There are a bunch of reasons to love bananas. Not only are they one of the most versatile fruits in the kitchen, but they also offer some seriously great benefits for the skin. If you have a penchant for face masks but don’t love the price tags that come with them, you’ll be delighted to know you can whip up some of your own at home and add some bananas in to reap their awesome dermatological benefits.
In this article, we’ll be exploring four of our favorite DIY banana face masks that we’re sure you’ll go absolutely, well, bananas for. Read on to learn more about the banana, where it comes from, and the different ways it can benefit your pretty mug.
- A Little Background on the Banana
- Bananas: How Their Nutrients Help Our Skin
- Common Ingredients in DIY Banana Face Masks
- 4 DIY Banana Face Masks We Love
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Banana Masks: A-Peeling to Beauty Enthusiasts
A Little Background on the Banana
Bananas are long edible berries, belonging to the Musa genus of the Musaceae family. The modern, seedless versions you find in grocery stores typically come from two subspecies: Musa balbisiana and Musa acuminata. Native to tropical regions around Australia, Malaysia, and Indonesia, they were most likely first domesticated in Papua New Guinea. Nowadays, however, they’re grown in over 135 countries, with India and China as the world’s top producers.
Bananas are closely related to plantains, which are similar in both shape and structure. However, the bananas we know are referred to as ‘dessert bananas’ in some tropical countries, since they’re often much sweeter than plantains. In contrast, plantains pop up in a lot of savory dishes in tropical cuisines, especially those in the Caribbean region. Some countries, like Indonesia, have several different types of bananas, rendering our binary distinction between bananas and plantains unnecessary.
The word ‘banana’ is thought to come from the Wolof word ‘banaana,’ which is in turn allegedly derived from the Arabic word ‘banan,’ which translates to ‘fingertip.’
Bananas initially made their way to North America in 1870, when Captain Lorenzo Baker brought over bananas he purchased in Jamaica to Jersey City. When they exploded in popularity, he teamed up with a local businessman named Andrew Preston to form the Boston Fruit Company, which became one of the first American fruit production businesses to bring over fruits from the West Indies to the United States.
Bananas: How Their Nutrients Help Our Skin
Most folks are familiar with the potassium and fiber found in bananas, but their nutritional advantages extend far beyond your afternoon snack. The dermatological benefits that bananas offer are reason alone to mash one up and slather it on your face; they’re packed with age-defying and sun-protecting nutrients like vitamins A, B6, C, and E.
Anyone over the age of 25 is familiar with the sinking revelation that our skin isn’t designed to look naturally dewy and youthful forever. As we age, our skin’s natural collagen production slows down, so it’s up to our skincare regimens to start lending us a little extra help in that area. Bananas contain silica, or silicon dioxide, which is thought to help improve the skin’s elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Bananas are also plentiful in antioxidants, which fend off free radicals and other external environmental factors that can leave your skin looking tired and dry over the long term. Some studies show that regularly applying antioxidant-rich face masks could give your skin a smooth and healthy glow, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to test this theory out for yourself.
Even though bananas don’t offer the same breakout-fighting properties as tea tree oil, salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide, their vitamin A helps reduce red and inflamed skin, which could, in turn, lead to fewer breakouts. What’s more, their antibacterial phenolics can help treat acne scars and fade hyperpigmentation, too.
But before we get into the mask recipes, let’s first take a look at the other common ingredients.
Common Ingredients in DIY Banana Face Masks
Bananas aren’t the only major players in these homemade masks; you’ll also find a slew of other common household food products thrown in. Read on to learn more about them and the dermatological benefits they provide.
This famous all-purpose product makes a splash when it comes to rejuvenating your skin. Baking soda will break down pore-clogging culprits like grime, dirt, and excess oil, as well as get deep into your pores and clean them out. It also contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that will help balance the good bacteria on your skin and prevent it from flaring up.
Turmeric has powerful antibacterial properties, which can fend off skin-damaging microbes and restore your skin’s natural glow. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, it’s also plentiful in antioxidants that’ll protect your skin from external environmental factors that can damage it over the long term, like free radicals.
It’s hard to beat honey’s benefits for the skin. Not only is it a soothing moisturizer, but its antibacterial properties also help fight off nasty pore-clogging microbes while still maintaining the integrity of your natural moisture barrier. Honey also boosts collagen production, which will help smooth and tighten the skin while simultaneously reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Coconut oil has long been thought of as a miracle product for the skin; this is probably because of its versatility. It hydrates, soothes, reduces wrinkles, calms redness, and protects your skin from free radicals. Better yet, it’s readily available and very affordable.
If you deal with an uneven skin tone or hyperpigmented blemishes, you’ll be happy to know that lemon juice can help you fight both. What’s more, lemon juice is a gentle natural astringent that can help regulate the oil content in your skin, making it a must-have for those with naturally shinier complexions.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better all-around natural skin product than yogurt. Not only is it a great moisturizer, but its lactic acid also acts as a gentle exfoliator, making this a great skincare routine addition for those with sensitive skin.
Much like the lactic acid in yogurt, the citric acid in orange juice gently exfoliates the skin and shrinks acne without drying out the skin too much. The antioxidants in oranges also fend off free radicals, thereby slowing down the aging process and preserving your youthful visage.
The good news is that you’ll find all of these ingredients in our awesome homemade face mask recipes below! We’ll also highlight which face masks suit which type of skin problem best. Read on to learn more!
4 DIY Banana Face Masks We Love
Now that you’re aware of the banana’s unique perks, let’s introduce our top picks for DIY banana face masks that will leave your skin looking particularly “a-peel-ing”!
1. Banana, Yogurt, and Orange Juice Face Mask
Ingredients: 1 ripe banana, 1 tsp. thick plain yogurt, 1 tsp. orange juice, ½ tsp. olive oil (optional)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Best For: Fighting wrinkles
- Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and mash together until the mix is homogenous and lump-free.
- Apply the mask to damp, freshly cleaned skin and massage the mixture into the skin for 60 seconds.
- Apply a second, thicker layer and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Rinse with cold water to tighten pores, pat skin dry with a fresh towel, and moisturize if needed.
Think of this mask as a gentle, all-natural chemical peel for the face. The yogurt’s lactic acid and the orange juice’s citric acid will serve up a double hit of exfoliation, and the banana will boost collagen production and protect your skin from harmful free radicals. You can also add in a little bit of olive oil for an extra moisture boost. All in all, it’s a great face mask that fights wrinkles from every angle.
2. Banana, Honey, and Lemon Juice Mask
Ingredients: 1 ripe banana, 1 tsp. honey, 1 tsp. lemon juice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Best For: Brightening skin
- First, mash up the banana in a bowl until it’s creamy and lump-free.
- Mix in the honey and lemon juice.
- Once it’s all mixed together, gently apply a thick layer to damp, freshly cleaned skin and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse the mask off with warm water only.
- Pat the skin dry with a fresh towel and moisturize as needed.
If you’re looking to lighten and brighten your skin, look no further than this DIY banana face mask. Between the banana’s antioxidants, honey’s moisturizing and antibacterial properties, and lemon juice’s gentle exfoliating and toning powers, your skin will be left looking lighter, brighter, and tighter than ever.
Because this face mask packs such a powerful punch, we recommend wearing it before applying your makeup in the morning; your newly glowing visage will thank you.
3. Banana, Honey, and Coconut Oil Face Mask
Ingredients: 1 ripe banana, 2 tbsps. honey, 1 tsp. coconut oil
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Best For: Moisturizing dry skin
- Mash the banana in a bowl with a fork, adding the honey and coconut oil after most of the lumps have been worked out.
- Mix all the ingredients together until the paste is smooth and uniform.
- Apply a medium-thick layer to damp, freshly cleaned skin and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Rinse it off with warm water.
- Pat skin dry with a fresh towel and moisturize if needed.
The banana and honey produce a doubly moisturizing effect, while the latter fends off bad, acne-causing skin bacteria. Additionally, coconut oil moisturizes while simultaneously reducing redness, fading fine lines and wrinkles, and protecting your skin’s moisture barrier.
4. Banana, Baking Soda, and Turmeric Face Mask
Ingredients: 1 ripe banana, ½ tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. turmeric
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Best For: Busting acne
- Add all the ingredients to the bowl, mashing the lumps out with a fork as you mix everything together.
- Add a splash or two of water if the mask feels too thick to you.
- Apply a medium-thick layer to damp, freshly cleaned skin; the baking soda may sting a bit, but it’s nothing to worry about and will subside quickly.
- Let the mask sit on your face for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
- Pat your skin dry with a fresh towel.
After using this mask, don’t forget to moisturize—the baking soda will thoroughly dry out your sebaceous glands.
Baking soda is on cleanup duty here; not only will it wash away excess oil, grime, and dirt, but it’ll give your pores the deep cleansing they deserve. The turmeric will be on maintenance mode, then, as its antibacterial properties help keep pore-clogging microbes at bay.
Frequently Asked Questions
Of course, it’s wise to do your research before trying out any homemade face mask. This is exactly why we’ve put together a list of the most frequently asked questions surrounding bananas and their skin benefits, so that you can try these face masks out armed with the knowledge needed to choose the right one for you.
Wait — Aren’t Bananas Radioactive?
Technically yes, but so are a host of other household items and food products, including granite countertops, kitty litter, spinach, and even potatoes. Fortunately, you’d have to eat about 1000 bananas to get the same radiation as you do during a routine chest X-ray, so don’t worry, you won’t sprout an extra limb after wearing a few DIY banana face masks.
Could I Be Allergic to DIY Banana Face Masks?
If you have latex or pollen allergies, there’s a chance you could be allergic to bananas as well. Certain proteins in bananas are similar to those found in latex and other fruits, so steer clear of DIY banana face masks if you know you’re allergic to apples, potatoes, tomatoes, kiwi, chestnuts, melons, carrots, celery, avocados, or papaya.
If you’re brave enough to test the waters anyway, be on the lookout for signs of an allergic reaction to bananas, like:
- Wheezing (or other asthma-like symptoms)
- Itchy skin
- Skin swelling
- Rash or hives
Thankfully, these symptoms should go away within a half hour or so of washing off the face mask and taking an OTC histamine. In more extreme cases, though, you could start going into anaphylactic shock, at which point you should call 911 immediately.
For these reasons, it’s best to consult your doctor or an allergist before trying one of these DIY banana face masks out, should you have any reservations.
Can I Use the Banana Peel for Anything?
Absolutely! Don’t slip up and toss that peel out just yet—there are actually a number of benefits offered by the banana’s complementary jacket.
The idea of rubbing a banana peel on your face might sound a little kooky, but it’s been shown to reduce skin inflammation and help shrink painful cystic acne. The starchiness in the peel removes excess oil from the skin and contains lutein, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Potassium, which is the banana’s premier nutrient, has also been shown to reduce redness, irritation, and swelling.
You don’t have to rub the peel all over your face to reap its acne-busting benefits; simply rub it on the spots in question for 10-15 minutes and then let it sit for an additional 20 minutes. Rinse your face afterward, pat it dry with a towel, and then moisturize if necessary. If you still need some direction here, watch this handy video, which shows you exactly how it’s done.
When Is the Best Time to Wear a DIY Banana Face Mask?
It depends on your schedule. While there’s a lot to be said for wearing a face mask an hour and a half or so before hitting the hay, you could also incorporate it into your morning routine to give your skin a moisture boost before applying your makeup for the day.
Ultimately, it comes down to your preferences. Wearing a face mask before bed could restore tired skin over the long term since you’re wearing it right before entering your skin’s routine repair process. But wearing it in the morning will brighten your face in the short term, leaving you looking fresh and dewy all day long.
Banana Masks: A-Peeling to Beauty Enthusiasts
The banana is a powerful beauty tool that can help revive your skin, and these 4 banana face masks ideas are a great way to get started with at-home, DIY face masks. Just make sure to stock up so that you don’t have to miss breakfast to save your skin!
Now that bananas have your skin looking fresh and clear, why not take a look at our favorite DIY Vaseline beauty hacks?