Banana beauty

Banana... in beauty? Why skincare and haircare brands are embracing the brightening, nourishing ingredient

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Used to nourish, brighten and exfoliate, banana is one efficacious ingredient you probably didn’t know about. 

Cucumber, pineapple and coconut have been staples in the skin and hair care world for some time despite being items we wouldn’t blink twice at on the kitchen counter. Well, now they have a new friend joining the party: the humble banana. A burgeoning ingredient in skincare, banana pulp and extract from the peels of ripe bananas are added into a range of nourishing, brightening and exfoliating products. Let’s find out why. 

Is the banana in skincare and haircare the same as the one in our fruit bowls?

“The banana fruit extract you find in skincare goes by the name musa sapientum or musa paradisiaca and is added as a powder,” explains Sonia Bainbridge, founder of Raw Beauty Lab, natural beauty expert and co-creator of plant-powered skin supplement Vegan Collagen. 

“While the powder itself isn’t harmful, when added to skincare and cosmetic products, it is usually added with a preservative like phenoxyethanol to stop micro-organism growth in the product and help your moisturiser remain skin-friendly in its tube or jar.

“So, while the banana is essentially the same, the way the banana powder is added to skincare and cosmetics wouldn’t make it entirely palatable as phenoxyethanol can be harmful to the body when ingested. As good as your banana lip balm and moisturiser smell, I wouldn’t try eating them!”

What benefits does banana in skincare and haircare have?

1. Banana peels are anti-microbial

“Banana peels are naturally anti-microbial as they are rich in polyphenols and are a great way to naturally clean your skin (and would make a great ingredient in cleansers),” explains Bainbridge. “These polyphenols also have antioxidant properties, which is why banana peel oil is a great ingredient to use in face serums.”

2. Banana peels and pulp are good for stressed, dehydrated skin

“Banana peel is also very cooling and has anti-inflammatory effects and is therefore great to use on dry or acne-prone skin. Banana pulp is used for its moisturising and hydrating properties and the pulp is commonly used in hand, body and face lotions to deeply nourish the skin.”

3. Banana pulp brightens skin

“Banana pulp is also a source of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and functions as a natural exfoliator for the skin to remove dead skin cells.”

Nine banana beauty buys we really rate

  • Briogeo Banana and Coconut Superfoods Hairpack

    Banana skincare briogeo

    Safe for those with colour, keratin or chemically treated hair, Briogeo’s Banana and Coconut Superfoods shampoo and conditioner heals and hydrates dry lifeless strands. 

    Shop Briogeo Banana and Coconut Superfoods Hairpack at Cult Beauty, £43

  • Lanolips Banana Lip Cream

    Banana skincare lanolips

    Kiss dry winter lips goodbye with a banana-infused version of Lanolips, a lip balm infused with ultra medical grade lanolin to lock in moisture and transform parched skin.

    Shop Lanolips Banana Lip Cream at Cult Beauty, £8.99

  • Wishful YO Glow Jumbo

    Banana skincare Wishful

    Usually, anything that has a “glue-like” consistency (that isn’t actually glue) would have us running for the hills. However, this exfoliating banana-infused scrub uses its gluey texture to gather grime, remove debris and brighten skin. 

    Shop Wishful YO Glow Jumbo at Cult Beauty, £55

  • Omorovicza Balancing Moisturiser

    Banana skincare oromovicza

    A cooling gel-cream to instantly relieve the tightness associated with dry, dehydrated skin, Omorovicza’s daily hydrator is light enough to be used every day – even if you have oily skin. 

    Shop Omorovicza Balancing Moisturiser at Cult Beauty, £90

  • Goop G-Tox Malachite and Fruit Extracts Purifying Cleanser

    Banana skincare goop tonic

    Leave your skin refreshed, smooth and clear from dirt, oil and environmental residue with Goop’s rich foam cleanser. It contains a complex of fruit extracts (mango, banana and yellow mombin) to exfoliate and brighten skin. 

    Shop Goop G-Tox Malachite and Fruit Extracts Purifying Cleanser at Cult Beauty, £44

  • Sol de Janeiro Bom Dia Bright Cream

    Banana skincare bom dia

    If you’re dealing with dull thirsty skin at the moment, look no further. This luxurious hydrating salve contains exfoliating AHAs (a chemical exfoliant) to slough away dead skin and nourish new skin cells coming to the surface.

    Shop Sol de Janeiro Bom Dia Bright Cream at Cult Beauty, £18

  • Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion

    Banana skincare drunk elephant

    Packed with nourishing plant oils and hydrating butters and ceramides, this body lotion helps repair your skin barrier and lock in moisture – perfect for parched winter skin.  

    Shop Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion at Cult Beauty, £17

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