We’re about to get messy and find out. As someone who gets scaly, dry hands at this time of year, I’m frequently on the hunt for moisturizing hacks. On a recent search for dry skin cures, I come across one article that claims bananas are some kind of miracle cure for dry skin. Huh? Sounds strange, but a more targeted search of “bananas for dry skin” yields even more results. Is this a real thing?
Bananas For Dry Skin: How It WorksBananas are rich in potassium, which helps to hydrate dry and damaged skin cells. They also have vitamin E to protect from free radicals, plus vitamin A to moisturize and even skin tone. Similarly, B-complex vitamins in bananas reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. In my searches, I read over and over again that mashing up a banana makes for an effective—not to mention affordable—DIY mask to instantly improve dry skin. So I decide to put it to the test and do a hand mask.
Testing Bananas For Dry SkinAs previously mentioned, my hands get very dry in winter. In fact, I even get a mild case of seasonal eczema on two fingers on my right hand and one on my left that become particularly wrinkled and scaly. So I’m ready to try this. First things first, it’s time to gather supplies. Most recipes simply call for one banana for a face mask, but since I’ll be testing my hands, I figure three bananas are better to cover the extra surface area. At a whopping $0.75 for three bananas, so far I’m incredibly impressed at how cost-effective this mask is. Next, I get to mashing. This part is actually pretty fun and really puts me in the mood for banana bread. Mmm. Finally, I have a bowl of banana goop that I’m ready to soak on my dry, scaly winter hands. In my research, I find that 10 minutes is the suggested time for banana-masking. I start by slathering the slimy stuff all over my hands and then fully immerse them in the bowl for banana-hydrating goodness. My colleague assisting with documenting the experiment checks the time and leaves me to soak. (Pro tip: If you attempt this at home, I recommend putting on YouTube videos beforehand. You’ll avoid being bored and stuck with your hands in a bowl of bananas for 10 minutes, as I was.)
The ResultsAfter 10 minutes, my co-worker helps walk my still fully immersed banana hands and me over to the kitchen to rinse off. I pat them dry with a paper towel and give them a feel for a consensus. If there’s any difference, it’s subtle. If anything, I mostly feel like my fingers are pruny from soaking (the same way they prune in the bath). The texture of my skin does feel fairly smooth, but they don’t feel particularly moisturized. To really compare, though, let’s examine before and after photos with my problem areas indicated. Looking at the photos, the wrinkly dryness on my fingers does look considerably better… so perhaps there is something to the bananas for dry skin. For now, I’ll be reaching for HUM’s OMG! Omega the Great and Here Comes the Sun to alleviate winter dryness. The banana mask requires more effort and mess than I’m prepared to do regularly for such subtle results. If anything, I’d opt for coconut oil to use topically, which is easy and doesn’t require a wait time. That said, you just may find me mashing bananas again soon to satisfy that banana-bread craving.
January 4, 2018
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