The cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a member of the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae, which also includes pumpkin, zucchini, watermelon, and squash. Botanically speaking, cucumbers are actually fruits because they are the part of flowering plants that contain the seeds and are the means by which such plants disseminate those seeds. The plant is cultivated throughout India and China, in particular, as well as in Europe and the United States.
Most types of cucumber are composed of 95% water. Despite this high concentration of water, the cucumber fruit contains a wide variety of beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, phytosterols, phenolic acids, fatty acids, and cucurbitacins. The major constituents that provide skin benefits include ascorbic acid (vitamin C), beta carotene, polysaccharides, and vitamin K.
Cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract functions as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent, and skin-conditioning agent in cosmetics and personal care products. Additionally, cucumber fruit extract contains fragrant components that are not sensitizing to skin, so it can be used to enhance the natural scent of a cosmetic product without issue.