Lemons For Skin, Hair & Nails: Learn The Basics, Learn The Benefits

Lemon benefits for skin, nails, and hair... There are more than you think!

You might garnish a drink with them, or squeeze a slice over a fishy dish, but aside from their infamous tangy flavour and refreshing aroma, lemons can benefit the body in a multitude of ways…

Your Liver Loves Lemons

When consumed, lemons naturally stimulate your liver, so adding the juice of a lemon to your morning glass of water is a great, organic detoxifier. Lemons can also help replenish your body’s mineral supply and quench your thirst.

The lemon is also a natural alkalizing agent, so it can support the body in maintaining a steady and normal PH level.

Lemons Are Loaded With Vitamin C

Research shows that eating fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Vitamin C is also essential for boosting the body’s immune system.

Lemons also contain soluble fiber and plant compounds like Hesperidin and Diosmin and these have been linked to lowering some risk factors that can cause heart disease. Lemons can also assist in reducing cholesterol.

Lemons Can Reduce Your Appetite

On receiving lemon juice, your stomach will begin to secrete the same juices it uses to eliminate stronger foods, because of the citric acid. This can send a signal to your brain telling you that you’re full and will help you nibble less throughout the day.

So far, so impressive. But, did you know that when applied topically lemons can directly benefit your hair, skin, and nails too?

Lemons Can Banish Dandruff

Let’s be clear. Lemon won’t immediately prevent the appearance of dandruff but will gradually eliminate it. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities of lemons can support in soothing the skin irritations that come with dandruff too. When included in a soothing mixture of ingredients, lemon can be great for helping rebuild the dermal layers of skin and removing dead skin cells from the scalp.

Add a few drops of lemon juice to a spoonful of olive or coconut oil, along with a spoonful of honey, and apply as you would a hair mask. Let it sit for around half an hour and rinse thoroughly before washing your hair with a sulfate and paraben-free shampoo.

Lemons Can Lighten Your Skin

Our skin on our elbows and knees is constantly rubbing against clothing. Because of this, the skin grows thicker to protect it, and thus looks darker. Cut a lemon in half and rub onto each elbow and knee twice a week, letting it soak for around 15 minutes. After cleaning off, apply a moisturizer to avoid drying the skin out.

Lemons Can Soothe Chapped Lips

A natural exfoliant, chapped lips love lemon. Before you go to sleep, apply some lemon juice mixed with a little brown sugar onto your lips. The lemon juice will help rid any dead skin cells and leave your lips feeling smoother and looking less sore.

Lemons Can Brighten Your Hair

Want the cheapest highlights around? Apply some lemon juice to your strands with a comb before heading out into the sun. Want to score the trendy ombré effect? Apply the lemon juice just to the ends of your hair! Stay out for a couple of hours (whilst using sunscreen on your skin!) and then wash with a sulfate and paraben-free shampoo.

Lemons Can Aid Spot Prone Skin

Lemons are packed with Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is effective in evening out skin's pigmentation, so it can help keep our skin evenly toned while helping to increase our natural collagen levels too! Lemons also work as an antioxidant, helping your skin protect itself from free radicals and other external stressors.

In addition, lemons contain citric acid which is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). This acid works as a great chemical exfoliant, helping your skin appear smoother and your pores to de-clog without the need for harsh synthetics. Brilliant for blackheads! After cleansing, rub a slice of lemon over the blackhead area (usually the T-zone) and let the AHAs work their magic.

Lemons also have high levels of Niacin. Niacin is an anti-inflammatory that works to alleviate dry skin, and reduce any redness or irritation on the skin's surface.

If you suffer from acne scars or rosacea, lemon juice can help alleviate them. Apply a small amount to a cotton pad and wipe gently over the skin, and rinse off with lukewarm water after five minutes, and pat dry.

Oily skin? Lemon juice is a natural astringent so this method will also help stop grease in its tracks!

Tip: Remember to wear SPF when using lemon juice on your skin. Citrus fruit contains chemicals called Furanocoumarins and Psoralens. These can be harmful to your skin in direct sunlight, and can cause really nasty skin blisters! SPF is essential if you’re exposed to the sun and using pure lemon juice in your beauty regime.

Lemons Can Whiten Your Teeth

Yes, they can! Simply apply some drops of lemon onto a spoon with a little baking soda. The mixture should slightly foam. Then, apply to your teeth with a Q Tip. Leave the mixture on for 60 seconds maximum (or it can start to erode the enamel!), then rinse out with water and brush your teeth as normal.

Lemons Can Strengthen and Whiten Your Nails

Soaking your nails in olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice is a great way of boosting nail strength if they’re feeling brittle and dry. This soak will also help brighten any yellowing nail too.

Final thoughts

Lemons are full of benefits for your skin, hair, nails, and body. However when you use lemon directly on your skin, there is no way for you to know how much ascorbic acid, citric acid, or niacin will be in the juice itself. It can depend on lemon variety, ripeness, and dilution. 

Though 100% safe to eat, these natural ingredients can be harmful when used on the skin in large quantities so don’t overdo it, don’t leave on your skin for too long, use sunscreen, and if you notice a reaction, stop using lemon juice stat.

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Sarah Milton

A passionate content writer, with a specific interest in the science behind hair care. Having created content for several years, I’ve grown my knowledge exponentially in the science behind hair growth, quality and texture, and what ingredients our tresses need to thrive. When not in the office, I’m walking my dog along the beach or invested in a brilliant television drama.