Lemons are great for adding a tangy kick to your recipes for chicken, baked goods, and, of course, cocktails. The awesome power of lemons has implications far beyond the kitchen, though.
Lemons can provide tremendous benefits for your beauty regimen. Lemons contains alpha hydroxy acid, which works wonders on your skin. They have natural antibacterial properties, too, making lemon for acne treatment very effective.
These little yellow miracle workers are an abundant source of vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. These minerals and antioxidants improve the appearance and health of your skin, nails, and hair.
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What are the Benefits of Lemon for Skin?
Heal Acne and Remove Blackheads
Citrus fruits have antibacterial and antifungal properties that make lemon for acne an amazing alternative treatment to commercial products. It’s as simple as slicing open a lemon and rubbing it onto the affected areas of your face. To treat blackheads, you can add a few drops of honey on top of a lemon half and apply it to the areas where you have blackheads. Let the solution sit for five to ten minutes and then rinse it off with cold water.
Lighten Dark Spots and Blemishes
Facial blemishes are embarrassing and can be extremely stubborn. Luckily, the citric acid in lemon juice can gradually fade blemish spots and even out your skin tone. Try to avoid getting lemon juice in any open cuts or scratches on your face—it will sting!
Professional teeth whitening can be very expensive. You can save yourself a lot of money, and a trip to the dentist, by making a homemade lemon juice mixture. Mix baking soda and lemon juice until a bubbly solution forms. Use a Q-tip to apply the mixture to your teeth. Let the solution sit for one minute—not any longer or the citric acid in the lemon juice may damage tooth enamel. Gently scrub the mixture off with a toothbrush and watch your smile get brighter.
Prevent Oily Skin
Oily skin is a super common, ultra-annoying beauty problem. There are a lot of different methods that have been tried—many without success—to bring down the shine on foreheads, noses, and chins. As crazy as it sounds, even laxatives have been touted as a means of reducing skin oil. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go that far! Swiping a cotton swab dipped in lemon juice is an easy, effective way of drying up excess oil. Try performing this procedure before bed. Wash your face when you wake up in the morning. This technique will help prevent excessively oily skin.
Brighten Hair Color
Professional hair coloring can be very pricey. You might pay anywhere from $60 to over $200 for highlights or all-over color. Dying your hair with one of those semi-permanent box kits from the pharmacy is cheaper, sure, but you never know what results you might get. A cost-effective way to lighten your hair at home is by simply using lemons. Combine lemon juice and hair conditioner and comb the mixture through your hair. Be sure to coat every strand and pull the mixture all the way down to your ends. Then, go outside with a good book or cold drink and sit in the sun for a few hours. When you’re done, wash your hair thoroughly. You can repeat this process at least once a week. In a short time, you’ll see that your hair is noticeably lighter in color.
You can purchase different nail hardening polishes at the drugstore or beauty supply store, but you can also use olive oil and lemon juice to achieve the same results naturally. This solution will help strengthen weak and brittle nails and clear up any yellowing.
Calm Dry Scalp and Reduce Dandruff
Hair masks, especially the DIY variety, are becoming widely popular throughout the beauty world. These masks can be made with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Coconut oil, olive oil, and raw honey mixed with lemon juice can be massaged onto your head to heal dry scalp and reduce dandruff. Nobody likes those white flakes on their shoulder! You literally have the cure sitting in your pantry.
Soothe Chapped Lips
You know the pain that comes along with dry, cracked lips. Not to mention the embarrassment of yucky dead skin peeling from your lip. An overnight exfoliant for chapped lips can be created from nothing more than a sliced lemon. Rub the fruit across your lips, then wash it off the next morning. The lemon juice removes dead skin cells, leaving your lips super soft. Applying lipstick will be much easier too, as it will glide across your lips more smoothly.
Cleanse Your Face and Body
Body washes and soaps can contain a scary concoction of unknown chemicals and additives. If you’re unsure about what’s inside of your face or body wash, you can switch to a homemade cleanser. Lemon juice, yogurt and an essential oil—like lavender—make for a sweet-smelling, natural cleanser. Massage your homemade cleanser into your face and body to remove dirt and bacteria. The cleanser will moisturize your skin, too.
Bleach Elbows and Knees
If your elbows and knees appear a bit darker than the rest of your skin, simply rub them with half of a lemon. Almost like magic, the darker areas will begin to lighten and more closely match your skin tone.
Make Cleansing Wipes
Mix a few drops of lemon juice with tea tree oil in six ounces of distilled water. This solution can be used as a toner, or placed onto a cotton pad and used as a cleansing wipe for troublesome skin.
Treat Canker Sores
Canker sores are a dreaded skin issue that can be unsightly and painful. A few drops of lemon essential oil on your canker sores will help speed up healing time.
Fix a Bad Fake Tan
Lemons are full of vitamin C and citric acid, both of which help brighten and lighten your skin over time. Vitamin C, an antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals and boosts collagen production. It can help lighten age spots or even fix a fake tan gone awry. Remember to wear SPF when using lemon juice on your skin, since citrus makes you more sensitive to UV rays.
Can Lemon be Useful for Acne Scars?
Washing and exfoliating your face to remove sweat, dirt, and oil is one way to combat acne from occurring in the first place. Some people apply lemon juice to their face and leave it on overnight as part of their nightly face-washing routine. If you don't want to leave it on overnight, you can apply the lemon juice after washing your face in the morning. Make sure your face is completely dry and properly moisturized before going about your day.
Lemon juice can also help reduce the appearance and redness of acne scars that have already formed. Soak a Q-tip inside a fresh lemon wedge and dab it onto your acne scars. For this treatment, be sure to only apply the lemon juice to your acne scars, and not your whole face. You will feel a bit of tingling on your skin, but it shouldn’t hurt. Re-saturate a new Q-tip if needed, making sure to only touch on your problem areas.
Another method of using lemon juice to heal acne scars is the plastic wrap method. After applying lemon juice to your face, cover your face with plastic wrap. Make sure to cut holes for your eyes, nose, and mouth! Leave the plastic wrap on for at least thirty minutes before washing off. If you’re only treating acne scars and not an active acne breakout, you can leave the plastic on for a few hours. That’s because you’re just lightening your skin, not treating existing acne.
People with sensitive skin might not be able to leave lemon juice on their skin for extended periods of time. If you know that your skin is very sensitive or reddens easily, try leaving the plastic wrap on for a shorter period of time (thirty minutes or less) until you can assess your skin’s tolerance for the treatment.
With any lemon juice facial treatment, always make sure to wash your face thoroughly and rinse off any excess lemon juice. Apply lemon juice facial treatments every one to three days over a period of several weeks for optimal results.
Lemon Juice Skin Treatment Recipes
Lemon juice, honey, and olive oil mask
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
This mask recipe combines the strength of lemon juice with the hydrating power of honey and olive oil. Leave the mask on for ten to thirty minutes, depending on skin sensitivity. Wash the mixture away with warm water, followed by a splash of cold water to tighten pores. Always finish the treatment with a moisturizer.
Lemon juice scrub
Make a facial scrub with lemon juice and sugar or sea salt. Sugar and sea salt are both natural abrasives that help fight acne. When combined with lemon juice, these abrasives help your skin glow. Mix enough lemon juice and sugar or sea salt to make a paste. Apply the paste to your face and neck, moving your fingers in circular motions to exfoliate the skin. Let the paste remain on your skin for eight to ten minutes and then wash it off with warm water. Finish with cool water to close your pores.
Lemon juice, rose water, and cucumber juice
This acne scar removing treatment does your skin a world of good. It helps eliminate acne scars and leaves your skin feeling fresh and looking bright and radiant. Mix equal proportions of lemon juice, rose water, and cucumber juice in a small bowl. Apply the solution to your face, targeting areas scarred by acne. Let the solution rest on your skin for ten to fifteen minutes. Rinse your face thoroughly with cold water and pat it dry with a clean, soft towel. You can repeat this treatment daily to reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Lemon juice lightens your skin, including scarred areas, while cucumber juice soothes the skin. Rose water prevents your skin from drying out and helps you achieve a desirable radiant glow.
What Not to Try
- Don’t use the juice of a whole lemon directly on your face or soak your entire face in lemon juice. Putting too much acid on your skin will disrupt natural oil production and wreak havoc on your skin’s normal pH balance. When it comes to lemon juice for skin care, a little goes a long way!
- Don’t introduce lemon juice into any open cuts, sores, or lesions. Whether it’s an open acne sore or a scratch from your cat, you’ll definitely want to avoid rubbing lemon juice into any open facial wounds. Only use lemon juice on active acne that hasn’t opened or popped, or on closed acne scars.
- Don’t mix lemon juice treatments with a lot of other skincare products. Products that contain either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid should only be used on days that you don’t use lemon juice treatments. This is to ensure that you don’t strip away too much natural oil or throw off your skin’s pH balance.
There are many ways to use lemon for acne, blemishes, dark spots, and scars. Your hair, body, and nails can all benefit from lemons, too.
You can mix lemon juice with herbs, like mint or basil, and even honey, to create natural, powerful remedies for a large number of beauty problems. Commercial products with showy advertisements that promise a quick cure are often ineffective. Many of them contain harsh chemicals and additives that are counterproductive to their intended purpose. Choosing an all-natural, economical remedy like lemons is one of the best ways to achieve your beauty goals.