Back in 2015, Anushka Sharma told Vogue India that the secret to her luminous skin was to keep her skincare routine uncomplicated. “I try to do simple but effective things to keep my skin looking healthy and flawless,” she said at the time. Four years later, in 2019, that philosophy had not changed. “Mashed banana is very good for your face and is a great cleanser,” she said about her favourite at-home ingredient.
Banana is a very readily available fruit, making it a must-have in every kitchen right now. It’s usually a base for smoothies and desserts, but its antioxidant content makes it a great fruit to eat on its own too. But bananas can get too ripe too fast, making them too mushy to enjoy. Enter: using them to get brighter skin and softer, smoother hair. Bananas are rich in vitamins and minerals that soften rough skin, and can soothe inflammatory conditions on the face and scalp. It is also chock-full of silica, an important compound in the formation of collagen, which is key in the growth of skin and hair cells. Lest you think it’s only appropriate for dry or dull skin, banana is also rich in zinc and manganese, which makes it a great anti-acne and dandruff fighting ingredient too.
Here’s how you can use bananas in your skincare and haircare DIY recipes
An exfoliating body scrub
Adding a moisture-boosting ingredient like banana to an exfoliating agent like sugar will ensure a satisfying scrub without causing dryness or redness in the process. Mix mashed banana with large sugar granules, and apply to the body in circulation motions. You’ll leave the shower sans flaky, dry skin, with a discernable glow too.
A hair mask for dull, dry strands
Mash and avocado and banana together to create a hair smoothie that’s good enough to eat. Apply the goopy mash from the ends and go upwards, massaging it all over. Avocado is able to add shine to dry, weak strands, due to the high monounsaturated fatty acid content that nourishes it from the inside-out. Banana repairs and hydrates, so it tamps down frizz in the process too.
A glow-boosting face mask
Banana is rich in silica, which is an important ingredient in the production of collagen in the skin. In addition, bananas also have antioxidants, which are able to fight free radicals in the process. When you mix it with honey and yoghurt, the former works like a humectant to draw moisture from the air and put it back into your skin. Yoghurt is moisturising, but also contains lactic acid to slowly exfoliate the dead, dry skin cells on the surface. When you wash it off, you’ll have brighter skin that reflects light better than before.
An acne-zapping spot treatment
Bananas are chock-full of vitamins A, B, C and E, and they only contain potassium, zinc and iron. These are able to calm inflamed skin, reducing acne breakouts in the process, and reducing redness, especially if you’ve scratched or popped a zit. If you mix it with baking soda and turmeric, it makes for a powerful spot treatment too. Turmeric helps to heal wounds faster, and baking soda absorbs all excess oil from the area, so apply on the T-zone if that’s where you’re prone to getting pimples.
A lip mask for a chapped mouth
Chapped lips can be uncomfortable, and even painful if you’re prone to biting the skin. Even if you’re slathering on lip balms everyday, a heavy-duty lip mask is a great addition to your at-home remedy repertoire. Mix coconut oil, which restores the lipid layer of the lips and prevents moisture from evaporating due to its occlusive properties, with banana, which softens and protects and honey, which acts as an emollient too. The result is a thick lip mask that you’ll have a hard time not licking off.
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