I am now ruined from enjoying a facial. My last facial (for my sister’s birthday) was all about vitamin C to reverse my sun damage. The (overly) chatty aesthetician kept explaining how vitamin C does this and that for skin. And the whole time I’m thinking, I bet I could make this at home!
Sure enough, you can get a vitamin C facial at home for pennies with a lemon. Our skin loses its natural vitamin C as we age, and lemons have it in spades. Their natural alpha hydroxy acids exfoliate the top layer of your skin, which lightens those pesky sun spots. Here are 7 ways to use lemons to improve your skin, hair and nails:
1. Cleansing Exfoliator
My hubby got me this scrub for Christmas, and the smell is the perfect morning pick-me-up. The sage was unexpected, so I did a little research and realized how beneficial it is. Good news is that it’s way cheaper to make your own.
Lemon + Sage Scrub
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- juice from 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- 2-3 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
Add enough olive oil to make a paste and then apply in the shower.
2. Dandruff + Buildup fighter
While you’re in the shower, give yourself a scalp massage to fight drandruff and remove product buildup. Massage 2 tablespoons of lemon juice directly to the scalp daily after shampooing and conditioning. Rinse thoroughly. Use caution as this may also lighten your hair color.
3. Natural alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) mask
If you have age or sun spots, lemon is one of the best natural ingredients to lighten them. The natural AHAs in lemons and the lactic acid in milk also remove dead skin cells. Plus this mask just feels so good – I love that slight tingly feeling because you feel like something is really happening!
Lemon + Milk Mask
- 2 tablespoons full fat milk or yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
If using milk, let the mixture sit on the counter for a couple of hours until it curdles. Apply to neck and face, avoiding the eyes. Leave on for at least 20 minutes (longer is okay), and you’ll feel it tightening as it dries. Then rinse with warm water and apply moisturizer.
4. Age spot reducing toner
The best way to use vitamin C on your age spots is lemon juice. The citric acid in lemon juice can help gradually fade the spots and help even your skin tone.
Lemon juice toner – 2 ways
Combine the juice from 1/2 lemon + 1/2 cup witch hazel
Or apply lemon juice directly to age spots with a cotton ball
You can rinse the juice off, but I’ve been leaving it on and love how it feels.
5. Teeth whitener
Growing up I used to get into trouble for eating lemons because I was told they were bad for your teeth. Now I know why! If sucking on a lemon wedge doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time, you can just rub the inside white part of a lemon peel onto your teeth. Or try mixing a squeeze of lemon with baking soda. Brush onto your teeth and leave for 1 minute then rinse and brush
6. Clean fingernails
Lemons have the same effect on your fingernails as on your teeth so it can remove discoloration from nail polish. Soak your hands for 5-10 minutes in a cup warm water combined with juice from half a lemon. Remove and condition nails with coconut oil.
Here’s my favorite use for the inevitable leftover lemon half. Why, why does every recipe call for only half? I have let more lemon halves wither in the vain hope that I’ll whip up something fabulous. Now I don’t have to worry – just dip the half into granulated sugar and give your soles a scrub. Problem solved!
What’s your favorite lemon beauty tip?