Lemon juice is good stuff. It’s low in calories, loaded with antioxidants like Vitamin C and nutrients like calcium, boosts digestion and detox and even improves your mood.
But do the benefits of this awesome citrus fruit extend to whitening – in other words, does lemon juice lighten skin? Let’s find out!
Does lemon juice lighten skin?
The short answer to this question is YES. The main reason that lemon effectively lightens the skin is all thanks to the presence of Vitamin C, which lemon has in spades…
- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that when applied topically prevents hyper pigmentation.
- Vitamin C is an ascorbic acid that is a natural exfoliant. Vitamin C reduces the cohesion between cells in the outer skin layer causing them to slough off thus stimulating the production new skin cells.
- Vitamin C also interrupts the action of the enzyme tyrosinase which stimulates melanin production.
All of these helpful qualities of Vitamin C do their part to not only lighten the skin but boost overall skin health. In fact, according to one study conducted at the Tulane University School of Medicine, when applied topically, Vitamin C promotes collagen synthesis, provides protection from ultraviolet A and B, and lightens hyper pigmentation.
How to lighten skin with lemon
So now that you know it works, how do you go about actually lightening your skin with lemon? Before we start, a few tips and tricks to keep in mind:
- Use fresh lemons and not the bottled, processed lemon juice that you can buy from the store. The fresher, the better.
- Dilute the lemon juice before you apply it directly on your skin as it can come on strong, especially if you have sensitive skin.
- Although this is an all natural remedy, you still want to do a quick check to make sure your skin can handle it. So go ahead and do a skin test before proceeding by applying lemon juice on a small area of your skin to make sure that it’s okay for you. Wait at least 24 hours and if you do not develop any adverse reactions then you may proceed.
- Sunscreen is a must. Citruses increase phytosensitivity so you need to take measures to protect your skin from the sun. Use a strong sunscreen.
Okay, back to how to lighten skin with lemon – as you may already know, there are a lot of products such as soaps, creams, serums, and gels that contain lemon extract in their ingredients and you can always opt for one of those.
You could also simply get yourself a bottle of pure lemon essential oil and mix it into your regular lotion or cream for skin lightening benefits.
But if you’re looking for a simple, quick home remedy that costs virtually nothing, you can also make your own lemon skin lightening toner in just a few minutes. Here’s how:
- Slice a lemon in half and remove the seeds.
- Use a juicer to extract the juice of the lemon or if you do not have a juicer, grab a bowl and squeeze as hard as you can. Using a spoon or fork to apply pressure and scrape out the lemon works well, too.
- Apply the lemon juice on your clean and dry face and other areas of the skin you wish to lighten. Again, pure lemon juice can be too strong, especially if you have sensitive skin, so go ahead and dilute it with water as you need it.
- Rinse off with water after around 10 minutes.
Lemon juice can be drying therefore you may want to do this only at least 3 to 4 times a week. You can also opt to add lemon juice to other, more soothing skin lightening ingredients such as yogurt, honey, milk, or oatmeal.
One example is a DIY face mask that you can quickly whip up using lemon juice, tomato juice, and oatmeal. And that’s just one mask you can make – get creative, mix and match and you’ll be able to come up with a bunch of more homemade lightening face masks that work great for you.
How long does it take for lemon to lighten skin?
Lemon is highly effective in lightening the skin but it will take some time. This is essentially the same with other remedies and products though. The simple truth is that those dark spots took time to form on your face and it’s going to take time for them to fade away and leave.
Do not attempt to speed up the process by doing things such as scrubbing lemon juice intensely on your skin, being overzealous with the amount you’re applying, or applying more than 3 to 4 times a week. Doing things like these will only damage your skin and add, rather than solve, skin problems.
As with all things, the keys are consistency and patience. Even expensive and highly advanced procedures take more than one session before results are visible. If you are religious with your regimen, you will be able to see results in a few weeks.