If you’ve been here for a little bit, you probably know that I am all about three things:
- Customizing my skin care products.
- Practicing sustainability whenever possible.
- Not spending money that I could be spending on plants, fancy rocks, and things with crows on them instead.
And that’s why I decided to rub banana peels on my face for several days to see what happened.
Why Banana Peels?
In my defense, using bananas on skin isn’t just a me thing. Bananas are a pretty popular ingredient in DIY skin care products, because they’re moisturizing, soothing, and abundant in some important nutrients. The inside of banana peels has the same properties as the banana part (pulp, I guess? Do bananas have pulp?) so there’s no reason you can’t have your banana and eat it, too — just save the peel.
Using a banana peel for skin care is pretty simple:
- Peel the banana.
- Eat the banana.
- Rub the inside of the peel on your face for a minute or so (about as long as it takes to begin oxidizing and turning brown).
- Let it sit for a few minutes on your skin before rinsing.
Minimal effort, right? I figured I’d give it a shot for a week and see how I felt about it.
To test this out, I decided I’d snap a before pic, try the banana peels twice a day for at least five days, then snap an after pic. I know that pictures don’t necessarily capture everything, so I also kept tabs on how my skin felt. Tight? Itchy? Soft? Oily? Even without a visual change, it’d be worth keeping up as long as it improves the way my skin feels.
Because I have no sense of decorum, I also chose not to limit this to times when I was at home. I didn’t want to jeopardize anything by skipping a treatment, so, if I ended up eating breakfast on the go, my skin was probably going to get bananafied in public.
It is but one of the sacrifices I make to bring you quality content about the effects of rubbing yourself with garbage.
A lot of skin care products contain ingredients that really aren’t great for your skin. The same things that help it go on smoothly, smell nice, and last for months in your medicine cabinet or makeup bag can be irritating or even damaging. My skin’s pretty sensitive, so I have to be on the lookout for things like mineral oil, alcohol, fragrance, artificial colors, and citrus derivatives to keep from peeling, turning red, or breaking out.
Luckily for me, none of those things happened! I didn’t notice a huge visual difference (I probably need something a little more hardcore than bananas for that) but it does make my skin feel softer. I could go longer between exfoliating, too, which was pretty sweet. I eventually let the experiment run longer than five days, because why not? All told, since I’m gonna be eating bananas anyway, I can see this being something I keep doing.
I mean… Not in public anymore or anything, but yeah.
The bad stuff here has less to do with skin care, and more to do with how bananas are produced:
- Most bananas are not grown sustainably.
- They’re also often grown and harvested using abusive tactics, slave labor, and exploited children.
- If you buy bananas, try to buy fair trade and Rainforest Alliance Certified. Bananas are pretty cheap as a rule, so even the more expensive ones are fairly easy to budget for. They can, unfortunately, be more difficult to find.
Nothing, really. They’re just banana peels, so they’re pretty innocuous. The smell of oxidized banana does become kind of gross after awhile, but you don’t smell it after rinsing. Unlike the onion experiment, this didn’t even involve wasting food — post skin care banana peels can still be composted once you’re done rubbing your face with them.
I’m completely down for this and would recommend that others try it, I just really wish bananas had fewer ethical and sustainability issues (or that ethically-sourced and sustainable bananas were more widely available). I like how my skin felt, even if it didn’t look very different, and obtaining banana peels is pretty much just a byproduct of ever eating bananas. Score.