Oh, TikTok. Some days we love you, and some days we want to delete you from our phones forever. There are times when we truly can't imagine living without you — I mean, you have taught us about some of our favourite skin-care trends, like "skin cycling," "streaming," and even "skin flooding." However, you've also taught us plenty of things that are better left forgotten — like using hemorrhoid cream to get rid of under-eye bags and slathering on calamine lotion as a makeup primer. The app's latest claim? Rubbing banana peels all over your face can get rid of wrinkles and replace the need for neurotoxins like Botox. Sounds wild, right? While initially we weren't convinced, the number of people on the platform claiming it really works gave us pause for thought.
To settle the debate once and for all, ahead, we speak with skin-care experts Kunal Malik, MD, board-certified general and cosmetic dermatologist, Greeta Yadav, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of FACET Dermatology, and Nina Sedighi, PA-C, to pick their brains about whether or not using banana peels on your face is beneficial.
The Benefits of Using Banana Peels on Your Skin
Put simply: yes, there are some benefits to rubbing banana peels on your skin — but TikTok doesn't have it completely right. "There are no concrete, scientific studies supporting the use of banana peels on the face or skin in general," Dr. Malik tells POPSUGAR. "We do know that banana peels contain many bioactive compounds including antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, carotene, and cyanidin, and antioxidants protect the skin from inflammatory activity and damage."
Additionally, Dr. Malik adds, "Banana peels additionally are rich in tannins and vitamin A, which is found in retinols and retinoids, and both of these compounds can be helpful for toning and tightening the skin."
However, despite being packed with these good-for-you ingredients, Dr. Malik says that it's unlikely they'll do anything when used in this form. "The reality is that the skin-beneficial compounds found in [banana peels] are likely not being absorbed by the skin at the molecular level, and any topical benefits, if at all, would be short-lived and temporary. You're better off eating bananas than putting them on your skin."
Are Banana Peels Safe For Your Skin?
If you want to go ahead and try rubbing banana peels all over your face in hopes that it might reduce wrinkles, experts say you can totally go for it — with one caveat. "There's nothing hazardous about using banana peels on your face," Dr. Yadav says. "Unlike the lemon skin-brightening 'hack,' banana peels are not acidic and are non-irritating."
It should go without saying that anyone with a known banana allergy should avoid doing this. "Allergic reactions to banana peels will counterproductively produce inflammation, which can then lead to stubborn hyperpigmentation that can be difficult to treat," Dr. Malik says.
Can Using Banana Peels on Your Face Replace Neurotoxins?
The short answer? No. "Any topical ingredient, especially banana peels, are unlikely to have a comparable wrinkle-reducing impact to a neurotoxin such as botox," Dr. Malik says.
Dr. Yadav agrees, adding, "While topical products help reduce the look of wrinkles on the surface, neurotoxins like Botox prevent the muscles underneath the skin from contracting and creating those wrinkles in the first place."
Proven Wrinkle Treatments to Try Instead
"Botox is the most effective treatment for wrinkles," says Nina Sedighi, PA-C. "The results generally last three to four months, and it's also a preventative treatment because it works by tackling the causes of wrinkles, which is facial muscle activity."
In addition to using neurotoxins to treat wrinkles, both Dr. Malik and Dr. Yadav say that they recommend a skin-care regimen that includes vitamin C, retinoids, and sunscreen. "Retinoids are the only class of ingredients clinically proven to reverse the signs of ageing by promoting new collagen and stimulating cellular turnover," Dr. Yadav says. "Vitamin C also triggers new collagen production while protecting skin against damageing free radicals, and sunscreen is critical for defending your skin against UV damage."
Can Eating Bananas Impact Your Skin?
If you're dead set on using bananas in your routine, Dr. Malik and Dr. Yadav both agree that consuming them might be a better option. "Bananas are a valuable part of a balanced diet," Dr. Yadav says. "They're naturally rich in potassium, which helps balance your body's hydration, and hydrated skin glows and looks healthier than dehydrated skin."