We Tried Using Banana Peels To Brighten Our Under Eyes. Here's How It Went

My under-eye appearance has been a source of slight insecurity since I was a teenager. People have, on more than one occasion, commented on how tired I look or how the bags under my eyes make me look sleep-deprived. Thrown into the mix are remarks concerning dark circles.  

So when I came across posts about how putting banana peels under your eyes has an unforeseen benefit, I was more than a little curious. While I'd already found that placing spoons cooled overnight in the fridge under my eyes really helped reduce morning under-eye puffiness, this new hack was promising even-toned skin. Despite growing fond of my "unique" look over the years, I asked myself: Have I finally found a natural treatment for brightening the sensitive skin under my eyes? 

Putting the task to the test took a bit of research. Google offered many variations of the beauty hack. Some enthusiasts of the method recommended that you scoop out the fleshy remains on the inside of a banana peel, mix it with moisturizer, and apply the concoction under your eyes. Others simply directed you to place cool pieces of banana skin — flesh-side-down — under your eyes for 10 minutes. Still others posted about rubbing the peel all over your face in an attempt to brighten your complexion, reduce puffiness, remove fine lines, and even treat acne. Since my focus was dark circles, I went with option two: place cold peels under my eyes for 10 minutes. Let's just say I'm not entirely sure it worked. 

The hack didn't significantly reduce dark circles

I tried the hack on three consecutive mornings. True to form, I woke up with dark circles and puffy eyes on all three days. On the first day, after removing the peels from the ziplock bag I'd stored in the freezer the night before, I cut two small pieces of the skin using a scissor and came right back to bed to place them under my eyes and relax for 10 minutes. With the timer and music on, it was a pretty relaxing experience, although it took some time for the cool temperature of the banana peels to get to a comfortable level. The smell of the peel wasn't too overbearing, and once I got over handling the sticky leftover food item, it was time to wait and let the hack work. Or not. 

Scrutinizing my face in the mirror after removing the peels and gently wiping the area clean with a clean and wet facecloth, I didn't see any difference. The puffiness had reduced, but I attributed this to the ice-cold peels. I also realized that getting rid of the puffiness could create the illusion of brighter skin. 

Day two went similarly, except this time, I'd stored the peels in the refrigerator to avoid them being too cold the next morning. The smell and texture of the banana remains were more pronounced, which made the exercise slightly off-putting. Again, the skin tone under my eyes wasn't particularly brighter after the exercise, but the puffiness had reduced. Day three went similarly to day two. So much for surprising uses for banana peels

Why are banana peels thought to combat dark circles?

Skincare experts may not be surprised as to how my results turned out. They do, however, see, at least in theory, why enthusiasts attach skincare benefits to this humble fruit's remains. "Bananas are very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances that are great for your body, including your skin, and they're a great addition to your skin care regimen," explained dermatology resident Dr. Taylor Bullock (via Cleveland Clinic). Banana peels contain the vitamins A, B, C, and E, potassium, zinc, iron, and manganese, all of which have been linked with various skincare benefits, including reducing the signs of aging. The tannins in banana peels could help with complexion and under-eye bags, hence the claim of brightening up those pesky dark circles. 

However, experts also think these skin-friendly nutrients aren't going to penetrate your skin the way eye serums with concentrated versions of these ingredients would. Ingredients in raw banana peels won't be as easily absorbed.  

So how should you be combating under-eye dark circles? And should bananas even be on the list? You may want to figure out the real reason you get dark circles under your eyes first. Fatigue, genetics, aging, and sun exposure can all be culprits. For volume loss that comes with aging, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jordan Carqueville recommends hyaluronic acid (via Today). To constrict blood vessels and reduce the appearance of dark circles, caffeine-based products should do the trick, per the expert. Vitamin C, retinol products, and regular application of sunscreen can also work wonders. As for the fruit, try eating bananas every day for their skincare benefits.