The use of lemon juice is a popular skin whitening option but does it work? The answer is yes! Lemons are a wonderful source of vitamin C, which is often included in the composition of commercial skin whitening creams.
The simple topical application of lemon juice will deliver great results over time, especially if you have dark spots caused by aging or unprotected exposure to sunlight.
Option #1 Fresh Lemons For Skin Lightening
Fresh lemon juice will deliver the best results, avoid anything that has been processed and mixed with other ingredients. If you want to make a beneficial and efficient skin lightening mask, you’ll need the following:
What you’ll need:
- yogurt (use this if you have sensitive skin – optional)
- honey (optional)
The yogurt and honey are optional, but they can deliver excellent skin nourishing and hydration effects, particularly for dry skin.
How to :
Just cut the lemon on wedge and rub gently on your skin. Or you can squeeze the lemon juice and place it in a container. Using cotton pad/ball.
Benefits for the Skin
A lemon is a great option, but you should always do a sensitivity test before using it on dark spots.
Lemon juice is a natural astringent, which makes it a great treatment for oily skin, but ladies that have sensitive or dry skin could experience some irritation.
This is why honey and yogurt can be added to the mask – they soothe the skin and reduce the irritation that the lemon juice could cause. Remember to moisturize daily.
Option #2 Lemon and Milk Skin Whitening Alternative
Milk contains lactic acid that acts as a mild exfoliant and enhances the results of the lemon juice treatment.
Also, milk is a wonderful source of essential amino acids. It nourishes the skin and makes it youthfully soft. Finally, the milk enables the lemon juice to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and produce even bigger benefits.
What you’ll need:
How to :
You’ll need just these two ingredients, mix equal parts of the ingredients. If you’re worried that your skin will be irritated by the lemon juice, use a larger quantity of milk. Soak a cotton ball in the milk and lemon mix and apply to the dark spots.
Let the mask stay on your skin for approximately 15 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water. This can be used on any part of the body, including the hands and feet, and does not need to be washed off – but the smell might be a bit over powering!
If you’re treating dark spots on your face, let the mask stay on for approximately 15-20 minutes.
Wash it off and pat your face dry gently. Since lemon will make your skin more photo-sensitive, put some sunscreen on before going out.
This lemon-milk whitener can be used 2 or 3x a week.
Benefits for the Skin
Milk contains lactic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid, that will exfoliate the skin and promote cell renewal. Milk is also rich in amino acids and enzymes that enhance water retention and skin moisture.
This helps to soften the skin and allows for deeper penetration of the lemon juice. The lemon juice is acidic and acts as a bleaching agent that will contribute to fading uneven pigmentation.
If you find the lemon is too acidic for your skin you can add a little more milk and less juice.
Keep in mind that just like all other natural skin treatments, lemon juice will require more time to deliver effects than the commercial types of whitening products.
The good news, however, is that the lightening is going to be produced without the use of harsh chemicals. Many cosmetics designed for the purpose of skin whitening contain irritants that could cause a range of side effects. Natural whitening will be slower but much safer and just as effective.
Why Lemon Juice is So Effective
Several reasons make lemon juice such an effective option. Here’s how it acts.
The exfoliation effects of vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) are the first reason why skin whitening can be accomplished. The upper layer of the skin will be removed, including the hyper-pigmented cells. With time, the dark spots will become less prominent and they will eventually disappear.
The natural removal of dead skin cells occurs every three to four weeks. The use of a natural exfoliant like lemon juice or milk will speed this process up.
Also, the production of new skin cells will be stimulated. The result will be glowing, softer, brighter and much more beautiful skin.
After several months of regular use, there will be a noticeable reduction in fine lines and an overall improvement in skin tone and texture.
- Stimulates Collagen:
Since vitamin C is an antioxidant, it reduces the effects of free radicals on the skin and it also stimulates collagen production.
It gets absorbed by the skin easily since the vitamin is water-soluble. Good absorption causes fast and efficient skin whitening, while the skin becomes stronger and more elastic.
The collagen-stimulating qualities of vitamin C make it a favorite ingredient in anti-aging creams, apart from skin whitening cosmetics.
- Reduces Melanin Production:
Finally, vitamin C can reduce the production of melanin, which is essential for dark spot removal and the prevention of new hyper-pigmentation.
Melanin plays an important role in protecting the skin against the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. Excessive melanin production (especially if the unprotected skin is protected to sunlight), however, will cause the appearance of dark spots.
Vitamin C regulates the melanin production process. It keeps the complexion even and doesn’t allow the formation of spots that have a different, darker color.
Here are some tips to consider when using lemon juice to whiten your skin:
- Test a small area of your skin with dilute lemon juice first in case of allergic reactions
- Lemon juice will make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so remember to limit your sun exposure and always use a broad spectrum sunscreen
- Lemon juice can dry out your skin so you may need to apply moisturizer afterwards
- Don’t use lemon juice if you have a cut or injury on your skin as it could sting or burn
- Avoid getting lemon juice near your eyes or eyelids as it can sting
- Lightening your skin with lemon juice can take a while but it is better to stick to using this treatment 3 to 4 times a week, instead of everyday. Lemon juice has astringent qualities so it can dry the skin out too much if applied every day
- Don’t go out into the sun with lemon juice on your face. Lemon juice makes your skin extra sensitive to sunlight and it can burn, so rinse off any traces of lemon juice before going outside
- Lemon juice is useful for lightening the skin and reducing freckles and it is also a time-honored treatment for oily skin.