Spring has sprung (almost), and it’s time to give that dull winter skin the TLC it needs to face the sunnier days ahead. In a cheap and easy beauty treatment that is also good enough to eat, a DIY banana face mask can help to calm and clean skin for the change of the seasons.
Before the how, let’s start with the why. Wandering into your kitchen and putting a little fresh fruit on your face is not as crazy as it sounds, according to Dr. Kathryn A. Boling, M.D., a primary care provider of Family Medicine at Maryland’s Lutherville Personal Physicians. “Bananas contain many beneficial vitamins, including manganese, vitamin C, potassium, biotin and copper. Some of these vitamins are proven to be beneficial to skin,” says Dr. Boling.
But this still raises the question: Why the face mask versus eating your favorite fruit? Dr. Boling explains, “Most nutrients are delivered to the skin via the bloodstream, but some can be applied topically. However, the top layer of the skin — called the stratum corneum — is made up of dead skin cells (about 15 – 20 layers) and acts as a barrier to protect the underlying skin from infection and harmful chemicals. Also, it makes absorption of topical vitamins difficult. Therefore, exfoliation should be the first step prior to using a natural banana mask. Secondly, studies in animals show that vitamin C can be absorbed by the skin in an acidic environment. It may be beneficial to add in an acid (like lemon or citrus of some sort) to encourage vitamin C absorption.”
If an official medical opinion isn’t convincing enough for you, plenty of celebrity skin care specialists endorse the practice too. Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection, agrees with Dr. Boling, saying, “Bananas are high in potassium, which is wonderful for your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is what helps your skin clean itself, and it provides nutrients to every cell in your body.”
Whether you eat them or put them on your skin, you’re bound to see a big change in your complexion when you make bananas your new best friend. When used in a handy DIY mask, bananas can nourish the skin, along with the help of honey to absorb and retain moisture, to deeply hydrate and enhance your natural glow. And as Dr. Boling suggests, just a touch of lemon juice can help to exfoliate and improve vitamin C absorption.
What you will need:
- Small bowl
- Measuring spoon
- Metal spoon for mashing and mixing
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 10 drops lemon juice
1. Cut or break a banana into small pieces, and place into a mixing bowl. Mash up the banana with a metal spoon.
2. Add honey and lemon juice to the mashed banana. Mix well.
3. Apply the mask to the entire face, and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse well using a warm washcloth.
For those who don’t have time to whip up an entire DIY banana mask, a fresh banana against inflamed skin might do the trick. Dr. Boling reminds us that bananas have medicinal properties that can be used to soothe a number of inflammatory skin conditions, including acne. Dr. Boling says, “According to a 2012 article in the Journal of Pharmacology and Phytochemistry, bananas have been used to treat burns or wounds due to their soothing properties. Thus, using a banana peel against the skin to decrease inflammation could also be very beneficial.”