How to Use Lemon to Lighten Dark Spots on Your Skin

By Mary Smith. Updated: July 3, 2019
How to Use Lemon to Lighten Dark Spots on Your Skin

Dark spots on your skin can appear at any time during the day. Pollution, dirt, chemicals and other environmental factors can damage our natural skin tone and cause it to look uneven. This is one of the reasons it is so important to cleanse your face and moisturize properly. Visible dark spots can make you look like your day is longer than it is. There are other reasons dark spots can appear on your face. They could be from overexposure to the sun, moustache waxing or even acne scars. Lemon is a wonderful natural product which can have a lightening effect on these spots. oneHOWTO shows you how to use lemon to lighten your skin for a cheap and easy method of making yourself looked refreshed.

You may also be interested in: How to Lighten Your Skin with Rice

Lemon for dark spots

Lemon is a citrus fruit that is very high in Vitamin C. This is fortunate if you have dark spots on your skin because vitamin C is precisely the nutrient you're looking for. Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant. Oxidation is a chemical reaction which can happen in cells in the body. When these cells are skin cells, they can produce free radicals which damage cells. If this happens in your skin cells, the damage can result in dark spots.

Vitamin C, otherwise known as ascorbic acid, works to prevent this damage. It can help your skin look brighter and more beautiful. This acid is also good for exfoliation of the skin. The acid works to break down dead skin cells in the epidermis of the skin (this means the outer layer). If these skin cells are leading to a darker pigmentation, then the result will be brighter skin. It will also stimulate the production of new cells which will boost skin health.

Collagen is also encouraged by using vitamin C on your skin. Collagen is a protein found in animals which helps to build them up structurally. This includes skin. It has medical uses and can be used for more severe skin damage problems than just dark spots. Lemons do not create collagen themselves, but when applied to skin, the ascorbic acid can be absorbed into the skin cells for protection.

While vitamin C might encourage collagen to be developed, it can also help reduce melanin production in the skin. Some people want to increase melanin as this is the pigment which makes your skin darker. If you are wanting to look more tan, stimulating melanin production can give you this result. Unfortunately, it can also cause dark spots. Ascorbic acid reduces the likelihood of the skin cells producing more melanin and therefore can reduce dark spots.

If you look in the toiletries section of the drug store, you will see that many products are lemon scented or say they are rich in vitamin C. This is because vitamin C is known as nature's cleanser and promoting its use is good for the companies involved. There is medical evidence to support this, as it is known as a "potent skin bleaching agent"[1]. However, it should only be used "in low concentrations because it easily causes skin irritation". This is why our tips on how to use lemon to brighten your skin are not only easy, but safe. You don't want to lighten your skin with lemon, but end up causing more damage than before.

Once you learn how to lighten your skin with lemon, you can keep reading for more information on its wonderful health and cosmetic benefits. This includes our article on how to whiten teeth with lemon.

Exfoliate with lemon

Lemon has many properties for the skin, with skin lightening being just one of them. Before using lemon to lighten your skin, for best results exfoliate the area beforehand to really succeed in making your skin lighter. To do this, choose a specific exfoliating face or body scrub. Apply it gently to your skin in circular motions. When finished, rinse with plenty of water. If you are wanting to lighten sensitive skin with lemon, make sure to use a light exfoliator which won't cause irritation.

For more information on exfoliating, see our following articles:

How to apply lemon to skin

To lighten your skin with lemon you just need to juice one lemon and mix with equal parts water. This is because it is an organic bleaching agent. Like other bleaching agents, it needs to be strong to be effective. Reducing the potency of the citric acid will mean the dark spots, brown spots or whichever skin tone you want to lighten will be reduced, but the skin won't be damaged.

When ready, soak a cotton pad in the mixture and rub it smoothly over the area you want to lighten for a few minutes. Leave the lemon juice on the skin for no more than 15 minutes to completely absorb. However, reduce this by half if you have sensitive skin. After that, rinse it off with water and apply your normal moisturising cream.

How to Use Lemon to Lighten Dark Spots on Your Skin - How to apply lemon to skin

Mix lemon with yogurt

Another way to moisturise and lighten your skin in one is to mix lemon juice with another product with powerful whitening properties such as natural yogurt. Make a mask using natural yogurt and lemon juice. Apply onto the darkened skin and leave it to soak in for 30 minutes. Rinse off with plenty of water and apply moisturiser.

By adding yogurt to the lemon to lighten skin, you reduce its potency. The citric acid will still work on your skin for reducing dark spots, but it will not cause damage. You can also add a little honey to the mixture as this is an antibacterial. It will help clear pores and promoted good skin health. If you have any left over, lemon, yogurt and honey also makes a tasty snack.

How to Use Lemon to Lighten Dark Spots on Your Skin - Mix lemon with yogurt

You can carry out this skin lightening treatment using lemon once a day until you see the results, but if your skin is sensitive it is better to do it every other day. Also, you should read these recommendations before using this treatment:

  • Use it preferably at night. If you use it during the day, do not expose the skin to sunlight as it may cause new spots to appear in the area.
  • When applying the lemon juice to your face, make sure it does not come into contact with your eyes and avoid applying it to the area around your eyes altogether.
  • To stop this treatment from damaging your skin, keep your skin well hydrated every day.

Lemon is not the only product which can work to even out your skin tone naturally. There are others that are also useful for this such as camomile, hydrogen peroxide. potato juice, milk or rice water. Discover how you can use some of them in our article how to lighten your skin using camomile and how to clarify your skin using hydrogen peroxide.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Use Lemon to Lighten Dark Spots on Your Skin, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.


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linzy Castillo
can a full lemon be used for the face twice a day? - thank you
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