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Should I Put That on My Face? Let’s Discuss: Banana Face Masks
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Let’s play a quick little game of word association. When we say “banana” what comes to mind? Well, there’s that catchy Gwen Stefani song from the 2000s. And there’s banana bread—ooh—and bananas Foster. It’s also a classic cereal and oatmeal topping, as well as the perfect companion to a spoonful (or, um,, half a jar) of almond butter. And now you can add banana face masks to that list.

Yup, that’s right. When applied topically, the pantry item has surprising benefits. In fact, do a quick search of “banana face masks” and you’ll come across hundreds of vlogs and blogs touting the magical, skin-brightening and softening powers of the humble fruit. It’s no coincidence that it’s become one of the top trending ingredients in recent years. (More on that later.)

What are some banana face masks I can try at home?

Depending on what your skin-care concerns are at the moment (because Lord only knows our skin is in a state of constant flux), there’s a different DIY recipe to address them. The common ingredient in all of the recipes? Well, we won’t insult your intelligence…

Try a banana and lemon mask if your face is looking dull:

  1. Mash up one ripe banana in a small bowl.
  2. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice.
  3. And a teaspoon of honey; mix well.
  4. Apply the mixture to clean skin and let it absorb for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing off. With an additional boost of vitamin C from the lemon juice and extra hydration from the honey, you’ll get an immediate brightening effect. 

Try a banana and turmeric mask if you’re breaking out:

  1. Mash up one ripe banana in a small bowl.
  2. Add ½ teaspoon of baking soda.
  3. And ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  4. Apply the mask to clean skin and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing off and applying a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer. Baking soda helps to soak up any excess oils on your skin, while turmeric is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory

Try a banana and honey mask if your skin feels dry:

  1. Mash up ½ banana in a small bowl.
  2. Add 1 ½ teaspoons of raw or manuka honey; mix until smooth in consistency.
  3. Apply the mixture to clean skin and wait 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. The humectants in honey combined with the vitamin E from the banana will give you an instant surge of moisture. (Tip: Add a teaspoon of colloidal oatmeal to the recipe if your skin is also feeling itchy.)

Try a banana and orange juice mask if you want a little lift:

  1. Mash up one ripe banana in a small bowl.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of orange juice.
  3. And 1 teaspoon of plain yogurt.
  4. *Option to add ½ teaspoon of olive oil if you’re on the drier side.
  5. Mix the ingredients together until it forms a lump-free paste and apply a thick layer all over your face and neck. (Note: You’re going to want to lie down for this one as it’s a bit runnier than the others.) After 15 to 20 minutes, rinse off the residue with cool water and finish with your normal moisturizer. The blend of yogurt, orange juice and bananas has a brightening and tightening effect. Plus, you can use the leftover ingredients to make a nice smoothie, just saying.

And if all of that mashing and mixing feels like too much work and you’d rather just pick up a product that has the benefits of bananas, we’ve got you covered. As we said earlier, bananas are a buzzy ingredient in the beauty world so there’s no shortage of options to choose from. But first, let's talk about why banana has become such an all-star skincare ingredient.

What exactly are the skin-care benefits of bananas?

Ah, we’re so glad you asked. For starters, bananas are loaded with vitamin E, which makes them incredibly moisturizing. Vitamin E, as some of you may already know, is often used to help fade dark spots or scars; it’s also a potent antioxidant that can protect against oxidative damage from the environment.

But the buck doesn’t stop there. Bananas also contain a hefty dose of vitamin C, which is a superstar ingredient for brightening your skin. And let’s not forget about the peel itself, which some people have taken to using as a way to combat puffiness by placing it underneath their eyes. (Hey, it’s not the craziest thing we’ve heard of people doing in the name of beauty; see blood facials.)

Here are some of our favorite banana-infused beauty products:

  1. Lanolips Banana Lip Balm ($16) has a nice velvety texture that melts into your lips as soon as you apply it. Fret not: The banana scent is subtle and not too saccharine. Plus, there are no phthalates, parabens, PEGs or petrochemicals in the formula.
  2. The Body Shop Banana Truly Nourishing Hair Mask ($14) is made from real banana puree from Ecuador. It makes our strands shiny and soft without weighing it down. Swap it in place of your conditioner once or twice a week to reap the smoothing benefits.
  3. Lush Cosmetics Banana Skin Naked Face Oil ($15) This solid bar of face oil is as eco- and travel-friendly as it is fun to use. Simply swipe it over your skin and gently massage it in with your fingertips. Packed with fresh banana, banana peel tincture, mango butter and grapeseed oil, it feels buttery going on, but absorbs quickly without leaving behind any heavy residue.
  4. Smith & Cult Diffuse Redness Balancing Primer ($32) harnesses the soothing powers of banana extract to calm any redness and prep your skin for a smoother application of makeup (should you choose to wear any). It has a soft, blurring finish that helps to even things out before you even apply concealer.
  5. Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Créme ($38) has vitamin C and collagen to brighten and firm the under-eye area instantly (it has color-correcting pigments) and over time. It’s the ultimate multitasker as far as we’re concerned.
  6. TonyMoly Magic Food Banana Sleeping Pack ($17) Holy cuteness. This banana-shaped face mask is loaded with banana extract, milk proteins and chamomile extract to hydrate your skin while you sleep. Apply a thin layer over clean skin and rinse off the excess in the morning. (We like to use this in lieu of moisturizer a few nights a week—especially during the fall and winter months when our skin is parched.)
  7. Ariul Natural 7 Days Vitamin Mist ($13) Last but not least, this clean face mist relies on the phytonutrients from fruits and veggies (like tomato, broccoli, apple and of course, banana) to tone your skin and set your makeup. We always keep a bottle at our desk for midday refreshes.

RELATED: How to Whiten Teeth with a Banana Peel

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