When life gives you lemons, you can make more than lemonade. Our citrusy friends have long been touted for their incredible natural abilities to brighten our lives—quite literally in some ways! So, what are some of the benefits of lemon juice?

Let's see...

Gentle highlighting

This one’s been around for literally centuries—but lemon juice really can lighten your hair! This is going to be most dramatic on those of us with lighter colored hair to start with—I’m not going to come out of the produce section with enough to go platinum blonde from my raven coils even if I bought out the whole citrus area. Squirt a 4:1 ratio of freshly squeezed lemon juice and water onto your strands, taking care to avoid the scalp, and sit out in the sun for up to a couple of hours per lightening session. To maximize that solar power, try grabbing a cheap sunhat and cutting a hole in the top so you can spread your hair out evenly and keep your skin away from the rays.

Curbing bored eating

I’m going to open this one with the fact that there’s no wrong or right when it comes to your body type, just like there’s no real hierarchy to your curl type! But if you’re looking to put the kibosh on your mindless snacking, a little lemon juice in your water can really help. It gives you a nice splash of flavor with something to fill your tummy, keeps your tastebuds occupied, and keeps you hydrated. If (and ONLY if) you have a fancy juicer on hand, liquefying the entire lemon; ie. skin, rind, little white citrus strings, and all, will add fiber and pectins that can keep you feeling full for a little longer—just don’t count on those results from squeezing a lemon quarter over your glass.

Noticing a theme yet? Always dilute the juice and up your sun protection with any topical lemon applications, as it increases photosensitivity!

Skin rinsing

The sunny scent and tangy flavor we associate from lemons comes from straight up acid, believe it or not—citric acid! Who knew vitamin C was so aggressive? You can use that to your advantage on your face by including a little lemon juice into your cleansing regimen to reduce oil and fight deeper rooted bacteria pockets that cause clogged pores, blackheads, and some types of acne. Do be sure to heavily dilute your DIY lemon cleansers with carrier oils or waters, wear your SPF moisturizer before heading into the sun, and stagger the days that you use lemony products to avoid irritation, sunburn, and dryness. I speak from personal (but fortunately, not permanently scarring) experience on that front—don’t let your skin feel the burn!

Unwinding

In aromatherapy, lemon is used as an oil that’s meant to help focus. The chemical components themselves aren’t going to replace taking regular care of your mental health in any way, but in a general sense, the scent can promote wellbeing and alleviate a little stress and anxiety just by putting your nose in a better mood.  We’re cheating here a bit, because it’s better to use drops of lemon oil, rather than lemon juice for scenting your home for a more lasting effect. Just be aware that you don’t want to aim it directly at any fabrics, or let it have prolonged contact with your skin (acid, remember?). Throw a few drops on your warmer, or in your diffuser, and channel that old school ‘clean house’ smell without busting out the Pledge every day.

Further reading

I’d be remiss in describing what lemons can do for you without a little blurb on what they can’t do. Although they’re touted as part of an ultimate detox toolkit, digestion stimulators, tummy upset cures, marriage counseling substitutes, and more, one fruit can still only do so much (especially on that last one). You’re not going to cure or treat any underlying condition with lemons alone, and if you’re already pretty tip-top healthwise, you’re not going to rise to further heights on puckery wings.

Be careful of any snake oils out there, curlies! Although, maybe we could see if actual snake oil can do anything for growth? Next time…

Have you tried lemony-anything on your hair, skin, or in your censer? How’d it go?

Tell me all about it in the comments section below!

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