The Skincare Benefits Of Watermelon, Explained

You may not have realized it, but every hot summer day you bit into a piece of watermelon, you were doing your skin a favor.  Along with being delicious, the thirst-quenching fruit is chockfull of ingredients and nutrients that can aid your complexion. "Watermelon is a vitamin rich food that provides many benefits internally and externally," dermatologist Kathleen S. Viscusi, M.D., F.A.A.D, F.A.C.M.S tells Prevention. "It has been a long standing ingredient in Korean skincare, and is now being seen more commonly throughout the world."


While you can definitely reap the skincare benefits by eating watermelon on a regular basis, you can get even more out of this fantastic fruit by using it topically. And though there's no harm putting a cold slice to your face, dermatologists recommend opting for serums, oils, or other products that contain watermelon or watermelon seed extracts, as these will have the ideal concentration for skincare use. These are also designed to be shelf-stable, so no need to worry about waiting for watermelon season to get the benefits. Whether it's a facial mask, cleanser, mist, serum, or moisturizer, watermelon can keep your complexion looking healthy and retain that bright, youthful glow. 

It promotes hydration

Given that it has water in its name, it should come as no shock that watermelon would be just as hydrating to your outsides as your insides. But the real secret to watermelon's hydration-boosting abilities are in its nutrient content. "Watermelon has vitamin A, C, and E, as well as a high quantity of water, all of which promote skin hydration and collagen stimulation," board-certified dermatologist Adriana Lombardi, M.D. tells Mind Body Green. Encouraging collagen production is essential in the fight against inevitable wrinkles. Hydration, meanwhile, plays a role in minimizing fine lines on the skin. Vitamins A, E, and C also contain antioxidant properties, meaning they can hold their own when faced with free radicals or other harmful molecules, like pollutants, that speed up the aging process.


Per one 2012 study, watermelon seed oil (known scientifically as citrullus lanatus) also contains high levels of linoleic fatty acids, an ingredient that research has shown reduces transepidermal water loss while strengthening the skin barrier. And, unlike other emollients, like coconut oil, linoleic acid has also been shown to be a non-comedogenic emollient booster, so it's a safe moisturizing agent for dry, sensitive skin types. This means it's also less likely to clog your pores.To get the most of these hydrating benefits, look for watermelon seed extract in creams or lotions.

It can calm irritated skin

Thanks to all of its antioxidants and vitamins, watermelon offers calming effects when applied to the skin. This makes it a great natural alternative for those looking to reduce the inflammatory appearance of skin conditions like rosacea, acne, and even provide relief from sunburn. "Watermelon contains amino acids like citrulline, which have soothing and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin," board-certified dermatologist Michelle Henry, MD tells Brydie. "When used in skincare, watermelon can help alleviate skin redness, irritation, and sensitivity, making it beneficial for individuals with sensitive or reactive skin." Although this isn't to suggest that a slice of watermelon on sunburned skin is going to monumentally ease the damage that was caused, it definitely won't hurt if you don't have anything else on you.  If you go this route, however, Dr. Viscusi recommends to Prevention that you specifically apply the rind to your skin, rather than the watermelon flesh. 


Unlike some synthetic and other plant-based beauty ingredients, it's relatively gentle enough for daily use, no matter your type. The only possible issue that could arise is if you have an allergy to watermelon which, if you do (and you know!), you probably wouldn't be on the hunt for it in the first place.