This Surprising Fruit Is the Key to Soothing Acne-Prone Skin

Updated 04/18/19
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Watermelon is trending. Not just in juices, salads and the Urban Outfitters home section, but also in our skincare—all thanks to the release of one super-soothing K-beauty mask. The stats are certainly impressive: When Glow Recipe launched Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, the bouncy gel sold out within just five hours and now has around 20,000 people on the waiting list.

Those shoppers are onto something, too. Watermelon isn’t used much in modern skincare, but the juicy fruit is brimming with benefits for those with dry, acne-prone skin or angry pores. Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, co-founders of Glow Recipe, reminded us that “watermelon is 92% water, making it one of the best sources of hydration.”

And that’s not the only way watermelon soothes parched skin and keeps moisture stores topped up. “It’s also rich in an ingredient called citrulline, an amino acid that is water-binding,” explain the duo. “It helps to condition and soften the skin and has amazing antioxidant properties,” while “the lycopene found in watermelon is known to be anti-inflammatory.”

It’s no wonder then that watermelon is a skincare staple in beauty-savvy Korea, where it’s used as a cure-all for any number of ailments, from heat rash to skin irritation. “Our grandmothers would cut thick slabs of chilled watermelon, and then rub it on our backs and legs if we were exposed to the sun too long,” the pair tell us. “Also, our mothers would use watermelon as one of their go-to DIY facial ingredients. They’d slice the chilled rinds into see-through pieces and place them on their skin as a soothing mask. They shared this technique with us when we had breakouts as teenagers.”

That’s a great DIY option. But, if you’re keen to just eat all your watermelon and let skincare brands do the rest, we’ve rounded up the best watermelon beauty buys out there. Keep scrolling to discover masks, moisturisers and mists infused with this plumping, hydrating fruit…

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask $35
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Millennial pink packaging and a K-beauty background make this an instant winner—and that’s before we’ve told you about the night pack’s other benefits. As well as flooding your pores with the skin-quenching properties of watermelon, Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask suspends AHAs in the gel formula to gently dissolve dulling dead skin cells. Massage a thin layer over your skin before you go to bed, and you’ll wake to a plumped-up glow.

Kocostar Watermelon Slice Mask Sheet $4
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Unlike your typical sheet mask, which covers your entire face, these 12 individual “slices” are small and round, so you can use them to target problem areas. Place them on the parts of your skin that are particularly parched—like your cheeks or even your knees—and the watermelon extract will improve hydration in less than 20 minutes.

Murad Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence $65
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If flaky skin is your biggest bugbear, soothe it with this ultra-hydrating essence, which harnesses watermelon and the gentle exfoliating properties of glycolic acid. Wear it underneath moisturiser, concentrating on the areas where skin can be fussy; around the corners of your nose, between eyebrows and the tops of cheeks.

UMA Ultimate Brightening Rose Toner $50
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Though rose is the main ingredient in this soothing, brightening toner, watermelon plays the role of a blemish buster when paired with tightening tomato. Together, they keep pores clear of grime, refresh hot, stuffy skin, and put their anti-inflammatory properties to work for a calmer complexion.

Algenist Splash Hydrating Setting Mist $28
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This serum-in-a-spritz is more hydrating than your average facial mist. Though it’s water-light, you can feel the immediate quenching, courtesy of watermelon, when you spray it on. Apply it over makeup—the brand recommends a Z formation—and top it up throughout the day to keep foundation looking fresh and dewy.

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