Could lemon be the answer to your acne problems, or is using lemon on skin a beauty myth that needs to be squashed?
Yes, lemon helps to get rid of acne
Beauty journalists, bloggers, YouTubers, you name it, the media has been pushing lemon down our throats and onto our skin for years as a natural cure for skin blemishes. With its high concentration of vitamin C (known as a weapon against acne breakouts) and the right percentage of AHAs (8-10%) for gentle exfoliation, lemon appears to have the credentials to prevent skin problems. However, there are also several reasons why applying lemon topically to the face could actually exacerbate your acne.
Lemon makes acne worse
With a little more research into the properties of lemon, its reputation as a skin-soother begins to falter. Lemon, as most people know, is very acidic. It has a pH of between two to three, making it potentially problematic in skincare, because acid formulations have much higher potential for skin irritation than alkaline solutions, as research has shown. By lowering the pH of the skin, yes the unfriendly acne-causing bacteria are likely to be damaged, but so will the skin's natural microorganisms, or native flora, which protect the dermis. Lastly, applying citrus juice to your face makes your skin much more sensitive to harmful UV rays, even causing rare cases of Phytophotodermatitis (aka Lime disease).
How to use lemon for healthy skin
Before you throw your lemons out of the window, however, they can still be used in your overall well-being armory. Studies have shown the benefits of lemon to the body's immune system, as well as their antioxidant properties. When diluted in water and drank as an infusion, lemon also acts as a mild diuretic, which can help your body flush out toxins quicker - although don't forget to hydrate with regular H²O as well!