Lemons are yellow citrus fruits which were first introduced in 1943 to the New World by Columbus. The World’s Healthiest Foods website informs that lemons have been grown since 1500s in Florida. Besides their dietary usage, lemons are known to have natural skin lightening properties and they have been cosmetically employed for centuries now to refresh, lighten and tone skin. Lemon juice can either be used to fade brown spots caused by too much sun exposure, lighten up skin discoloration and as a natural mild bleaching agent and brightener. Let us then talk more about lemon as a skin lightener.
Composition and Effects
It was noted by the World’s Healthiest Foods that lemon juice is high in vitamin V which is a potent antioxidant agent that fight free radicals and possess anti-inflammatory properties. Drugs.com added that lemon contains antioxidants too in the form of herperidin, coumarin and erioticin and it also has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Skincarerx.org said that lemon and lemon juice naturally contain alpha-hydroxy acids substances which are used in commercial skin care products.
The acids in lemon according to skincarerx.org can lighten skin. Jerome Z. Litt, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH, agrees and says that lemon juice has mild exfoliative effects. Litt affirms that the juice of a fresh lemon juice has enough acidic content to peel off the top layer of the skin safely and can remove or lighten age spot.
Studies have been conducted and these suggest that the alpha-hydroxy acids in lemon juice can both lighten and brighten the skin. C.M.Ditre and colleagues conducted a clinical study and published it in the “Journal of the American Academy of dermatology” in the February 19996 issue, researchers found out that a lotion which contain citric acid produced significant reversal of the symptoms of photo aging in both the dermis and epidermis and sun damage on the forearms of some patients.
How to Use Lemon for Skin Lightening
Squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon. Do not use frozen juice. Dip a cotton ball on the lemon juice and remove extra liquid to avoid getting it on your eyes during application. Lie down and place the wet cotton ball on the dark area you want to lighten up or simply pat the skin enough to wet it but don’t let any juice come running. Let it sit in for about 20 minutes or may increase the time unless there is no pain or burning felt. Rinse thoroughly after the waiting time with cool water then pat dry.
Litt cited that application of lemon juice should be done on the skin with the use of cotton balls at least two times a day. One must perform the treatment consecutively for 6 to 8 weeks to achieve best results.
According to Health 911, lemon juice increases skin’s sensitivity to sunlight so it is recommended to let the lemon juice dry on the skin first before going under the sun. Try applying first a small amount on your skin 24 hours before total application to test if you’re not allergic. If there is irritation or redness on your skin, rinse off the lemon juice at once and discontinue of use.