What Are the Benefits of Lemon Juice on the Skin?

by Megan Shoop ; Updated September 28, 2017

Countless skin products exist to erase blemishes, freckles and even out skin tone. Some of these products work, while others don’t. Since many of these products are expensive, many people don’t have the funds to experiment with different kinds of products to find out what works for them. Some of these products also have unpleasant side effects, such as causing extremely dry or oily skin.

Lemons are a natural skin remedy. They cost very little and a single lemon can treat your skin for several days. Lemons don’t cause as much drying as some professional products and can be used for many different skin conditions.

Treats Acne

Lemon juice contains citric acid, which acts as a mild exfoliant when applied to the skin. This scrubs away dead skin cells and allows new, healthy skin cells to replace them. Lemon juice also has antibacterial and cleansing properties that help clean your pores and prevent future breakouts. Since you need very little lemon juice to treat acne, one lemon can provide you with treatment for up to a week and a half.

Juice one lemon and remove the seeds; don’t worry about removing the pulp. Pour the juice into a plastic container or bottle that you can keep in the refrigerator. Each night before bed, dampen a cotton swab or the corner of a washcloth with lemon juice and dab it onto your blemishes. Leave it on overnight. If the lemon juice begins to irritate your skin, rinse it away with cool water after a few minutes. Apply it again in the morning. Results should show in about a week.

Lightens Freckles and Age Spot

Some people hate their freckles. May elderly people develop age spots that they'd like to remove. Lemon juice is a safe, simple way to lighten your skin and even your skin tone. The citric acid in lemon juice is astringent and exfoliating. This means that as it sloughs off dead skin cells, it gently bleaches the skin beneath, encouraging light, even skin to grow in place of the darker tones.

Juice your lemon or cut it in half. Rub some of the juice over the areas you wish to lighten, leaving the juice on your skin for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, rinse the juice away with cool water. Repeat this process every evening for several weeks. You should see noticeable differences in a week to 10 days.

Treats Insect Bites

Everyone has had run-ins with mosquitoes and other biting insects with unpleasant results. Insect bites often itch for days with little promise of relief. Fortunately, lemon pulp can act as a cure for discomfort and help speed the healing process. Its antibacterial properties cleanse the area and help neutralize the venom that causes itching and swelling.

Cut a lemon in half and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. Remove the seeds from the pulp and stir it until you get a thick, juice mass. Spoon a little pulp into a square of cheesecloth, and use gauze and medical tape to secure it to the affected area. Remove after about 15 minutes, or if the juice begins to irritate the skin.

For spider bites and those allergic to bee stings, see your doctor before trying to treat these serious injuries at home.

Photo Credits

  • György Barna/iStock/Getty Images