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Are lemons good for your skin? Does the sun rise every morning? Lemons are one of nature's best-kept beauty secrets and are crammed with vitamins that are great for the skin. You can get the benefits by eating and drinking things with lemon; you can also save a bundle by using lemons on your skin. The next time your skin needs a little extra TLC, turn to lemons to give it a beautifying boost.
Both the Juice and the Oil
If you find you suffer from redness, skin irritation and acne, lemons might be your best bet. Bag some lemon essential oil; lemon oil is a natural antiseptic that can prevent infections and inflammation. Lemon oil can also be used on oily skin, especially for controlling acne, by cutting off the excess facial oils that can lead to acne and breakouts. Sounds like it wouldn't work, huh? But it does, and it only costs pennies to try. Get a lemon right out of the fridge and squeeze the juice out -- it can be used to brighten and exfoliate, and it helps take the neon red out of blemishes. Lemons strip away dirt and debris without drying out your face the way alcohol does. Since it is also an astringent, it constricts blood vessels and makes pores look tinier, so your skin looks smooth and even.
Put lemon juice to work above your face, too -- we're talking hair here. If you use a lot of styling products throughout the week, use lemon juice to make a clarifying hair tonic; it strips out unwanted residue and product buildup. Lemon oil takes on scalp problems such as seborrhea and dandruff. If you use lemon-based beauty treatments and love to soak up rays, beware. The sun can add to lemon's bleaching effect, so you absolutely have to protect your skin. But you already knew that you're supposed to use sunscreen outside, right? Right??
Perhaps lemon's greatest skin benefit comes from citric acid, which is similar to alpha hydroxy acid -- and that turns up on some pretty pricey products. According to the Mayo Clinic, alpha hydroxy acids "are synthetic versions of acids derived from sugar-containing fruits" -- that would be lemons, among other fruit, and their acids rev up skin renewal and throw out dead skin cells to expose a fresh new layer of skin. That means firm, flexible, brightened-up skin. So what's not to love about that?
Masks and More
It's not hard to squeeze lemon into your beauty routine. To use lemon juice by itself, dab a mixture a lemon juice and water onto your pimples and leave on overnight (be sure the skin's clean before you do that). This should help to lighten blemishes and control excess oil production. Be sure to rinse off the juice in the morning. If you're looking for something more luxurious, try a yogurt-lemon-olive oil mask. Mix a half a cup of plain Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of olive oil. Then mix in one teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Smooth the mixture over your face, leave it on for five to 10 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.