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4 Skin Benefits of Watermelon, Usage Tips & Product Recommendations

Emily Rekstis
March 25, 2022
Emily Rekstis
Contributing writer
By Emily Rekstis
Contributing writer
Emily Rekstis is a freelance writer who has worked at Harper's Bazaar, Self, And UsWeekly. Her bylines appear in Healthline, Byrdie, Women's Health, MyDomaine, BuzzFeed, The Cut, Allure and many more.
March 25, 2022
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Superfruits like watermelon have been touted as a good-for-you food pretty much since people have been eating the deliciously refreshing fruit. Though we favor watermelon for its flavor (especially in the summer months!), it is also incredibly hydrating internally and comes with a host of full-body benefits. 

Beyond these notable perks, watermelon has also been shown to improve skin's health. Thanks to its nutrients, watermelon can help deliver a brighter, smoother, plumper complexion. Keep scrolling to see all the incredible skin care benefits of watermelon and how to obtain them for yourself. 

Skin care benefits.

Watermelon contains a variety of essential vitamins and antioxidants that promote skin's health. "Watermelon has vitamin A, C, and E, as well as a high quantity of water, all of which promote skin hydration and collagen stimulation," board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Cancer & Cosmetic Surgery Center of New Jersey, Adriana Lombardi, M.D., explains. "Vitamins A, C, and E are all integral to collagen production. Eating watermelon as well as applying it to the skin can give anti-aging, hydration, and protection from free radical damage."


Skin longevity

The key skin care benefit of watermelon is its ability to promote collagen production thanks to vitamin C. "It stimulates collagen production so it thickens the skin and improves fine lines," board-certified NYC dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D., explains. 

Beyond just stimulating collagen, vitamin C has also been shown to stabilize that same collagen1 for serious long-term benefits. So not only does vitamin C minimize fine lines and wrinkles, but it also prevents them from coming back. Now that's a skin care advantage if we ever heard one! 



It's no secret that watermelon contains a large concentration of water—just look at the name! But both vitamin E and vitamin C also have moisturizing benefits. While vitamin E is known in the skin care community for its impressive hydrating properties, vitamin C has been shown to decrease moisture loss2. Essentially: Vitamin E provides moisture; vitamin C helps lock it in for an overall plump, healthy complexion. 


Protects against free radical damage 

Vitamin C's and E's skin care benefits continue to showcase their natural abilities, with their power to manage or minimize the effects of photodamage. Vitamin E's antioxidant properties can even provide some protection against free radical damage such as UV radiation.



"Watermelon rind has anti-inflammatory properties that help to ease erythema and reduce inflammation," Lombardi says. "This can be applied as a cooling mask or used on specific areas that are inflamed from conditions such as rosacea and sunburn." 

Unlike the other skin care benefits, the best way to gain these calming benefits is by using the watermelon rind as a DIY face mask. All you have to do is remove the pink flesh from the middle of a slice, pop the rind into the refrigerator, and, after 10 minutes of chilling, thinly slice the ring to apply it to irritated or inflamed areas. 

How to use it. 

There are a variety of ways you can soak up watermelon's impressive skin care benefits. Not only does it make for a great ingredient in topical products, but it's also able to deliver them through your diet:


As a snack 

The first thing you think about doing with a watermelon is eating it. So it shouldn't be any surprise that eating a watermelon can also provide your skin with all kinds of amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. Not only will your skin thank you for a healthy watermelon snack, but the rest of your body will, too.


As a toner 

Though not the most common use of watermelon, UMA Ultimate Brightening Rose Toner pairs watermelon with tomato to tone the skin, minimizing breakouts and blemishes. Meanwhile, papaya draws out impurities from the pores as rose uses its astringent abilities for absolutely stunning glowing results. 


As a moisturizer 

Thanks to its hydrating abilities, watermelon in moisturizer makes for a natural pairing. A current favorite is Bliss' What a Melon Watermelon Moisturizer. Along with watermelon fruit extract, it also contains cucumber fruit extract for additional hydrating benefits and willow bark extract for its gentle, natural exfoliation. All together, these ingredients deliver a brighter, smoother complexion. 


As a face mask 

As previously mentioned, you can use the watermelon rind as a DIY face mask. But beyond that, watermelon is a great addition in many sophisticated skin care products, including cult-favorite Glow Recipe Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask.


As a full-body moisturizer

The hydrating and antioxidant-rich fruit isn't just great for the face, it makes for an excellent addition to full-body lotions—so you can expect all the benefits from above, just below the neck.

In fact, mindbodygreen's postbiotic body lotion contains a watermelon extract in its fruit complex, alongside apple stem cells and lentil extract. Together, they create a complex that delivers a wide range of skin-supporting nutrients and benefits like citrulline and polysaccharides for water retention, vitamin B5 to smooth skin, and trisaccharides to enhance epidermal barrier function.

Are there any side effects? 

When introducing a new ingredient to your skin care routine, you always want to be aware of the downsides as well as the upsides. If you're thinking of adding products formulated with watermelon, you're in luck: There are few to no side effects. "It's totally safe," Jaliman assures us. "The only people who can't use it are those who are allergic to watermelon."

The takeaway. 

If you're looking for a safe, beneficial skin care ingredient that pairs well with others to boost skin's overall health and appearance, watermelon is a great option. For more hydrating creams, check out our favorite full-body moisturizers.

Emily Rekstis author page.
Emily Rekstis
Contributing writer

Emily Rekstis is a freelance writer, editor and content creator. After serving as the beauty assistant at Harper's Bazaar and Self magazine, she went on to cover celebrity beauty and fashion as UsWeekly's Style Editor. Consistently curious and always willing to learn, she indulges in her variety of interests writing about everything from beauty trends to health habits to design tips for publications like Healthline, Byrdie, Women's Health, MyDomaine, BuzzFeed, The Cut, Allure and many more.