Putting Banana Peels Under Your Eyes Has An Unforeseen Benefit

From TikTok to celebrity news coverage, there's a new skincare hack popping up nearly every day that users "swear by." Think of leech facials or placenta-protein creams, and of course, who could forget (no matter how hard we try) the viral photo of Kim Kardashian trying out a vampire facial (via Business Insider). Applying food to your face may sound less extreme, but it can feel a little silly nonetheless. Videos circulating on social media have been touting the skincare benefits of placing banana peels under the eyes. While we won't be seeking out leeches anytime soon, the banana peel skincare hack may be worth trying.

If the skin under your eyes is a problem area for you, you're among the 80% of women who deal with puffiness or under-eye bags during their lifetimes (via Olay). Aging, a heavy bout of crying, lack of sleep, or certain health conditions can all contribute to puffiness under the eyes. The same can be said for eating an excess of salty foods, which can cause the body to hold onto fluid, leading to tissue swelling. That being said, it's possible that a specific compound found in banana peels may help ward off under-eye bags.

How banana peel may tone, brighten, and lessen inflammation under the eyes

The magical compounds found in the peel of a banana are tannins, which may leave skin looking brighter and firmer. "Tannins are like natural astringents that are used in skincare to help with tightening and toning of the skin," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adeline Kikam told TODAY. According to a 2018 study published in IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, the tannin content of a ripe Awak banana peel (a type of banana found in a province of Indonesia) is 4.69%. The tannin content is greater, however, in an unripened peel, standing at 6.48%.

In addition to fighting off sagging and brightening up the skin under your eyes, banana peel may also help lessen inflammation. In a 2023 rat study published in the Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences, researchers found that banana peel extract resolved tissue inflammation in addition to preventing bacterial growth. The researchers deemed that banana peel extract may offer protective properties against acne vulgaris (AV), characterized by the emergence of pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, and more. However, banana peel was not found to be as effective as the antibiotic treatment drug clindamycin.

When applying banana peel under the eyes may not be recommended

While beauty influencers may be onto something when it comes to DIY banana peel treatments under the eyes, no scientific research has been conducted on the subject yet. Therefore, like most social media hacks, it's best to proceed with caution. This is particularly true if you have food allergies. "I can only presume that if somebody has an allergy to bananas and they're putting it on that area, they risk having an allergic reaction, which can then lead to hyperpigmentation, worsening the dark on the eye circles," Dr. Kikam told TODAY. Another possible drawback to consider is that the tannin content in banana peels may also dry out skin. For these reasons, it's best to stick with dermatologist-recommended products.

While some people may not experience any adverse effects, it's possible you may not experience any positive effects either. Although some skincare creams and lotions do contain banana extract, the ingredient has been modified for optimal absorption. So while you may experience benefits when using these products, you may not get the same results from the topical application of banana peel on its own. Instead, the Cleveland Clinic suggests reaching for natural, antioxidant-rich skincare products containing argan oil, vitamin C, or jojoba oil.