Here’s How Watermelon Benefits Your Skin

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Watermelon is more than just a delicious summer fruit. Historically, our enslaved ancestors grew watermelon as a cash crop, turning the fruit into a symbol of liberation. Although it has also become a racial stereotype, it has since been reclaimed by the Black and Palestinian communities as a symbol of resistance. To make it even better, the fruit also packs a punch in its benefits to the body and skin.

“The foods we consume directly influence the skin’s structural integrity, its ability to repair and regenerate, and its overall radiance,” holistic esthetician and Klur founder Lesley Thornton tells ESSENCE. “Watermelon is a powerhouse of hydration and nutrition, containing 91% water and 6% sugar making it a superb choice for skin health.”

In honor of Juneteenth today, Thornton explains the countless skin benefits of watermelon– and why you should sink your teeth in this season’s famous fruit.

Why is watermelon good for your skin?

Benefits, from collagen production to anti-inflammation, can be accredited to watermelon. “Eating fruit is crucial for skin health because fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and hydration— elements that are essential for maintaining a healthy complexion,” Thornton says. “Rich in vitamins A and C, watermelon supports collagen production and aids in skin repair and regeneration.”

Watermelon also contains the antioxidant lycopene, which protects the skin from oxidative stress and can reduce inflammation. The high water content can also aid in hydration, which is a leading factor to full body health and skin regeneration. “The combination of these elements in watermelon helps to promote a clear, glowing complexion and supports overall skin health.” 

How do the benefits of watermelon compare to other fruits?

Compared to popular summer fruits – like pineapples, cherries, and Wimbledon-approved strawberries – watermelon is rich in an incomparable ingredient: water. “Compared to other fruits, watermelon’s hydrating properties make it particularly beneficial for those seeking to enhance their skin’s moisture levels and overall radiance,” she says. 

Containing 91% water (and only 6% sugar), “watermelon stands out among fruits for its exceptionally high water content, making it an excellent choice for hydration, which is crucial for maintaining healthy skin.” However, “a varied fruit intake is recommended to ensure a comprehensive range of nutrients for optimal skin health,” so still keep your other favorite fruits on the table. 

How can watermelon be used in your daily routine?

Other than being used in your diet (think: watermelon juice and gelato recipes), beauty brands often use watermelon in skincare. From the top-rated Glow Recipe Watermelon Serum to the new Watermelon Lip Sleeping Mask by Laniege, the water-rich fruit can give both an internal and external benefit. “Watermelon can be utilized as a topical skin product and has gained popularity in skincare formulations such as serums and masks,” Thornton says. “The fruit’s hydrating properties, coupled with its rich content of vitamins A and C and antioxidants, make it an excellent ingredient for topical applications.”

Using watermelon extract can help soothe and moisturize the skin, reduce inflammation, and improve your skin’s complexion. “Products like watermelon serums leverage these benefits, offering a refreshing and nourishing treatment that can enhance the skin’s texture and appearance.”

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