Approx 8 minute read |
This DIY hack has gone viral for removing dark circles, so I had to try it
Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
Another week, another viral TikTok hack that claims to have transformative powers over common skin gripes. While some aren't that effective (the oil cleansing method and repurposing glycolic acid as deodorant), others have become firm fixtures in our skincare routines. Take skin icing for example, which boasts fans like Victoria Beckham, and the easy blackhead removal hack that even industry experts rate.
What is TikTok's banana skin hack and why has it gone viral?
Does banana skin have skincare benefits and can it remove dark circles, wrinkles, pigmentation and acne?
"It won't do you any harm," says Claire Williams, skin specialist and founder of WOW Facial. "Actually," she continues, "bananas have many great vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and iron, which are ingredients known to have benefits on the skin." However, Claire says, it is highly unlikely that they will have any ability to make changes to the skin in their raw form.
"There are also acids in bananas, which are beneficial to the skin," says Claire, "but the pH of these acids isn't low enough to create deep exfoliation," like specially formulated skincare products containing acids. If you're looking for exfoliating effects, Claire rates glycolic and mandelic acid. "They soften and deeply exfoliate skin," she says, making them great for acne-prone skin, "all while treating sun damage and pigmentation."
Interestingly, actual banana skin does have one good benefit. According to Dr Karan Raj, a TikTok influencer and doctor working in the NHS, it's great for treating itchy insect bites. "If you've got a bug bite, try the humble banana," he says in a video. "Press the inside, fleshy bit of a banana peel against the itchy area. This relieves itching because banana peel contains salicylic acid: a compound which reduces inflammation; the same compound is found in aspirin." He adds: "It also contains natural oils and antioxidants like vitamin E, which help to reduce histamine release." Vitamin E is also a great moisturising ingredient often found in rich face creams and body lotions.
In terms of being an effective skincare ingredient? Claire thinks it's simply a passing trend.
Does TikTok's banana peel hack actually work?
As someone who is self-conscious about dark circles (thanks, genetics) and new fine lines, this hack spoke to me. I bought a bunch of bananas the very next day. On my first attempt, I chose a semi-ripe banana, scraped the mushy part away from the peel and mixed it with a little eye cream. As I applied the concoction, I became aware of the smell, which was quite sour and not at all pleasant. I persisted but the texture (sticky yet chalky) put me off. As you might have expected, leaving it on for 10 minutes did nothing to minimise my dark circles and fine wrinkles. I tried it another two times during the week but didn't see much of a difference.
How do you get rid of dark circles and wrinkles under the eyes?
One ingredient which skincare experts explain may reduce dark pigmentation under the eyes is vitamin C, which has a brightening effect. Look for a potent vitamin C eye cream or serum, like Dermalogica Eye BioLumin-C Eye Serum, £63, or Super Facialist Vitamin C + Brighten Dark Circles Eye Cream, £12.99.