations into the sweet, seedless, bright-red fleshy fruit we know today) was first found in Africa, but that’s as specific as the consensus gets. According to National Geographic, taxonomists misclassified the melon so many times that it’s hard to be sure which region can claim the rights, but there is evidence in the form of tomb paintings that ancient Egyptians cultivated a variety of the watermelon as early as 4,000 years ago and used it as a water source.

By 400 to 500 A.D., the fruit had spread to Mediterranean countries; by 200 A.D., ancient Hebrew writings found in Israel reveal watermelon was being enjoyed as a dessert, meaning people had bred out the bitter gene. Eventually, beginning in the 7th century, the melon found its way to India, followed by China (which is currently the world’s largest producer), Europe, and then finally the Americas by the late 1500s.


The watermelon-in-skincare timeline, however, is even harder to piece together, but chemist Ni’Kita Wilson says watermelon and Kalahari melon (a very close cousin of the former) popped up on labels at least seven years ago and she predicts that the ingredients are here to stay thanks to the growing natural movement in the beauty world. Chemist Ron Robinson of agrees, noting that watermelon is certainly trending lately as people catch on to the high content of vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants in the fruit. The lycopene, he says, is the real star, and may help protect the skin from UV and free radical damage.

Dermatologist Shereene Idriss, MD, says that the “vitamins A, C, and B6 in watermelon all work together to intensely hydrate, soothe inflamed skin, and fight free radical damage to ward off fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots,” and it’s especially helpful for those with dry, dull skin.


If you fall into that category and you’re looking for an easy way to get your weekly fruit facial, try our Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask. It’s a double whammy of complexion care as in addition to being infused with our special melon magic, the mask itself is made directly of pressed watermelon (cotton is so last year). It’ll soothe, brighten, and moisturize skin in 10 minutes flat. How sweet is that?

Categories: Glow Recipe

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