DIY Beauty: using lemon to reduce pigmentation

I’ve been experimenting with using different vegetables for my skin for the past week.  Simple stuff where I only need to use the juice or even rub the fruit directly on my skin.  It will take me awhile to review the results but for today, I want to talk about my experience on using lemon for pigmentation.

Lemon is widely used as an ingredient in many homemade beauty recipes because the fruit is rich in vitamin C, is a natural antiseptic and has an uplifting aroma.  It’s been recommended for freckles, wrinkles, and even to give shine and volume to your hair.

One of the most common recommendations is that you can rub a slice of lemon directly on your skin to lighten up your pigmentation.   I suppose it works if the pigmentation is superficial and so I decided to try it on both my face and my hands yesterday.  Not good!

I knew lemon to be irritating but I didn’t expect it to react on mine.  I felt some stinging on my face a minute of two after rubbing the lemon on and my cheeks turned slightly red.  The irritation however was worst for my hands.  After I wash them clean, they itched badly!  So no, I’m discontinuing with using undiluted lemon on my skin and I won’t recommend you to use this to help with your freckles or pigmentation.  Use it diluted with water or in small doses with other natural ingredients.

However, do note that lemon, like all citric fruits cause skin photosensitivity.  So if you’re using this in your recipe, I suggest you use it at night or you put on a sunscreen offering good protection in the day.



  1. parisb says:

    I’d heard of this too but won’t be trying it coz of the photosensitivity part and because I’m not sure straight citric acid on the skin does anything permanent. Still, its a thought. Thanks for your feedback!

    parisb: It does have whitening effect. My MIL used it with success on her hands. But cos of photosensitivity, I find it better to do this in the evening cos you have a few hours for the effects to wear off by morning. Too bad my skin was irritated.

  2. MisSmall says:

    I was told to use lemon juice for my (badly damaged) hair, but I was paranoid about accidentally getting it into my eyes. :/

    I did, however, attempted rubbing watermelon skin to get rid of crazy breakouts when I was in high school. (We ran out of cucumber at home.) LOL

    MisSmall: Cucumbers are good!

  3. Lana says:

    Hey, off topic again but I want to learn more about semi-permanent makeup / tattoo. I’m skeptical. I recently saw a commercial on youtube but the girl was misleading and falsely advertise that she got it done but did not. I’ve also done my research but I would like to know what your point of view on it.

    Lana: You mean like those for eyebrow, lips and eyes? If it’s eyebrow, based on what I know from a friend who has just done it not too long ago, it’s quite good because it takes the trouble out of drawing our own eyebrow. You just need to find someone who can do it well and it’ll look natural.

    For others like eye liner, I’m not sure how well it works and I’m kinda worried it maybe harmful especially if not done properly. But that’s my view without reading or understanding anything more about it. I also read some pple tatoo colors on their lips but I’m wonder what’s the advantage as in you’re stuck with the color.

  4. prettybeautiful says:

    i used lemon on my skin before, it dried my face like end of the world…

    prettybeautiful: Drying too? Hmmm…

  5. Twinkle says:

    Instead, of using Lemon juice,
    which can burn skin, use Lemon zest from finely grated Lemon. The peel of the Lemon contains essential oils and other good stuff to hydrate and deliver radiant skin.

    Twinkle: Grated lemon from the skin? Interesting. Need to try.

  6. Inga says:

    I use lemon and honey on my face. The stinging doesn’t last for long, one just need to be patient, but the skin is soft afterwards. One can add drops of honey into home-made masks. In diluted form it is good to neutralize soap residue. Everybody’s skin is diferent of course. I use honey also onto my hair adding it to my organic shampoo just before washing. In past I was using beer onto my hair, makes your curles shiny and stay longer. Strawberries I used on my face.

    Inga: Hey thanks for sharing your experience! I use lemon in some of my recipes on and off. But I’m just wary that it’s photo sensitive so I have to be diligent with my sunscreen. As for honey, I love it. Have used it in a few recipes and it’s great smelling!

  7. Inga says:

    I ment that in dilluted form lemon juice helps neutralize soap residue. Pure Honey can be used on skin. Make your own srub by mixing sea salt with organic sunflower, olive or almond oil. Catherine Zeta-Jones uses also honey in salt scrub. See the difference for yourself.

    Inga: Honey with sea salt. Hmm…something to dabble with soon…Thanks for the tip!

  8. Calvin says:

    cool thanks but try putting lemon juice on the mixing honey and sugar rub them on the skin after about 10 to 20 mintues skin off and add cream on the it

    Calvin: That should be nice just that lemon juice is photosensitive so need to protect skin with lots of sunscreen afterwards especially in the day.

  9. MISS CHANDLER says:

    is it fine to use the bottled lemon concentrate with warm water if there’s no fresh lemons around ?


  10. MISS CHANDLER says:

    opps sorry i was supposed to post that under lemon and water for health & beauty…

  11. sesame says:

    Hmm…if its pure lemon then fine but I would say the source is better.

  12. abc says:

    Use lemon juice with honey. It gives a fresh and clean complexion and over time, reduces the facial hair also as lemon bleaches the hair.

  13. Carrie says:

    Rather than using lemon (juice) directly onto skin, I’d rather drink it with honey as it also helps the skin and overall health internally. It takes time of course. But I know lots of Chinese ladies drink lemon juice to whiten themselves. One of my mom’s friend’s mom have been drinking lemon juice in the past 20 or more years. She’s now in her 60’s or 70’s (can’t really remember) but her skin has hardly any wrinkles!! Instead, her skin is really fair and smooth and looked much younger than her actual age!!!! o.O

  14. sesame says:

    Hmm…interesting. Yes, I’ve heard of it but haven’t taken it too seriously to try. But definitely worthwhile to try since it’s pretty healthy too. It’ll also help one to stay slim!

  15. kiran says:

    how many tones will lighten on using lemon on face

  16. Sesame says:

    Can’t say…really depends on individual but possibly at least one or two tones if you’re consistent in usage.

  17. Gia says:

    Lemon Zest contains Limonene, the culprit which gives our good old Lemon juice &Sun bad rep! lol!

  18. olaronke says:

    Thank you for your amazing post guys. Lemons have since become my best friend not only that, they work wonders on my skin and my acne has almost disapeared! Thanks guys.

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