The truth about lemon juice and acne:
Many believe that lemon juice is the miracle cure for acne. We looked into the details of using lemon juice as an acne treatment and have brought you the results: how it works, the pros and cons, and how to use it if you want to give it a try.
How lemon juice helps acne:
Lemon juice does have some acne fighting qualities and can be a cheap way to try and clear your skin. Here are the primary benefits of lemon juice and acne:
Reduces oil: The acid in lemon juice has mild astringent qualities. The astringents work by constricting the body tissues and pushing the oil out of your skin.
Kills bacteria: The citric acid of lemon juice also acts as an antiseptic. Since bacteria have a difficult time adjusting to acidic environments, the lemon juice can help reduce the number of bacteria that are living inside or on top of your skin.
Cheap: All it costs you is a couple of lemons and some cotton balls to apply it.
Reduces redness: Many find that applying an astringent like lemon juice greatly reduces the redness caused by acne.
Scar therapy: Some believe lemon juice is a natural way to reduce scars caused by acne. There is no clinical research to support this claim, however.
Negatives of lemon juice for acne:
While there are a few potential benefits to using lemon juice, there have not been any studies to actually prove it’s acne fighting capabilities. Additionally, there are several side effects that you should watch out for if you decide to try it out.
Dry skin: If you have dry or normal skin, the lemon juice may cause excessively dry and flakey skin.
Painful: The acid in lemon juice may cause your pimples to sting or possibly even bleed.
Lightens skin: Astringents like lemon juice can cause your skin to lighten where you’ve applied it.
Not for dark skin: Those with dark skin should avoid using lemon juice as an acne treatment as it can cause dark spots to appear where applied.
Better alternatives: If you’re looking to manage the P. acnes (bacteria) in your pores, there are proven options available that are far more effective than lemon juice. An antimicrobial like benzoyl peroxide is not only an effective way to reduce acne causing bacteria, it is also a more effective exfoliant. This allows the medicine to more easily penetrate your clogged pores and remove the bacteria inside.
How to prepare and apply lemon juice:
If you still want to give lemon juice a try, these are the best practices:
Wash your face: Gently rub lukewarm water and a mild soap on your skin using your fingertips. Wash with warm water and allow your skin to dry for 5-10 minutes.
Create treatment: Cut a fresh lemon in half and squeeze each half into a bowl.
Apply treatment: Dip a cotton ball into the freshly squeezed juice. Dab the wet cotton ball to your affected area. A small stinging or itching sensation is normal. If the stinging is unmanageable add water to the solution to dilute the acidity.
Wait 20 minutes and rinse: Allow the lemon juice to dry, letting your skin absorb all of the acid. After 20 to 30 minutes rinse your face with warm water. Apply moisturizer if necessary.
For those with moderate to severe acne:
Lemon juice might deliver some minor benefits to your acne, but it cannot be the primary treatment for moderate to severe acne. It is important that you apply more effective medications, like topical retinoids.
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- Russell-DeLucas, Carolyn. “How to Clear Acne With Lemon Juice.”LIVESTRONG.COM
- “Lemon Juice (applied Topically).” Reviews. Acne.org
- Internal sources.