What are the Side Effects of Lemon Juice on Face?

by Nishtha Narang
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The most basic thing that pops whenever you look up a skin care routine is the use of Lemon. Right? Lemon is usually used as a bleaching agent for the face or as a toner. DIY skin care is everywhere. An important thing to note is that the people offering these ‘advices’ online may or may not be experts. This simply infers a harsh truth: Some suggestions will not work for you. In fact, it could ruin your skin and cause irrecoverable repercussions.

Lemon Baking Soda Scrub 3

Image Credit :coolhealthyrecipes

Wait, if Lemon is bad, why does everyone use it?

Don’t get me wrong. Lemon juice does contain some properties that are great for your skin. Alpha hydroxy acid works as an exfoliant and removes dead cells. Vitamin C and Citric acid can work together and lighten the skin. In spite of all this, sometimes it could do more harm to your skin than good.

Let’s find out why.

Why is it bad for my skin?

A worst case scenario of using Lemon juice for your skin is a chemical burn. In the sun, it can irritate your skin and lead to a burn which can cause unbearable pain and serious damage. Incorrect use may lead to severe allergies or blemishing. The main effects take place if you use the juice without dilution or in the sunlight. Note this down: Lemon and the sun don’t go together.

Some side effects that may occur due to Lemon juice:

  1. You can develop acne scars. Usually, we use the juice on our face for pimples. However, it can sting due to the acidic nature of Lemon and bleed, thereby leaving a mark.
  2. Sometimes, constant usage may lead to sunburn.
  3. Using too much of Lemon can cause changes to your skin color. Your skin may appear lighter in some parts and darker in others.
  4. Lemon juice usage can also make your skin photosensitive. That is, you will be extremely sensitive to Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and other light sources. (Always use Sunscreen before stepping out, but that is a topic for another day!)
  5. Lemon can also cause skin allergies, skin reactions or migraine. It could result in redness, swelling or blistering.

Doesn’t sound good, does it? But you can calm down now because these harmful effects can be curbed with proper precautions.

How can I prevent these ill effects?

  1. Prevent applying the Lemon directly on your face. Always dilute it. You can use water or rose water, Aloe vera gel or Honey to reduce the acidity.
  2. Avoid using it during the day when there is sunlight. (Remember what we noted)
  3. Always use fresh Lemons. Otherwise, the whole purpose is defeated.
  4. Maybe don’t leave it overnight, yes? Use Aloe vera gel instead. It will soothe your skin and not cause discomfort.
  5. Whenever you use anything new, you should always perform a patch test and wait one or two days to check for reactions.
  6. Discontinue if you have side effects. Do not keep using it because you have heard it’s beneficial.

Figure out if your skin can tolerate the acidic citrus fruit. If not, you have no cause to worry. There are so many more remedies available such as Aloe vera, Coconut oil, Essential oils, Turmeric or Yogurt. Find out what works best with your skin and imbibe it as a part of your routine. It’s your skin and you deserve a routine that’s only suited to you.

If you are still confused and want to know more, visit your nearest dermatologist to know treatments that will be safe for your type of skin.


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