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Why Watermelon Should Be a Part of Your Skincare Routine

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 even improve heart health. Not only that, but the many watermelon skincare benefits are similarly impressive, too, which is why it was a no-brainer for us to create a Watermelon Glow collection around it.

But where did this 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. It’s long been used as an at-home remedy. “In Korea, our grandmothers used to rub watermelon rind on our backs in the summer to soothe and cool heat rash and irritation,” says our co-founder Christine Chang. More recently, 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. But it was only used here and there before we made it a hero ingredient, worthy of a whole collection. (Here’s how we incorporate the fresh fruit into our mask, by the way.)

Wilson 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. Here’s a closer look at exactly how it works.

It Stops Inflammation In Its Tracks

“Watermelon has lycopene, and is a great source of vitamin C, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties,” says Lauren Slayton, nutritionist and founder of Foodtrainers in New York City. So not only can it help with any internal inflammation when ingested, but when applied topically, helps soothe skin, as well. “Vitamin C is also required for collagen formation,” she adds. That translates to big watermelon skincare benefits: When used on the skin, not only do these antioxidants help tame redness and acne, but also brighten and even out the complexion for a healthy-looking glow.

It Guards Against Free Radicals

From fine lines to sun spots to dry patches, the onslaught of environmental damage is constant. A smart way to deal with the elements besides wearing SPF every single day? Watermelon extract, says Slayton, both ingested and applied directly to the skin. The reason: It’s rich in vitamin A, which helps scavenge for free radicals caused by the sun and pollution. If you use a heavy-hitting watermelon-infused product at night like our Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask that sloughs off dead skin cells and injects a powerful dose of moisture, skin will be able to repair and renew better.

It Fights Wrinkles

The watermelon rind—you know, the part you usually don’t eat—has got its own wealth of good-for-you compounds, too, particularly citrulline, an amino acid that improves blood circulation and works as a natural exfoliator. And that’s actually the part of the watermelon used originally on skin. And citrulline (which, according to Slayton, is a precursor to the more well-known amino acid arginine) increases collagen production, which helps to plump skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. “We grew up relying on the naturally calming, hydrating effects of watermelon and have seen it make the biggest difference in safeguarding and protecting skin,” adds co-founder Sarah Lee.

How to Max Out Watermelon’s Skincare Benefits

If you’re looking for an easy way to get your weekly fruit facial, look no further than the latest addition to the Watermelon Glow fam: The Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial. It clears out pores sans dryness with hyaluronic clay, a cutting-edge ingredient that’s actually infused with hyaluronic acid. You’ll also get a combination of chemical exfoliants — think watermelon enzymes, beta hydroxy acid, and polyhydroxy acid — and manual, in the form of super-fine blueberry seed powder, to gently resurface skin, too, leaving it bright, hydrated, and smooth.

You could also try the cult-favorite Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, which was one of Glow Recipe’s very first products. In addition to helping you achieve glowing skin overnight, it’s also great as a wash-off mask in the morning or to prep for makeup. It’ll soothe, refine texture, and moisturize skin in 10 minutes flat.

You can incorporate all the usual watermelon skincare benefits into other steps of your routine, too. Take the Watermelon Glow PHA+BHA Pore-Tight Toner, which pairs the pink stuff with gentle exfoliating acids for a pore-clearing treatment. There’s also the Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer, which delivers weightless moisture to skin — as well as reparative antioxidants, no less. It features watermelon flesh and rind as its top two ingredients, and the lighter-than-air formula is also laced with hydrating hyaluronic acid, making it especially great for oily to combination skin (and underneath makeup!). If you’re a bit drier or need heavy-duty moisture this winter, try using it as a serum and sealing in all that juicy goodness by slathering on a thicker cream over top.

And let’s not forget the Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops, which pairs the pink stuff with niacinamide, an anti-inflammatory ingredient that serves as an antioxidant and works to brighten skin. This hybrid works as a highlighting serum to both enhance natural features while treating skin.

Watermelon is also a winner below the neck, too: In our Watermelon Glow Pink Dream Body Cream, it offers all those watermelon skincare benefits (thanks to watermelon seed butter and extract) alongside hibiscus AHAs, which gently smooth and soften skin.

In between your skin-care steps — and any point during the day, really — hydrate skin with Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist, a bi-phase formula that contains 84% (!) watermelon. Top it off with the Watermelon Glow Lip Pop, an award-winning scrub-to-balm that exfoliates and hydrates in a single swipe. How sweet is that?

Keep reading about the wonders of watermelon:


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Hyaluronic Clay Pore-Tight Facial


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Lip Pop


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Pink Dream Body Cream


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer


Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Ultra Fine Mist



  • Madeleine Jan 26, 2018 4:55 pm

    I’ve liked plus done everything you told us to do win the Giveaway. I have signed up, liked the photo and mentioned my friend’ Name and she followed Glowrecipe too??

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