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Can Lemon Juice Really Help Lighten Your Skin?

Written by Paul Miller of How to Lighten Skin Naturally

The short answer is YES, but let me explain…

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are three primary causes that are held accountable for dark spots, age spots, hyper-pigmentation, an uneven skin tone, and many other skin pigmentation conditions. Aging is commonly thought of as being the main cause for such skin blemishes, but the reality is that it is not true. Does it play a role? Yes, but age is not one of the primary causes.

 Three Primary Causes of Skin Blemishes:

  • Over exposure to UVA rays- By far the most common cause of the previously mentioned skin conditions is too much exposure to direct sunlight without protection, at one point or another.

Most people will begin to develop these spots when they are middle aged or later in life, so yes age is involved, but the underlying cause is overexposure to UVA rays throughout your life.

When your skin is exposed to UVA rays, it produces an excessive amount of Melanin, which when you are younger gives your skin the appearance of an overall even tan. As we become older this Melanin has a tendency to clump together in areas that have been over exposed to the sun, and that is why such a high percentage of these conditions are located on visible skin.

  • Skin trauma- There are many skin pigmentation conditions that are linked to trauma of the skin.

Some common skin traumas include acne damages, infections, wounds, eczema, contact dermatitis, and certain reactions to skin care products, all of which can cause skin discoloration.

  • Genetics- A persons genes play a role in how susceptible they are to developing skin blemishes. Also, skin conditions such as freckles, moles, acne, and melasma (which is often caused by hormonal changes when taking birth control or during pregnancy) rely highly on your genetic make up.

Although almost always harmless, the mentioned skin conditions are most likely to be in obvious, visible locations, which can cause embarrassment, and self insecurities.

The good news is that in most cases, you can fade these areas of skin, and regain a perfect complexion just by using all natural techniques and recipes. Lemon juice happens to be one of the most common ingredients found in many of these recipes.

Why Lemon Juice is So Effective

As you may or may not know, lemon juice contains tons of Vitamin C, which is among some of the purest natural antioxidants that there are. Antioxidants that are this pure have been scientifically proven to reduce the amount of melanin that is produced when applied to your skin and used regularly.

If you currently have a skin lightening regime, then you probably know that exfoliating your skin on a consistent basis is an important aspect to achieving a lighter skin tone. Exfoliation is the process of removing old, dead skin cells that are attached to a fresh, new layer of cells that lie below. These cells die off daily, making your skin appear dull, so it is important to eliminate them and reveal the glowing layer of cells that awaits below.

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There are five Alpha Hydroxy acids that possess the characteristics needed to break the bond that holds your dead skin cells to your fresh cells, and citric acid is one of the five that carries these characteristics.

Therefore lemon juice should most certainly be included in your natural exfoliation recipes because it carries a very high level of citric acid!

Here are a few recipes to try at home:

Skin Lightening Mask

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon tomato juice

1 tablespoon cucumber juice

1 tablespoon sandal wood paste

Mix all ingredients into a paste, apply to face, and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and moisturize. This can be done 2-3 times a week.

Skin Lightening for Dry Skin

1 tablespoon powdered milk

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 drops of essential oil

Mix ingredients together, apply to affected area of skin and let sit for 20-25 min. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and moisturize.

Natural Exfoliation Recipe

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 egg white

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix ingredients well, using your fingers massage the mixture in a circular motion onto your skin for 10-15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and moisturize. This can be done two times a week. For sensitive skin try once a week.

Did you know that you can also actually just squeeze the juice out of a fresh lemon and apply it to your skin by itself for 10-15 minutes daily, and see pretty impressive results when done regularly.  If you have sensitive skin dilute the lemon juice with a little bit of water first.

It is also a good idea to add a few drops of lemon juice to your facial washes, as well as moisturizers.

So there you have it…it is most certainly possible to lighten your skin with lemon juice, and can be done using a variety of different techniques and recipes.

The important part is to put a plan together, and get started!

For more tips, recipes, and information on learning how to lighten your skin naturally, you may visit this writers site Here.

Remember…whatever you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body! It’s best to choose safe and natural skin care to help prevent parabens, sulfates and other cancer causing ingredients to enter your bloodstream!

“As much as 60% of topical skin-care products are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream.” Says Dr. Nancy Lonsdrof, M.D. an lowa-based physician. “They should be consumed with the same prudence that we use to choose our breakfast cereal.” – April 2006 issue of Women’s Health Magazine.

This is a guest post by Paul Miller from  How to Lighten Skin Naturally You can e-mail him at [email protected].


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41 Responses to Can Lemon Juice Really Help Lighten Your Skin?

  1. Treating Insomnia November 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Greetings! I’ve been following your site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the fantastic work!

  2. Azwan December 31, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    How long does its take to see the result

    • Ashley Steinbrinck February 14, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      Hi! Check with the author of the post – bio info at the bottom. This was published by a guest of ours ; ) Thanks for reading!

  3. Nichole July 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Another great homemade recipe to lighten skin with lemons is ….

    Get gram powder, turmeric powder, milk and squeeze lemons in it then mix:) It works great!!

  4. Mamta September 13, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    I like this article but i want to know ,when we apply lemon juice on our skin in sunlight so why skin tone becomes more darker instead of lighten? Actually this is happend with me. So, iwant to know its reason.

    • Vi September 24, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

      It’s because lemon juice causes photosensitivity. When using any sort of citrus oil or juice, since they usually increase sensitivity to light, it’s best to use them at night or when you won’t be going out into the sun. Also, always always always use sunscreen (period!) but especially when using anything with citrus oils or juices in them.

  5. Corin Verduzco October 11, 2013 at 4:27 am #

    I couldn’t agree more. You can find vitamin C in a number of skin lightening creams. Exfoliation is essential to improve the absorption of the active ingredients used in the skin care products.

  6. Janet smith October 13, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    Can you do anything to prevent skin discoloration during pregnancy or after pregnancy ? Skin pigmentation changes usually disappear on their own after delivery . You can remove your fade skin easy way .Use stria fade that contain vitamin E and alpha hydroxy acids .Get instant solution in short time.

  7. kitty April 10, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

    I just want to ask if it will also work in my bottom butt cheeks as well as in my inner thighs. I am white but for some reasons, these two areas are really dark from the rest of my body. how long does it take to see the result? Please, please reply I really want to even my skin tone since it’s affecting my confidence. Thank you!

  8. [email protected] April 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    Another great homemade recipe to lighten skin with lemons is ….

    Get gram powder, turmeric powder, milk and squeeze lemons in it then mix:) It works great!!

  9. Kevin June 27, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

    I would just like to point out that UVB rays are the cause of melanin, not UVA rays.
    Here’s a simple way to remember what causes what in the short and long-term.

    UV- Aging

  10. Nosylla July 14, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    Does it matter which brown sugar you use? Like light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, granulated light brown sugar, etc.

  11. AB August 1, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    Can lemon juice be applied on skin during pregnancy? Is it safe if it enters the bloodstream? Since I’ll be going off all chemical products, I’m wondering if I can at least use lemon for my scars/pigmentation issues?

  12. Terrie Dawson September 10, 2014 at 4:18 am #

    Lemon juice is all safe it can be used at any condition. My skin is too sensitive and dry and I use lemon juice on my face, honestly I can feel my skin smooth, glowing and fresh all the time. Lemon is a wonderful skincare remedy. Thanks 🙂

  13. Anna October 8, 2014 at 3:24 am #

    Lemons Should NEVER be applied to skin. Lemon juice has a pH of 2, and skin’s pH is 4.0-7.0. If left on too long, or not diluted this can lead to significant chemical burns. Citrus juices contain a chemical called bergapten, which binds to DNA and allows UV radiation to damage skin more easily. Your article has been used for citations across the web. Please stop.

    • Theresa Groskopp, CN October 14, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

      Thanks for your comment. However, your comment is a direct quote from the article at WikiHow except you left out the part that says “This is not a recommended method for lightening acne scars, since lemon juice has a pH of 2, and skin’s pH is 4.0-7.0. …….Prior to that statement, the article says, “Apply fresh lemon juice. Lemon juice has natural skin bleaching properties, and can help to effectively lighten your acne scars. Simply combine equal parts lemon juice and water and apply this liquid directly onto your scars, avoiding the surrounding skin. Wash off the lemon juice after 15 to 20 minutes or you could put the the lemon juice on overnight as a mask.”

      We have contacted the guest writer of this post for his comment.

      Meanwhile, the article does state the purpose of the lemon juice is for exfoliation, which in turn lightens the skin. As with any exfoliation process or topical application, different people will react differently. The article sources in the post reference using the lemon juice for a very brief, defined period of time. The sources cited in this post include WikiHow, Natural News and the New York Times which I think many perceive to be fairly reputable sources. Do you have a source you would like to include? We would be more than happy to include that information here.

    • Pavithra June 24, 2017 at 12:13 pm #

      What nonsense
      Leamon is acidic but it is natural .it won’t harm skin besides drying .it’s totally safe.

  14. Gail December 24, 2014 at 5:24 am #

    over the past nine years I have been to dermatologist’s, GP’s, pharmacies, Gynaecologists and todate none of their products have helped me. I have pigmentation on my left side of my face, forehead and under the eyes….. will lemon and honey help – desperate to find something that will lighten the marks

  15. Destiny Langford April 27, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    DermalMD Serum a really amazing product. Being a person with very fair skin scars and dark spots really bother me. Having a lot of scars from some fights/injuries I used this a few times and am so happy with how this works. I’m also more than thrilled at the lack of allergic reactions. As I also have very VERY sensitive skin. I had no reaction to this at all, and I’ve found that the after effects were amazing and left me very impressed. Worth the money and the time.

  16. Giselle Freude June 20, 2015 at 12:26 am #

    I just want to clarify that vitamin c is not the same thing as citric acid. The terms are used rather interchangeably in the article, and this isn’t correct. Vitamin c is also known as ascorbic acid. What I’m interested in is whether the vitamin c or the citric acid is responsible for the skin lightening effect.

  17. abhilasha gautam August 6, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    hey.. i want to ask ..
    Im using.. lemon juice with equal rose water at night for skin lightening.. and i left it all night as a mask on my face.. and i am receiving good results.. would long term use can harm me ..

  18. Yenifer Miranda December 2, 2015 at 5:37 am #

    Hi. I would recommend Dermalmd Skin Lighter serum as a skin brightener and moisturizer. It can be used on the body as well. If your legs are really dry you might try using products with oils in them.

  19. grace james February 7, 2016 at 5:17 am #

    Hi,i want to know if I can use almond oil or dermalmd skin lighter serum as my daily cream. Cause I want to do natural remedy now

  20. Patrick February 18, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

    My partner has been searching for ways to whiten skin and most things that are sold on the net come across as abit scammmy! However, she came across these product that gave her instant results, and shes nevered looked back since! if you are keen to find out more youself just head over here – which will talk allot more about the program she went through!

  21. James Anderson April 1, 2016 at 7:49 am #

    Yes lemon does lighten your skin tone. Just take the skin of squeezed lemon turn it inside out and bu holding the outer surface with your hands scrub your face with the inner surface. let it stay for 15 minutes and then wash your face. Perform it everyday. Include a lots of proteins specifically animal proteins and vitamin b and e in your diet. Protein will add new cells to your skin and you can always scrub your face to remove the older ones. Warning: STAY AWAY FROM SUN and your skin tone will be automatically lighten.

  22. jeff April 29, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

    how long does it take to lighten your skin with lemon juice (1month-1year…3months etc..)

  23. Durgesh Kumar June 29, 2016 at 1:32 am #

    I got DermalMD Lightening Serum for my sister who spenttoo much time in a tanning bed and her face has lines early and unevenskin tone. It is doing a nice job of helping with the lines as well aslighting up the dark patches. She is really pleased with this product.

  24. Tristina July 1, 2016 at 10:20 pm #

    Hi I was just wondering how long should I avoid the sun after applying the lemon juice.

  25. Clair Roberts August 19, 2016 at 2:53 am #

    Thanks for sharing this article. I like this article. But I guess this is very common now. Almost every skincare ailments have a home remedy that comprise of our kitchen ingredients. these are really effective way to get rid from dark spots and it helps to bright up your skin tone. You can also Drinking at least eight glasses of water in a day is a very simple way of getting fairer, healthier and younger-looking skin

  26. Celina Hardin December 6, 2016 at 10:42 am #

    I have been using dermalmd skin lighter serum for two weeks now. I must say I have seen some lightening of my dark spots. It is fall now here in New England and I have had some sun damage done to my skin over the summer. Dermalmd serum is helping to get my face healthy again. I love the fact that it is also made in the USA. It is quickly absorbed with no heavy greasy feeling. This is a great way to get your face healthy as well as even out your skin color.

  27. Jenny March 26, 2017 at 10:37 pm #


    Great article! I love using lemon juice on my skincare hacks but just remember to use a good sunscreen when you’re outdoors because lemon juice or any citrus products can also cause skin discoloration when exposed to sunlight. Thanks for sharing!

  28. Skincare January 5, 2018 at 6:08 am #

    Very interesting article! Lemon juice contains a lot of ingredients that can be used in skin care. Lemon is highly effective in lightening the skin but it will take some time. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Luis April 26, 2018 at 12:09 am #

    Lemon juice can be very drying so use a moisturizer and sunscreen after it is applied. How many days it will take to see change in face using lemon?

  30. noor June 13, 2018 at 6:18 am #

    good information

  31. Noor Angar June 13, 2018 at 6:24 am #

    good information

  32. noor June 14, 2018 at 4:16 am #

    usefull aricle i like it

  33. haider June 20, 2018 at 5:42 pm #

    wow nice article i like it

  34. Shay November 3, 2018 at 7:14 pm #

    Dead skin cells build up causes darkening of skin. Removing (exfoliation) the dead skin cells allows lighter new skin to show.
    Lemon juice is an acid that loosen the dead cells to slough off so you appear lighter. It’s not bleaching only removing the dead skin on top to show new skin.

  35. Cleaning company January 16, 2019 at 12:54 am #

    Its not my first time to visit this website, i am visiting this web site dailly and obtain good facts from here all
    the time.


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