Contrary to most popular sites, applying lemon juice directly to the skin can do more harm than help. The natural pH of lemons is around 2.0, which is extremely acidic, much more acidic than the natural pH of your skin. As a result, lemon juice can be very drying and even cause acid burns in some cases.
Because of the acid’s drying effects, the skin may tighten, pimples may dry out rapidly, and the skin might appear to have a radiant tone, but all these effects are only temporary. Used long term, lemons can cause a lot of damage to the skin, whether it is aggravating small cuts, causing chemical burns, or inducing phytophotodermatitis. It is about 100 times as acidic as the face, so scientific research on this subject has enough evidence to conclude that lemons are not safe to use on facial skin. That said, there are many DIY ways to incorporate the fresh smell of lemons and its potent juice into your beauty routine.
Lemon juice can create drastic effects when applied to the hair. Lemon juice has chemicals that are great lightening agents, so lemons are a great natural way to get highlights in your hair. Simply juice a lemon, and use a brush or your fingers to apply it to the hair. Try to avoid getting too much of the juice on your scalp, since it may burn the sensitive scalp skin around your hair follicles with its harsh chemicals and its ability to make skin more sensitive. Then, relax in the sun, exposing your hair to the sunlight. Let the sun lighten your hair for as long as you want (staying outside for longer times results in more dramatic highlights) and rinse the juice out of your hair when you’re done.
To give your hair a more shiny finish and prevent dandruff, try making conditioner from lemon juice. Mix a little bit of lemon juice with olive oil and honey, and experiment with the proportions to make a conditioner that matches your preferable consistency, but take care not to add too much olive oil, since too much oil may be hard to wash out later. In the shower, use shampoo as you normally do, leave in the lemon conditioner for at least 5 minutes, and rinse out with shampoo.
The acidity of lemon juice makes them suitable for chemical exfoliation on tough skin, especially the knees, elbows, and bottoms of feet. This treatment would not be ideal for thin, sensitive skin, like on the face or neck. To use them to soften skin, mix lemon juice in a bowl with brown sugar. Then, apply the paste to problem areas with tough skin and massage the paste into your skin. After about ten minutes, rinse the paste off, and apply moisturizer.