I noticed several reviewers commenting on the chemicals in lemons and their effects. I just wanted to help clarify and answer some questions. I study Biology, and therefore have a good understanding of chemistry, so you can take my word that I'm not pulling stuff out of thin air. :-)
So basically lemons work so well because they contain citric acid. Concentration of citric acid in lemons is pretty high, so if you feel like the juice is working for you but is burning, stinging, etc, you can try using grapefruits or oranges. They have a little less citric acid, and they contain more fructose (sugar), which is also good for your skin.
So citric acid helps break down (oxidizes, actually) oil, protein, carbohydrates. When used on skin, it helps break down the cell membrane. The low concentration of citric acid in lemons usually just helps the dead or dying skin cells separate from the other cells. So it speeds up the process of dead cells shedding. This in turn gives the surrounding cells feedback to reproduce quicker. Some people may notice that the lemon juice helps skin feel softer, and smoother at first, but after repeated uses causes redness, irritation, and/or damage. This is usually because the number of skin cells dying/sloughing off are more than the number that are forming.
Citric acid is in the alpha hydroxy class of acids. Most people here are familiar with alpha hydroxy acids--they are commonly used as anti-wrinkle products. Citric acid, like most alpha hydroxy acids, causes skin cells to respond to their presence by producing more collagen and less melanin. The only problem is that the chemical needs to get through the epidermis and reach the dermis (contains blood vessels). Citric acid molecules are larger and have a little more difficulty getting past the epidermis as compared to certain other acids. So don't make fun of others paying good money for skin products--they usually contain compounds that work better while reducing unpleasant side effects. The chemical structure of some compounds may be changed and tweaked to enhance their performance and decrease collateral damage. (Think citric acid without the burning, redness, damage from prolonged use)
Anyway, I think I got a little carried away here. I just meant to write few sentences, but ended up going on a diatribe (as you can already tell, I'm a Bio-nerd). But lemme just break down what I said, it might be more useful.
-Lemons are natural; just because they're natural doesn't mean they don't contain chemicals (water is a chemical, you know).
-Lemons contain lots of citric acid
-grapefruits and oranges contain less citric acid and may work well for people with very sensitive skin
-Helps dead skin slough off faster
-Helps increase collagen production: breaks down scar tissue, fills in depressed spots, makes skin more supple.
-Helps decrease melanin production: skin discoloration, freckles, sun spots, age spots, melasma fade quicker
-Citric acid can "burn" your skin. Know your skin, and make sure not to overdo.
-Use sunscreen in conjunction with lemon juice: citric acid sloughs off dead cells, leaving less of a protective barrier. The younger cells may not be mature enough to withstand environmental effects.
-Just because lemons may work well doesn't mean commercial products don't work.
Finally, I feel like I should mention that I stumbled on this product review. I feel silly for not thinking of using lemon juice for my skin earlier. I have occasion cystic acne, acne scars, and a little melasma. Citric acid should help with all of these conditions. I used some last night, and again tonight. I'll keep you posted on how it works for me!
I've only been using this for just under a week but I really couldn't wait to review it. I use it 1-2 times a day, sometimes only in the morning but sometimes at night too. I just take a quarter of a lemon and squeeze it into a clean bowl and apply to freshly cleansed skin with a cotton ball...and it freaking burns and itches but that goes away after a couple mins so bare with it. I then leave it on my skin for about ten mins then rinse off with warm water. I've noticed that in these couple days it has lightened my acne scars slightly, I haven't gotten as many new pimples and the current ones seem to be fading. Overall my skin just looks healthier....I just hope this improvement continues...will update if needed. Most of all I love the fact that its natural!!!
I used premade lemon juice. I read the great reviews on here and decided to try it for myself.
I made a mask with lemon juice and honey and left it on for a few minutes.
Once I washed it off, my skin felt much smoother and a bit brighter, I was very pleased. Then a few minutes later, my skin appeared red and I was mildly breaking out. I had a bad reaction to the lemon. My skin was very patchy and it took me a few days to get it back to normal.
I have sensitive skin and natural products typically don't give me such a reaction (aside from olive oil that makes me break out almost instantly.) This is the worst reaction I've gotten thus far from trying natural foods on my skin.
I guess from everyone else's reviews, they have skin of steel.
Lemons whiten your teeth as well! Rub lemons on your teeth and it will dramatically whiten them. Lemon is wonderful!
It's been three weeks since I have been using lemon juice. It really worked. It even out my skin tone and give me that glow and I thought it's just my imagination. But then last weekend that I visited my family for family gathering/party. My aunties (aged 50+) were asking me what I have been using on my face because it looks bright and smooth. So I confirmed I was not imagining the good result of lemon juice to my face :-D . I told my aunties what I use and they thought I was joking. And my husband backed up my claim that I only am encouraging him to do the same on his face. One of my aunt said she will try it. The other aunts said she doesn't like the idea of lemon juice on her face. Maybe she thought I was using pricey cosmetics and she wants to copy ha ha ha...
Anyway, back to lemon juice. I am just using the lemon juice in the bottle. At first I use the juice straight from the fruit. It stings but after 10 to 15 seconds it's gone. And I like the sting feeling anyway so it did not bother me. However, I got tired of juicing the fruit (yah, I am lazy!). So I bought the lemon juice in the bottle. It works as well.
1. Wash face with facial wash
2. Towel dry face
3. Damp cotton ball with lemon juice from the bottle or from the fruit and use it like a toner around the face.
5. Once it dries, I put extra virgin olive oil to moiturize.
When I wake up in the morning, my skin is so soft and bright.
I use lemon juice every other night. I do not use it every night because it seems to irritate my face if used often.
MAGIC! I had a small scar right above my left cheek. My guess is it came from using the apricot scrub which I love, you just have to be very gentle. Anywho, I used fresh lemon juice straight from the lemon for about a week & like magic it was gone! I used it no longer than 2 weeks as I was afraid of the long term affects. I cleansed my face as usual (noxzema) and then with a cottom ball I applied the lemon juice directly on the scar, not my entire face. I did this twice a day, in the evening when I came home and night before bed. I didnt do it in the morning because it is really sticky and who wants to walk around with a sticky film on their face all day. Id defintely use it again if need be.
I use it for so much: mixed with egg whites for a fantastic brightening and tightening mask; in my hair for natural blonde highlights; in my water for a drink that cleanses inwardly and refreshes me all over; for whitening of my nails and toenails and elbows.
It's also marvelous for cleaning your house...
I read about lemon juice on this site and decided to make good use of the bag in frig. I squeeze 1/2 lemon into a bowl and apply with cotton pad. Let dry 15-30 minutes and then apply Queen Julene Mint Clay Mint Mask. When it dries, I rinse it all off in the shower. My skin has never been smoother and the sunspots are starting to fade. I bought a bag of lemons at Sams for $3.00 so this is a pretty cheap deal! Just be careful it doesn't run in your eyes.
I have combination skin with dry patches, so I was skeptical about using lemon juice. It did not dry out my skin at all, and it seemed to balance my skin out if anything. I keep a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge and at night after I wash my face I apply it all over and apply it a bit more heavily on the places where I have blemishes and I leave it on while I sleep. I don't have much acne, just a few spots here and there. It dried those up immediately. I went on vacation and ended up having to use my mom's face lotion which broke me out HORRIBLY all over my face. I came home and went back to using the lemon juice and now all the smaller pimples are gone and I have one larger one, but it is dried up and healing. I had some scarring because I am bad about picking at bumps and I have noticed those fading a significant amount. My face is also baby smooth, which was a huge surprise to me as I have always had these small, hard bumps under my skin that nothing seemed to get rid of. I HIGHLY recommend using lemon juice.
Also, I saw a few comments stating that there was a chemical in lemon juice that is bad for your skin. I don't see how since it is a natural product. And even if it does have something in it, the positives definitely out weigh the negatives. If you are out in the sun you're going to get sun damage anyways. Spf should take care of the problem.
I use this to whiten my nails (just soak in lemon juice for 10 minutes).