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WHY I’M BANANAS FOR BANANAS

Larissa Chapman

Larissa Chapman

THE BEAUTY OF BANANAS

The beauty industry has gone bananas for this phallic-shaped fruit – and I decided to find out why…

Pouring generous lashings of oat milk over my morning bran flakes, I couldn’t help but feel they needed a little cheering up… so, naturally, I reached for our trusty yellow friend… the banana. Thin slices of this rich, fruity number really brightened up my bowl and I knew it could only do me good.

Packed with potassium for a healthy heart, bananas are almost entirely sodium-free, which helps to keep blood pressure in check. Add to that their high levels of vitamin C and B6 and I always know I’m onto a winner. Maybe it’s psychological, but if I go for a run after eating a banana, I can always go that extra mile.

So, we all know bananas are good for our bodies, but where does the beauty industry fit into all of this? As I devoured my morning banana-bran flake combo it dawned on me that I’d been seeing a lot of this fruit in places I wouldn’t expect of late, such as shampoos, conditioners and face creams, with people all over social media raving about its beauty benefits. I suppose the general consensus is “if it’s good enough to eat, you can probably put it on your skin”, so I decided to put that to the test to find out what all the fuss was about…

My facial recipe

I’d been suffering from breakouts for a few weeks, possibly due to stress or hormone imbalance, and I’d heard bananas were pretty powerful when it came to spots. At this point I was willing to try pretty much anything to quell them!

I took half a ripe banana and added a teaspoon of raw, organic Manuka honey and a splash of oat milk to loosen the mixture, mashing them together in a bowl using a fork. It took a fair bit of mushing, but I eventually created a mixture that vaguely resembled a facemask.

Using my teaspoon and clean hands, I gently spread the mixture across my face and left it for about 10-15 minutes. During that time I felt my skin tighten – it wasn’t an unpleasant feeling, but one that I wasn’t expecting.

After washing the mixture off with clean, warm water, my complexion definitely looked brighter, that’s for sure. I repeated the process three times a week for a month and by the end of the four weeks I saw a notable change in my spots. Most had dried up completely… I was impressed.

My hair recipe

So impressed was I with the results on my face that I decided to test this fabulous fruit on my hair, too. Let’s just say I’m not a natural blonde so my locks always feel a bit thirsty and I was keen to give them some TLC.

To create my hair mask I mixed one large, ripe banana with a generous spoonful of honey (no oat milk this time). After using a cleansing shampoo, I towel tried my hair and scooped the whole mixture onto my hair, focusing on my brittle ends. By the way, if you’re looking for an effective, cleansing shampoo then look no further than the Hiwa Kai Black Lava Salt Body Wash. Yes, it’s a body wash, but it cleverly doubles up as a fabulous detoxifying shampoo, leaving your hair clean and ready to soak up the entire banana mask goodness.

After massaging it in, I popped on a shower cap lined with foil to help keep things nice and warm and left it to work for 15-20 minutes.

As I rinsed it off in the shower, my hair felt sort of “squeaky” and a little drier than I’d anticipated, which unsettled me at first. However, once I got out of the shower, spritzed on my heat defence spray and began blow-drying I could really feel and see the difference. My hair was volumous, soft, and even my blonde looked brighter and cleaner, plus it smelled divine.

Once again, I was impressed!

How does it work?

Bananas are packed with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, which help to reduce redness and blemishes, while the high Vitamin A content nourishes and softens skin and works on dry patches. What’s more, its high levels of manganese promote collagen production and protect your skin against free radical damage.

When it comes to tresses, bananas are packed with vitamins, minerals and natural oils, which work wonders for hair and scalp. They soften and protect the hair fibres and the high silica content helps restore hair’s elasticity and bring back its natural bounce. It can even help to soothe an irritated or sunburned scalp and halt dandruff in its tracks thanks to its antibacterial agents.

And it doesn’t stop there, with experts hailing the humble banana a hero in teeth whitening, reducing swelling, banishing puffy eyes and staving off the signs of aging.

So the next time you’re at the store, be sure to pick up and extra bunch of bananas for a pretty impressive beauty boost!

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