These yellow friends are rich in nutrients that can help keep your skin and hair sun-safe.

Summer's here and after being cooped up inside for months, it's finally time to break free and bask in the warm sunshine. Summer's the time of sun-drenched days and starry nights and we just can't seem to get enough of the beaches, the swimming pools, and the endless amount of ice cream. But as much as we make sure we catch some of those rays, we tend to forget that summer is a strong and commanding season, which leaves traces of its presence on our skin. Acne and dryness are usually the main problems and there are more. This is where our yellow friends enter. Bananas are rich in B vitamins, vitamin A, C, E and potassium. These nutrients help achieve beautiful skin and hair. Bananas are also used to turn around a wide range of skin problems.

Acne

To help relieve those terrible rashes, bananas are used on acne-prone skin that becomes irritated very easily. Bananas are ideal because they have no known ingredients that cause skin irritation, making them perfect for sensitive skin. Mash a ripe banana and apply it to the face for 20 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. The potassium in the banana will kill bacteria in infected acne blemishes and heal them at a faster rate. The B vitamins will calm the irritation and even the skin tone. This can be used in summer to soothe skin and fight against prickly heat rashes as well.

Dry skin

Skin can become dry with signs of lines and flaking. Time and again, bananas have been used in facial masks for their moisturising properties. The Vitamin A in bananas will help restore natural oil while vitamin E will repair damaged skin and fade age spots. Vitamin C prevents cell oxidation which will prevent fine lines and ageing. For an anti aging mask, apply a mashed banana with a teaspoon of honey to the face for 20 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. The honey will aid in firming the skin while the banana smoothes and softens the face. Bananas can work best for dry skin because they are naturally moisturising .This pack can also be used for a mild bleaching action on the face to remove tan. Hair too can be affected by the hot weather leading to dryness and damage. Bananas help in retrieving those shiny locks.

Dryness

Hair can become dry and brittle over time due to harsh weather, chemicals from colouring or from unforgiving styling techniques such as blow-drying, straightening or curling irons.

Bananas can restore dry hair and repair a damaged scalp. The potassium will assist in clearing any bacteria on the scalp that is hindering healthy hair growth. Mash a banana; apply it to the hair and scalp, cover with a shower cap and shampoo as usual after 20 minutes. Hair will feel fuller and healthier.

Damage

The sun can do a number on the hair, making it dry and brittle. Combine a banana with a tablespoon of almond oil until a thick syrup consistency is created. Coat the hair, especially the ends, with the mixture, wrap in a warm towel and allow it to soak into the hair for 20 minutes. Rinse well with tepid water before shampooing as usual.

Used alone or combined with other natural ingredients, bananas are Mother Nature's secret to repair and preserve beautiful skin and hair. And since bananas are in season year-round, you can easily add them to your beauty routine. So make it a point this summer to go completely bananas.

The author is the Director of Anushka Salon and Spa.