Food52 in 5

The Quickie Face Mask That’s Good Enough to Eat

February 16, 2018

What can you do with just five minutes? Actually, way more than you think! Introducing Food52 in 5: your cheat sheet for speedy, delicious recipes, fun mini projects, and more.

We know, we know—we publish a lot of banana recipes: banana bread, banana fritters, even a dark chocolate banana cake. But trust us, you’re going to want to load up with another bunch this week.

Today’s didn’t-know-you-needed-it-in-your-life banana recipe comes in the form of a mask. Yes, as in for your face: a soothing (not to mention delicious) treatment from ingredients you may already have lying around (yogurt, raw honey, oats, lemon, and—you guessed it—banana). If you’ve got a little time to lounge around, you can use it as a full-on facial treatment; otherwise, it works great as a gentle exfoliating scrub.

Julia Gartland

What you need:

  • 1/2 tablespoon rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons whole-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1/3 medium banana
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

How to do it:

Finely grind the oats in a coffee grinder. Then, place the ground oats and all remaining ingredients into a small bowl. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. (You can also mix by hand, but an immersion blender helps get the right consistency.)

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If using as a scrub, apply to slightly damp skin and massage gently in upward circles, avoiding the eye area. If using as a face mask, apply to clean skin and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse off with cool water.

We got the recipe from Stephanie Peterson, founder of New York City’s Smoothie Beauty, a skin-care line made from actual food. “It's good for all skin types,” she says. “Together, the ingredients hydrate, soften, and soothe skin.” Banana is good for hydration, while yogurt’s lactic acid helps exfoliate. Oats are anti-inflammatory, honey retains moisture, and lemon contains antioxidants that can improve skin texture (if you’ve got sensitive skin, skip the lemon, which can be irritating).

If you find yourself wanting to experiment with more food-based face treatments, that's cool—just keep your skin type in mind as you start poking around the kitchen:

  • For dry skin, Patterson recommends blending oils such as avocado, almond, olive, and coconut, along with fresh avocado and whole-fat Greek yogurt; all have skin-nourishing fatty acids.
  • For combination/oily skin, you can balance things out by multitasking: Apply hydrating ingredients, such as whole-fat Greek yogurt, honey, or banana to areas that are dry; apply sebum-reducing ingredients, such as egg white, kiwi, or lemon, to oily areas.
  • For acne-prone skin, incorporate ingredients that are detoxifying and anti-inflammatory. Apple, pineapple, papaya, turmeric, and raw honey are all great for calming skin and preventing breakouts.
  • For all other skin types, variety is best. Look for ingredients that are high in antioxidants and vitamins, such as berries, cacao, and matcha powder.
  • For sensitive skin, try soothing and cooling ingredients such as cucumber and aloe.

If you try out our good-enough-to-eat banana mask—or create one of your own—be sure to let us know how it goes in the comments.

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Hana is a food writer/editor based in New York.