Benefits and harms of lemon for the skin

Lemon for the skin is a very common remedy used to fight acne. It has been found that lemon can help in clearing up the skin of pimples and blackheads. 

The acids found in lemon help to exfoliate the dead cells from the skin and make it look younger, clearer, and brighter. 

Lemon is also known to be very effective in treating various types of blemishes such as pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and even stretch marks.

Benefits and harms of lemon for the skin

Lemon is used as a natural cleanser which helps remove dirt and oil from your face without stripping away your natural oils leaving your skin dry and rough. 

Lemon is good for oily skin because it doesn't strip away essential oils from your pores, instead it cleanses them out leaving your skin feeling clean without being tight or dry.

Lemon contains vitamin C which helps in keeping the skin healthy by preventing free radical damage caused by sun exposure. 

It also contains several minerals including iron which helps improve blood circulation in the body making it easier for new blood cells to form on the surface of the skin.

You can use lemon juice directly on your face or mix it with water to create a paste that you can apply directly onto

 Lemon side effects

1. Dry skin

Lemon juice has astringent properties for the skin, so applying it topically to the skin in moderation may help rid the skin of excess sebum, and although such a benefit may benefit 

the skin to protect it from the excessive accumulation of natural oils and fats, it is a double-edged sword.

Excessive use of lemon juice on the skin can strip the skin of its natural oils in an unhealthy way, which may lead to dry skin, and this dehydration may appear in the form of rough skin patches.

2. Skin irritation

The topical application of lemon to the skin can lead to skin irritation. This type of potential damage to the skin is attributed to the acidic nature of lemon. 

While the pH of the skin ranges between 4.5 - 5.5, the pH of natural lemon juice is approximately 2.

In other words, there is a big difference between the amount of acidity of the lemon and the skin, which may make lemon an irritant, and this irritation may appear in the form of a variety of symptoms, such as:

  • stinging feeling
  • skin redness;
  • Peeling of the skin.
  • Contact dermatitis, an itchy rash.

Skin irritation is one of the most common damages caused by lemon to the skin. The severity of the irritation may vary from case to case, but this may reach its maximum if the person has sensitive skin.

3. Sunburn and chemical burns

The potential damage of lemon to the skin is not limited to dryness and irritation, but lemon may cause more serious complications. 

Topical application of lemon to the skin may increase the degree of skin sensitivity to the sun, which may make you more prone to sunburn, especially if you are of fair skin.

Exposure to the sun during the day, while the lemon juice is on the skin, can cause severe and painful chemical burns.

4. Phytophotodermatitis

One of the possible damages of lemon to the skin is that the topical application of lemon to the skin may stimulate a case of vegetative photodermatitis, especially when exposing the 

skin to the sun while lemon is on it, and this condition appears in the form of a severe dark-colored rash.

Lemon juice contains furocoumarins, and although these compounds may be safe under normal conditions, their interaction with sunlight may make them harmful compounds, as 

this interaction can cause DNA damage to cells and skin infections. To show symptoms such as:

  • skin redness;
  • Skin swelling.
  • Sores or blisters on the skin.
  • Pains and burns.
  • This condition can leave scars on the skin.

5. Vitiligo (Leukoderma)

Although skin lightening may be the desired effect for some, lemon may cause unhealthy skin lightening, as applying lemon topically to the skin may trigger a skin condition known as vitiligo.

Vitiligo is a condition in which the skin begins to lose part of the melanin pigment, which may lead to the appearance of light-colored spots on separate areas of the skin.

6. dark spots

Although lemon is known for its potential to lighten the skin, in certain cases it may cause the opposite effect to worsen dark spots, so caution should be exercised when applying it to 

the skin by people whose skin is prone to spots and scars after recovering from pimples or wounds.

How can you avoid lemon damage to the skin?

To try to avoid the above-mentioned damages, it is preferable to apply the following recommendations:

Avoid using lemon completely by people with sensitive skin, people with dark skin, and those with severe and deep pimples.

Make sure to use sunscreen without neglecting the period of using natural lemon recipes.

Avoid using lemon on the skin for several days in a row if you plan to engage in a daytime leisure activity with the family soon.

Try to always apply lemon to the skin at night, and the need to wash the face well from the lemon masks before going out and exposure to the sun.

Avoid leaving the lemon on the skin for more than several minutes, and avoid sleeping without washing the skin from the lemon.

It is enough to apply lemon masks at intervals and for a few times per month, and avoid using them daily.

Always try to mix lemon with other natural ingredients to dilute it as much as possible.

The necessity of stopping the use of lemon masks in case of skin irritation, and making sure to communicate with the doctor if the complications of lemon persist in the skin for a long time without improvement.

Lemon benefits for skin

After we touched on the damages of lemon to the skin, we must also address the positive side of lemon, as the topical application of lemon may help correctly and safely and by groups that are less vulnerable to lemon damage in the following:

Gently exfoliating the skin, lightening various skin pigmentations, such as freckles.

Nourishing the skin, moisturizing it, and resisting dryness.

Reduce sebum production in the skin, and relieve acne.

Reducing itching and irritation associated with some skin diseases, such as eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis.

Slow the rate of emergence and appearance of various signs of aging on the skin, such as wrinkles.


Lemon is an amazing fruit, not just for its taste but also for its skin benefits. The health benefits of lemon range from preventing cancer to curing acne. 

However, there are some precautions that you need to avoid before applying lemon to your skin. 

Use the juice of half a lemon mixed with one tablespoon of rose water and some yogurt to lighten your underarms and remove the underarm odor.

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