The summer fruit is quickly becoming a beauty hero ingredient — and for good reason.
This article was originally published on August 3, 2021 and has been updated.
Watermelon has always been synonymous with summer, thanks to the fact that it’s crazy-hydrating and refreshing (it is 92 percent water, after all) and, of course, because it’s delicious. The latter quality aside, the first clue that watermelon might make a great beauty product ingredient is simply the fact that our skin, like the rest of our body, needs hydration. But we don’t need to tell that to anyone who’s ever experienced a long, cold Canadian winter.
Beyond the hydration factor, watermelon is full of ingredients that can do wonders for your skin. Like citrulline, for example. It’s an amino acid that improves blood circulation and acts as a natural exfoliator. And lycopene, an anti-inflammatory, which means it can reduce puffiness and redness in your skin, as can vitamins C, A, and B6, all found in watermelon. And since watermelon is full of antioxidants, it can be used to protect your skin from free radicals and treat fine lines, which is why new watermelon beauty products continue to pop up on the shelves of beauty stores.
And it’s not just skin that can benefit from watermelon’s benefits. The fruit can actually have a plumping effect on hair, too, because of how hydrating it is.
The fruit has been used in natural remedies for ages (like rubbing watermelon rind onto inflamed skin to get its soothing properties), but one beauty product really reintroduced watermelon as a beauty hero. Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, which became one of the most-hyped beauty products of 2017, selling out countless times at Sephora — including the day it launched. In fact, it became Sephora’s best-selling mask that year.
Not only has Glow Recipe released a series of watermelon products (including the brand’s first foray into body care), but plenty of other brands got the watermelon beauty memo. We’ve rounded up our faves below.
Garnier Fructis 3-in-1 Watermelon Extract Mask
This one-minute weekly hair treatment can be used as a mask, a leave-in treatment or a conditioner, for an extra boost of moisture that we all need in the summer.
Indeed Laboratories Watermelon Melting Balm
In need of a deep cleanse? An oil-based balm is the best way to dissolve all traces of makeup and grime without drying out your skin. This brightening cleanser is safe for sensitive types and includes watermelon seed oil to keep your skin hydrated and supple through to the morning.
Aceology Hydro Glow & Deep Hydration Watermelon Eye Mask
This refreshing cocktail of vitamin C-rich watermelon extract and aloe vera leaf extract is a great pick-me-up for your under-eye area.
St. Tropez Gradual Tan Watermelon Daily Firming Lotion
You’ve got watermelon in your makeup, skincare and haircare, but what about your self-tanner? This gradual tanning formula from St.Tropez is infused with watermelon juice to amp up hydration while bronzing your complexion.
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Dream Body Cream
Fun fact: according to founders Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, this lotion was inspired by the Korean tradition of rubbing chilled watermelon rind onto skin to soothe irritation and help cool down heat rash in the summer.
R+Co Dreamhouse Cold-Pressed Watermelon Wave Spray
For dreamy beach waves, spritz hair with this strengthening wave spray. Ingredients like jackfruit extract add texture and shine, while cold-pressed watermelon seed oil shields hair from UV damage and keeps hair soft.
Milk Makeup Watermelon Serum Stick
Milk Makeup’s serum in stick form is must for on-the-go hydration.
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel
Bet you didn’t know that everyone’s favourite daytime hydrating gel is made with watermelon rind to plump and soothe skin.
Cake Beauty Bouncy Hydrating Serum
Canadian skincare brand Cake Beauty’s fragrance-free hydrating serum is a summer skin hero. It’s lightweight, plumping and soothing, all thanks to a winning combination of aloe leaf juice, oat kernel extract, jojoba and watermelon seed oil.
Grown Alchemist Vanilla and Watermelon Lip Balm
This elegant lip balm by clean beauty brand Grown Alchemist smells like a watermelon dream, enhances shine and prevents chapping.
Lancer Method Body Cleanse
Celeb dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer is known for his skin-changing products — which don’t stop at the neck. This body wash is made with a trio of nourishing watermelon seed oil, marula oil, and kigelia fruit extracts to keep skin supple and soft after the shower.
Lawless Forget The Filler Overnight Lip Plumping Mask
To wake up with irresistibly soft, pillowy lips, apply a layer of this surprisingly lightweight mask before bed. Dab it on throughout the day for a nourishing lip gloss substitute.
Tree Hut Watermelon Shea Sugar Scrub
Dry, flaky skin is a thing of the past thanks to this fragrant sugar scrub which is loaded with skin-loving ingredients like shea butter and vegan collagen.
Sephora Collection Clean Eye Mask
Forget cucumber slices, a 5-minute watermelon eye mask will give your undereyes the brightening boost they need in a flash. These individually-packaged masks are great for travel, too.
Eos 100% Natural Smooth Lip Balm
If you’re obsessed with watermelon flavour, give this delightful balm set from Eos a try. Not only are they exceptionally hydrating, but the fruity flavour will linger on your lips for ages.
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With files from Melissa Fejtek