We all know that lemons, like any other citrus fruit, are good for you. Bursting with antioxidants and vitamin C, lemons, whilst bitter on their own, can be combined with anything from green tea to fish to add a healthy kick and bring out flavour. But aside from use in food and cooking, lemon juice has some powerful cleansing properties, and combined with its high levels of vitamin C, can make an effective treatment against a number of skin problems.
Reaching for the lemon juice may not be your first natural reaction when it comes to treating skin problems topically, but it has a number of incredible uses when applied directly to problem skin.
Use lemon juice topically to:
Fade age spots
Reduce the prominence of age spots on the skin by dabbing with lemon juice every few days. Lemons have powerful bleaching properties and can be very effective when fading dark areas of skin. Dilute the lemon juice with a little water to prevent drying and apply to age spots every night before bed, then wash off in the morning. If you have a lot of age spots, it may be easier to add half a cup of lemon juice to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes.
Lemon juice is packed with vitamin C, a vital component in the production of collagen, which is responsible for skin elasticity. Combine a few drops of lemon juice, a drop of olive oil and a teaspoon of honey together and dab around the eyes, lips and other areas where fine lines are appearing. Leave for 20 minutes before rinsing with cool water. Repeating this technique every other day for a couple of weeks should leave your skin appearing plumped up and smoother overall.
Lemon juice is naturally acidic, making it very effective at removing dead skin cells and dirt from the face. Apply to areas affected by blackheads such as the nose, chin and cheeks every night before bed and rinse in the morning. You should find that within a few days, your skin appears clearer and smoother.
Lemon juice itself is a natural exfoliator, but if your body is really in need of polishing, you can combine it with sugar to make a really effective body scrub. Simply cut a lemon in half and dip the cut side into a dish of sugar. Rub over the body, concentrating on rough areas such as the hands, feet, knees and elbows. Apply more sugar if necessary. After a few minutes, rinse in the bath or shower, dry and add a dab of moisturiser to keep your skin soft and smooth.
Lemons are so good at naturally disinfecting the skin that many acne treatments already use their active ingredient- L-ascorbic acid. But why spend money on a shop-bought treatment when you can use the real thing? Lemon juice works to kill the bacteria which causes acne on the skin’s surface, as well as delivering vitamins and antioxidants directly to the skin. Use neat, or dilute if you find it stings or dries your skin too much. Apply to the affected area before bed and rinse with cool water in the morning. You can also try cutting a slice of lemon, applying a small amount of honey to the surface, rubbing over the affected area and leaving overnight. This allows you to combine the antioxidant effects of lemon juice with the naturally cleansing properties of honey to keep your skin clear and clean. And even when the spots themselves go away, you can carry on using lemon juice to fade any scars they may have left behind.
Just how lemon juice stings when it gets into any tiny cuts or cracks in the skin, it can cause irritation when used anywhere dry or delicate.
- If you find using neat lemon juice stings your skin, try diluting it 50:50 with water beforehand, then dab carefully onto the affected area
- To harness the benefits of lemon juice on dry skin, try mixing with moisturising ingredients such as honey, olive oil or yoghurt before applying topically. Follow up with a dab of intensive organic moisturiser after rinsing
- Because of its acidity, lemon juice can contribute to skin irritation if used too often. When starting to use lemon juice to topically treat skin conditions, begin slowly and gradually increase the number of days you use it as a treatment. You should soon be able to gauge how often you can use it before irritation occurs
- Lemon juice can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, so be careful when going out in the sun if you’ve recently used it on your skin. Apply a high factor sun cream and wear a hat to keep treated skin in the shade.
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