Lemon Skin Treatment
Yes, it’s true. Lemons contain Citric Acid, which is categorized as a “chemical exfoliate”, or Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) used in many skincare products. Of course there are several types of natural AHA’s, Citric Acid is only one of them – which isn’t only found in lemons. Other acids that are popular in skincare are also Lactic Acids (derived from milk) and Glycolic Acids (derived from sugar). All of these can be found in things that are probably lying around your pantry.
What do AHA’s do for your skin? Once an AHA is applied to your skin, it will react with the uppermost layer of your skin, loosing up and dissolving your dead skin cells from your skins surface, helping you regenerate new skin cells. Your dead skin cells are essentially whats making your skin look uneven, dull and damaged.
This “cell renewal” will aid in smoothing dry skin, improving your skins overall texture and fading marks caused by blemishes, acne and sun damage.
Many argue that the acid in a lemon is way too strong to be used on the face. The pH scale ranges from 0-14. Both ends of the scale are considered to be “extremes”. Towards the middle of the scale, chemicals are milder. Water has a pH of 7, and Normal/Healthy skin has a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. A lemon has the pH of 2-3. That is pretty low, but citric acid is water soluble.. so by adding water to the lemon juice, it will alter the pH.
The FDA has issued guidelines on Alpha Hydroxy Acids in products for home use:
2. Concentration of the acids in a product has to be 10% or less.
Consumers also have to be warned that these acids may cause photo-sensitivity in some individuals and if they use them, especially in the summer, they must wear sun block.”
“Acid-based products need optimal conditions for giving optimal results – clean skin with a healthy pH and enough time to work. For this reason, cleansers with AHA/BHA ingredients have limited effect; they are washed off after a minute at the most. If the cleanser used has a higher pH than desired, a toner with a suitable pH value can bring the skin back to its normal level and improve the efficacy of acid-based products.”
I hope that wasn’t too difficult to understand. But I thought I ought to go over “pH” levels as many argue that it’s not good for the skin and many argue that it works miracles. The above source is incredibly helpful, and I highly recommend reading it for a better understanding of AHA’s and pH levels.
Since we all have different skin types and skin needs, not everything I use on my face per say will be suitable for your face. Everyone has different tolerances when it comes to skincare. You should always test your tolerance by starting out slow to see how well your skin reacts. You may already have a little idea of your skins tolerance by all of the products you use on your skin. Some have “tough” skin types and can handle harsh products on their face – some are sensitive and can’t.