One dermatologist says that using bananas to fight acne isn’t an a-peeling treatment. (Get it?) (Photo: Stocksy)
Beauty blogger Habiba — who also goes by the name Makeupholic Moon — regularly posts makeup tips for her more than 29,000 followers on Instagram. With the help of a short how-to video, the Los Angeles DIY blogger recently shared her home remedy for acne using the inside of a ripe banana peel.
Her reasoning: “Banana peels contain lutein, an antioxidant, a carotenoid related to vitamin A. These properties will help inflammation.”
But before you head to your local grocery store’s produce section, this organic fix isn’t exactly a treatment to go bananas for.
“Applying the tiniest bit of vitamin A that may exist in a banana peel to your skin and leaving this food on your face overnight is something I cannot understand,” Misbah Khan, MD, founder and president of MKhan Dermatology and a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College, tells Yahoo Beauty. “I would never advocate that, and I cannot say good things about this bogus idea.”
Khan first points to the blogger’s theory about vitamin A being the ultimate skin healer. “All the retinoids that are used in skin treatments are vitamin A derivatives — they’re not actually [pure] vitamin A,” she says. “While it may help stabilize the immune system of the skin a little bit, it will not cure acne. If everybody started eating carrots, which are loaded with vitamin A, that means no one would have acne. But that’s not case.”
Beauty blogger Habiba claims she has a way to make blemishes disappear that’s bananas. (Video: Instagram/makeupholic_moon)
And then there’s the dampness factor. “Applying a moist, occlusive dressing on an acne wound overnight can exacerbate acne because you’re going to clog up more pores,” continues Khan. “Moisture is a haven for bacteria!”
For the individual who deals with the occasional breakout, she suggests over-the-counter salicylic-acid-based pads, “which are affordable and good to use for an emergency rescue treatment.” However, for persistent acne, a trip to the dermatologist’s office is your safest course of action.
“The reason we treat acne is not because of how pimples look today — we cure acne because you don’t want the breakouts to erupt underneath the skin and cause long-term problems,” says Khan. “Those little whiteheads and blackheads are temporary — they are the beginning of the acne lesions but not the actual acne. If you don’t take care of it, it can progress into a large cyst. And if a cyst heals unintended or without a prescription, it will leave you with a mark or a scar.”
Overall, she understands the desire for natural skin scrubs that may include almond and orange peel, which can be utilized as exfoliants. “You have to be careful about what you put on your face,” stresses Khan. “Use common sense. If you are going to rely on natural resources to cure your skin condition, understand they may only work temporarily.”