You’ve probably seen viral beauty hacks like “slugging” (for plumper skin) and cycling your skincare products (for fine line reduction) on your social media feeds. The appeal of these hacks is that they promise to turn back the clock overnight — almost like an “anti-aging fairy.” Of course, there’s no guarantee they’ll work, since skincare needs vary — but anything that might work is worth trying, right? Yes and no. The key to self-testing these beauty trends is researching them to be sure they’re safe (not to mention worth your time).
Among the latest crop of TikTok beauty trends is “natural Botox,” a hack that entails rubbing the inside of a ripe banana peel on your face to minimize wrinkles. Many women are praising this hack as a cheaper, quicker, and less invasive alternative to Botox injections. Taken together, the TikTok videos showing the hack in action have garnered over 81 million views. But popularity doesn’t always mean efficacy. So, we asked two skincare experts whether this natural Botox hack truly works at reducing wrinkles over time.
Do banana peels actually work as a natural alternative to Botox?
In short, there’s no scientific evidence proving that banana peels are an effective wrinkle reduction treatment. However, banana peels are believed to help firm skin; they contain silicon, along with vitamins A and C. Valerie Aparovich, certified cosmetologist and aesthetician and Science Team Lead at OnSkin, explains to FIRST for Women how these elements could have wrinkle-combating properties:
- Silicon: This microelement is essential for optimal collagen production and activation of hydroxylating enzymes, which increase skin strength and elasticity. It also works to lock in moisture and adds a smooth effect to the skin’s appearance.
- Vitamin A: This vitamin improves skin’s complexion and firm texture, which helps to even out skin tone and reduce fine lines and small wrinkles. Skin appears firmer and smoother, and becomes less prone to creasing, thus preventing new wrinkles from forming.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin revitalizes and brightens skin. It also lightens hyperpigmented spots. Known for its collagen boosting powers, Vitamin C supports skins’ resilience and elastic. It also strengthens capillary walls, which is especially important for people with rosacea. Vitamins C and A act as powerful antioxidants to help neutralize free radical cellular damage associated with accelerated aging.
It may sound gross, but wiping the banana pulp on your face can additionally have exfoliating perks, as it’ll remove dead skin cells.
How can I avoid negative side effects from beauty hacks?
Using a banana peel for its reported skin health-benefits is generally safe. Still, Ana Vasilescu, founder and certified skincare consultant of WomensConcepts.com, warns that you should always take precautions before trying social media beauty hacks. Otherwise, you could experience skin damage or irritation. Here, she offers four suggestions for avoiding negative side effects from these hacks:
- Do your research first. Before trying any social media beauty hacks, do your research. Make sure to read up on the ingredients and instructions, because some of these hacks may not be safe.
- Test the hack on a small area of your skin. Before applying anything to your whole face, test it on a small area of your skin first. This will help you determine if you have any allergies or sensitivities, and will also help you gauge the effectiveness of the hack.
- Don’t overdo it. Social media beauty hacks may be enticing, but it’s important to stick to a routine that works for you. Doing these hacks too frequently (several times a week) could lead to skin irritation and other skin issues.
- Consult a dermatologist. Speak with a dermatologist if you’re unsure as to whether the ingredients in the hack are safe, or if you experience any skin irritation.
Want to see the banana hack in action? Check out the video below wherein mature TikTok user Shelly Bailey (@shellybaileyd) demonstrates how she routinely uses this trick to keep wrinkles at bay:
What are alternative ways to incorporate bananas into a skincare routine?
If massaging a banana peel on your skin sounds too yucky to try, there are other ways to use the fruit as an anti-aging skincare ingredient. This DIY banana mask recipe from DermCollective.com, for example, uses mashed banana, orange juice, and yogurt to maintain skin’s soft and supple nature. You can also try a ready-made product such as Provence Beauty’s Banana Bliss Daily Facial Serum (Buy from Ulta Beauty, $11.99), which contains banana enzymes to enhance skin’s elasticity and fade dark spots. Whether you rub the fruit’s peel on your face or make a homemade mask, it’s perfectly fine to go bananas for glowing, wrinkle-free skin!
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
This article was updated on March 9. It was originally published on March 8.
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