There are numerous DIY recipes recommending lemon or lemon juice for you skin. We analyze the safety of these lemon recipes.
The rationale for using lemon in your skincare
- Lemon juice contains properties that beneficial to your skin, such as alpha hydroxy acid. Alpha hydroxy acid can remove dull skin cells and generate new ones, working as a type of exfoliant. This acid is used in peels and skincare products.
- Lemon juice contains vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which helps brighten your skin and help fade hyperpigmentation.
Is it safe to apply lemon juice?
- Despite the beneficial properties, lemon juice is very acidic (pH=2), which damages your skin by disrupting your acid mantle. Disrupting your pH level and acid mantle cause sensitivity to the sun, dryness, and irritation.
- We do not know the acidity lemon of each lemon. Every lemon is different, depending on where it is grown and how it is grown. There may also be pesticides and chemicals that you would not want on your skin or body. When we apply lemon, we do not know exactly how much acid and chemicals we are applying. Even if you have been applying lemon juice without any side effects, the next lemon may be too harsh for your skin and cause damage.
- Lemon juice, when exposed to sunlight, is phototoxic and can lead to phytophotodermatitis. Results of this include burns, red rash, and hyperpigmentation.
If you’re looking for beneficial properties of lemons, it is best to apply products that are formulated effectively and safely for your skin. Lemons belong in your lemonade, not on your skin!