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Bananas rightfully earn the title of “super food” with numerous beneficial properties — think copious nutrients, antioxidants and healthy natural sugars. For do-it-yourself skin-care gurus, however, the power lies in the peel. You can use this fruit’s characteristic peel for various at-home skin remedies, each of which targets a particular skin issue, ranging from acne to dry skin.
Rub Out Acne
Some acne sufferers have experienced positive results simply by rubbing banana peels on affected areas. For this technique, cut a ripe banana into pieces and remove the peel, once again cutting the peel into manageable pieces about the size of the average acne pad. Rub the inside of the peel onto the affected area — use only one peel section for each spot, such as your forehead or chin — until the peel browns. Repeat the process about three or four times daily. This method’s potential effectiveness is likely owed to the banana’s vitamin-C content; vitamin C serves as an antioxidant that, according to dermatology professor Whitney Bowe, can help relieve the oxidative stress responsible for causing skin inflammation.
Ease Puffy Eyes
To tighten up under-eye bags, run a spoon through the inside of a banana peel to collect the white internal fibers. Combine the peel’s fibers with aloe vera gel until the two ingredients form a paste, then apply the paste around your eyes. Lie down for about 10 to 15 minutes with your feet raised before rinsing the paste away with cold water. While the aloe vera moisturizes, the banana’s potassium content can help counteract the excess salt that causes fluid retention and under-eye bags.
Scrub for Success
While many banana skin-care recipes call for the creamy flesh of the banana, exfoliating, skin-tightening scrubs can actually benefit from leaving the peel on — a practice which adds a chunkier texture to the mixture. To create a banana scrub, slice a ripe banana — leaving the peel but not the stems — and mash it into a chunky paste with a few tablespoons of granulated sugar and a dash of vanilla extract or the essential oil of your choice. Massage the scrub into your skin — it works just as well on the face as it does the arms and legs — and rinse it clean with warm water.
Peel Back the Layers
If you’re looking for DIY skin-care techniques, don’t neglect the fruit within the banana peel. For a moisturizing mask, mash a medium-ripe banana into a paste and apply it your freshly washed face; allow it to rest for about 10 or 20 minutes before rinsing with cold water. You can also add a few tablespoons of honey and plain, natural yogurt to this mask to heighten its antibacterial, skin-tone evening and moisturizing properties.