That favorite cocktail friend, the lemon, actually has a ton of secret uses. When it’s not fighting for your immune system with its action-packed vitamin C, the lemon actually helps make you look like a superwoman.Pucker up and check out this ultimate rundown of the sourest fruit:
Lemons For Your Face
The natural acids in the lemon are well known to remove dead skin cells as well as even out skintone. But it also is a natural way to diminish oil, freckles, and even blackheads.
- Give Yourself a Homemade Facial: This recipe for a homemade facial using only lemon can brighten your skin with the natural fruit acids and vitamin C. Squeeze the juice of three or four lemons into a wooden bowl, then add a few drops of warm water. Using a cotton pad, dab the mixture on the skin and wipe as though it were a toner. After a few minutes, rinse completely. Add tea tree oil to work wonders on blackheads and acne as well. Avoid eyes and make sure you use SPF.
- Nix Oily Skin: Nip oil in the bud by using lemon juice on a cotton pad and apply to the t-zone before bed. Rinse off in the a.m.
- Make a Banana Lemon Mask: Mash up a banana and mix with 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Apply on face and leave for about 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
- Exfoliate Rough Patches: Take a lemon slice and dip it into granulated sugar. Hop in the shower and rub the sugary slice on rough patches of skin, including heels, elbows and knees.
Lemon For Your HairThe noble lemon does a bang-up job for your hair, too. One word to the wise: lemon does not work well with chemically processed, treated, or colored hair, as it can lighten and possibly wreck all your (expensive) hard work.
- Beat Dandruff: Mix about 3 Tbsp of freshly-squeezed lemon juice with the same amount of olive oil. Massage into the scalp and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Then rinse and use your normal shampoo.
- Use as a Hair Mask: Lemon doesn’t hurt lighter hair colors, so you can do a quick rinse for extra shine — simply squeeze lemon juice on as you’re rinsing your hair in the shower for a quick boost. Or you can make a hair mask: mix 1 Tbsp of lemon juice with 4 Tbsps of coconut oil. Apply to the hair and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
- Spritz-on Highlights: You can take straight lemon juice and apply to specific strands that you want to get sun-kissed before heading outside, or, for allover lightness, follow this spray-bottle recipe: take 4 lemons, juice them and add ¼ cup of warm water, then pour off into your bottle. Spray your head while hair is still damp. Expose yourself to the sun for half an hour (or more, depending on how far you want to go), then shower as usual.
Lemon For Your Body
- Beat Bacne: You can create your own clarifying body lotion/toner by mixing lemon with coconut water, to be used as a body astringent. Mix a few drops of coconut water with equal amounts of lemon juice. The coconut will hydrate your skin, and lemon will clear and brighten it. For troubled skin, replace coconut water with coconut oil, massage into upper arms, knees, and elbows.
- Brighten Skintone: What works on your face works on the body! If you have unwanted dark spots, or if your knees and elbows appear shades darker than the rest of your body, simply rub the area with half a lemon.
- Remove Toxins: Each morning, wash a lemon and squeeze its juice and pulp into a pitcher of room temperature-to-warm water, then drink up! The lemon supposedly activates the liver, prepping for toxin removal. It’s a great way to start the day on a healthy path.
Lemon For Your Mouth
- Whiten Your Teeth: Taking a tip from our baking soda beauty tips: you can mix sodium bicarbonate with lemon juice and apply to teeth with a Q-tip. Then brush normally.
- Kill Canker Sores: If you’re brave enough to weather the burn you can use a few drops of lemon essential oil directly on a canker sore in order to help them heal faster. (This one’s not for the faint of heart.)
- Exfoliate Lips: Take a Q-tip (or your finger) and rub a little lemon juice on your lips before bedtime. When you wake up, simply rinse off to exfoliate away mild chapping. If your lips are severely chapped, however, steer clear of lemon juice and use a hydrating balm instead.
Lemon For Your Nails
- Strengthen Your Nails: Make a quick mixture of olive oil and lemon juice (about ¾ oil, ¼ lemon juice) and soak your nails in it. Not only will it strengthen brittle nails, it also brightens and whitens yellowing.
- Remove Warts, Corns and Calluses: For the true natural-remedies-lover, you can tape the lemon rind to a callus, corn or wart to increase skin turnover and slough off the skin offender.