By: Kimberly Rodrigues
A study from 2011 discovered that banana peels contain high levels of antioxidants, with unripe peels having a higher concentration of antioxidants compared to ripe and overripe peels, Cleveland Clinic informs.
Further, it’s a common belief that rubbing a banana peel on the face can help remove dark spots and acne scars. This is why an Instagram page was recently seen promoting it as a potential skincare solution.
A post on Fit Physique Official read, “Rubbing banana peel on your face daily removes dark spots and helps in getting rid of acne scars, oily skin, brightens skin, and reduces wrinkles,” The Indian Express reports.
A banana peel is often seen as just waste, but it could benefit your skin according to some skincare experts on social media. They claim that rubbing a banana peel on your face can improve your skin’s appearance.
However, what is interesting is the numerous comments and varying reactions from users, with most of them inquiring about the same thing – “does it really work?”
Actor Bhagyashree also shared an Instagram video emphasising the skin benefits of using a banana peel. She informs that it contains silica, which promotes collagen production, and phenolics with antimicrobial properties, keeping the skin healthy.
TikTok influencers too state that using a banana peel on your skin is like using a magic wand, with the potential to decrease the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines, lighten dark circles under the eyes, and alleviate inflammation.
But while these benefits sound promising, it’s most likely not effective.
“There’s no scientific evidence to suggest that rubbing a banana peel on your face is going to help,” dermatology resident Taylor Bullock, MD told Cleveland Clinic.
However, while the effects of using banana peels on the skin are yet to be scientifically proven, there seems to be some basis for the idea.
Bananas & antioxidants
“Bananas are very rich in antioxidants,” Dr Bullock notes. “Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances that are great for your body, including your skin, and they’re a great addition to your skin care regimen.”
Also, according to Healthline, banana peels, abundant in antioxidants, fibre, and vital nutrients, enhance skin brightness and decrease wrinkles. They serve as a moisturiser and hydrate the skin as well.
Moreover, numerous studies have also shown that banana peels, like the fruit, possess anti-inflammatory properties.
However, experts don’t agree with this view.
What the experts say
In a previous report on the site USA Today, Dr Samer Jaber, a dermatologist at Washington Square Dermatology in New York reportedly said, despite social media claims, there is no single “magic” skincare ingredient for anti-aging, including bananas.
Agreeing, Dr Akriti Gupta, cosmetic dermatologist, Jivisha Clinic, Delhi, India told The Indian Express, “Bananas have antioxidants that help in reducing oxidative stress caused by sun damage, pollution, or smoke, which further causes wrinkles, skin sagging, etc.
“So, it might be helpful as antioxidants fight free radicals, which reduces oxidative stress. This makes them an important skin care ingredient — but you’re not necessarily going to get them from a banana peel, no matter how ripe it is.”
Dr Bullock states, “In theory, you could probably get some antioxidants by rubbing the peel on your skin, but if your goal is to have a skincare routine full of antioxidants, you’re much better off applying an antioxidant-rich skin care product to your face instead.”
Further, explaining that banana peels contain tannins, an antioxidant, Dr Jaishree Sharad, cosmetic dermatologist, and founder of Skinfinitii Aesthetic Skin and Laser Clinic, Mumbai, India is quoted as saying, “While it may make the skin look brighter temporarily, acne scars or pits, however, can in no way be reduced with a banana peel.”
So, while the idea of a cheap and simple solution like banana peels for skin problems is appealing, the reality is that its benefits are limited if any. And if you’re seeking antioxidants, it’s best to opt for products specifically designed to benefit your skin.
Conclusively, there’s no doubt that bananas are healthy when consumed. So, it’s best to use the peels in composting and rely on skin care products that have been specifically designed to meet your needs.