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9 Reasons to Add Watermelon to Your Skincare Routine


Watermelon isn't just a delicious summer treat; it's a skincare superhero. Packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and hydration, this juicy fruit offers a plethora of benefits for your skin. Rich in vitamin C, watermelon promotes collagen production, which helps maintain skin elasticity, keeping it firm and youthful. This essential vitamin also assists in repairing damaged skin, diminishing fine lines, and combating the signs of aging.

Moreover, watermelon is a hydration powerhouse, consisting of about 92 percent water. This high water content makes it an excellent natural moisturizer, keeping your skin hydrated and radiant while preventing dryness and flakiness. Additionally, the fruit is loaded with lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that shields the skin from free radicals and protects it from environmental stressors, such as pollution and UV rays. This protection helps in preventing sun damage and reducing the risk of wrinkles and dark spots.

And that’s not all this powerhouse can do. We chatted with Jennifer Yen, founder of PŪRLISSE (a line of fruit-forward skincare) about all the skin-loving benefits of watermelon. Here’s why adding watermelon to your skincare routine is a total win-win. 

About the Expert:
Jennifer Yen is the CEO and founder of skincare brand PŪRLISSE.

The Benefits of Watermelon for Your Skin:

1. It’s Gently Exfoliating for Sensitive Skin Types

PŪRLISSE BEAUTY Watermelon Energizing 2 Minute Polishing Peel

When your skin is feeling dry and dull, watermelon is a great ingredient for gently exfoliating away dead skin cells that can clog your pores and keep your skin from looking healthy and bright. “Watermelon is rich in malic acid, which helps remove dead skin cells, but will never give your skin that tight feeling because of its multiple moisturizing properties,” says Yen. Malic acid is also great for sensitive skin types, because it helps gently break down dead skin cells from the upper layers of your skin (aka it’s not harsh). The result is a smoother, more even, and glowier complexion. 

These are the types of benefits you won’t get by just eating watermelon. We love PŪRLISSE BEAUTY Watermelon Energizing 2 Minute Polishing Peel for the way it uses uses watermelon extract, as well as lychee, beets, and purple carrot extracts, to leave skin soft.

2. It’s Moisturizing

PURLISSE’s Watermelon Energizing Aqua Balm

Watermelon is basically all water! That’s also why the summer fruit is perfect for giving your skin a healthy hydration boost. “Watermelon has a very high water content,” says Yen. “For this reason, it not only helps to moisturize your skin, but it helps your skin retain that moisture.” And that malic acid we talked about? It’s also a humectant, which means it naturally draws in moisture for a steady supply of hydration. Healthy, dewy skin? Watermelon is your new go-to. PURLISSE’s Watermelon Energizing Aqua Balm can help. We love this light, refreshing hydrator packed with vitamin-rich watermelon, as well as aloe vera and cucumber that helps soothe your skin.

3. It’s Anti-Aging

DEW OF THE GODS Ultratonic Watermelon Extract Toner

Fine lines and wrinkles happen to us all. And while we’re all about embracing them, one watermelon benefit we love is its ability to help keep our skin smooth, plump, and even youthful. “Not only is watermelon rich in vitamins and antioxidants, it’s also rich in anti-aging agents such as lycopene, which helps delay skin’s aging process,” says Yen. Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives bright red summer fruits like watermelon their pretty tint (it’s also found in tomatoes). It helps repair damaged skin cells, regenerate new ones, fight free radicals, and slow the breakdown of collagen to improve firmness and elasticity. 

We’re big fans of DEW OF THE GODS Ultratonic Watermelon Extract Toner for its formula packed with alpha hydroxy acids, vitamins, hyaluronic acids, and, of course, watermelon. 

4. It Can Reduce Redness and Inflammation

TONYMOLY Watermelon Dew All Over Serum

If you’ve got sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, or you’re just experiencing redness and inflammation, watermelon has the skin health benefits you need. To wit, lycopene as an antioxidant has strong anti-inflammatory properties that help calm skin irritation. “For many generations, Koreans have used watermelon rinds to calm the skin,” says Yen. “This is because it has the power to soothe irritated skin, sunburns, and inflammation.” Think of how refreshing watermelon is after a day in the sun. 

Regardless of why your skin is feeling red and irritated, TONYMOLY Watermelon Dew All Over Serum can help. It contains a whopping 50 percent watermelon extract, aloe leaf extract, and centella asiatica to help reduce inflammation, lock in moisture, and boost your skin’s barrier. 

5. It’s Packed with Nourishing Vitamins

HANHOO Watermelon Illuminator - Overnight Serum

Healthy skin is happy skin, right? We know loading up on fruits and veggies, watermelon included, can help keep you healthy from the inside out. The same vitamins that benefit your body—vitamins A, B, and C—have great benefits for your skin. All have properties that help strengthen, nourish, and protect, and brighten your complexion to boost your overall glow. “My skin always feels brighter and more energized after using products infused with watermelon,” says Yen. Our verdict? Watermelon is just the hydrating, refreshing, healthy ingredient our skin is craving this summer. 

For a dose of nourishment, grab our favorite HANHOO Watermelon Illuminator - Overnight Serum with ingredients like watermelon and apple extracts, combined with sodium hyaluronate and niacinamide. 

6. It Can Even Your Skin Tone

GLOW RECIPE Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

Those with dark spots, acne marks, or just overall dull skin know the struggle of getting an even skin tone. Skincare products with watermelon can help and if you’ve made it this far, you know why. Its exfoliating properties help fade dark spots and powerful lycopene can lessen overall redness. To help even skin overnight, try GLOW RECIPE Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask with amino acid-rich watermelon extract, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and AHAs to gently exfoliate and plump.

7. It Can Brighten Skin

GLOW RECIPE Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner

It can be hard to identify dull skin but you know it when you see it. It just doesn’t have that healthy glow. When our skin is feeling less than glowy, we reach for GLOW RECIPE Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore-Tight Toner. It’s hydrating, clarifying, and exfoliating all at once, dissolving build-up, excess sebum, and dead skin cells, leaving skin looking bright and healthy.

8. It Can Balance Sebum Production

GLOW RECIPE Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer

Vitamin A helps to reduce excess sebum production by increasing cell turnover, which leads to less clogged pores, less oily skin, and fewer breakouts. Luckily, watermelon is rich in vitamin A. Keep skin shine-free with GLOW RECIPE Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer, a lightweight hydrator that won’t clog pores.

9. It Smells Delicious

CIATÉ LONDON Watermelon Burst Hydrating Lip Oil

We love fragrance-free skincare as much as the next person but sometimes it’s a treat to have your products smell juicy and fruity without any irritating ingredients, of course. Have some fun with watermelon-scented, hydrating lip oils and lip balms, such as our faves CIATÉ LONDON Watermelon Burst Hydrating Lip Oil and GLOW RECIPE Watermelon Glow Lip Pop.

How to Use Watermelon for Your Skin 

Beginners to watermelon-infused skincare should reach for some of our go-to items always in our skincare routine. These are moisturizers, serums, masks, and face mists that have watermelon extract (or Citrullus Vulgaris) or watermelon seed oil within the first few ingredients on the ingredient list. That’s how you know you’ll get the health benefits of watermelon and not just a scented product. 

Downsides of Using Watermelon on Your Skin

You always want to chat with a dermatologist about your skincare routine but generally, the experts we spoke to assured us that watermelon is generally safe and non-irritating for all skin types. (Of course, this isn’t the case if you’re allergic!) Be sure to look out for additional ingredients in watermelon-infused products that might be more irritating, such as acids and essential oils.

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About the author
Elizabeth Denton
Elizabeth is a freelance beauty writer. Previously, she was a beauty & fashion editor at Time Out New York, Seventeen, & Allure. She has more than a decade of experience in the beauty and fashion world, writing for Nylon, StyleCaster, Cosmopolitan & more.
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Article Last Updated January 17, 2024 12:00 AM