Does lemon juice lighten dark marks?

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Lemon juice to lighten dark marksI have actually heard of some patients trying this and having results on very light, superficial pigmentation. By all means if you want to give it a try, I would suggest you apply it at night and wash your skin in the morning. I’m sure it will give your skin a nice “overall” glow for a while, but in terms of actually lightening pigmented areas, I am quite doubtful that you will see any significant difference. But with all things… as long as it’s safe and it’s not going to harm you, it cannot damage you to try and make your own conclusions.

Some people really swear by using this method for “home peeling.” Obviously there is no “protocol” for how to perform this… so if you really are keen to try it, I would say just work with your skin by responding to how you skin feels and reacts step by step. Obviously lemon juice, even though it is acidic, is very different from peel solutions that have been through various processes that concentrate them and stabilise them in laboritories, so it is not going to be anywhere near the strength of a proper peeling product. So by all means if you are really keen then go by how you feel. I am not a fan of patients performing actual peels at home, unfortunately, I have seen too many disaster cases! Having said that though, there are one or two products out there that make a “home peeling kit“, which is very carefully formulated and made at higher pH so as to risk the peel going too deep and causing problems for the patient… They do still have to be used with caution. One that I am familiar with and have seen few problems with, is the Nimue kit.

Other articles you may be interested in:
How your skin ages
Moisturisers with SPF
Skin protection tips
Sunscreens we love
Laser skin rejuvenation

Written by

Dr Maureen Allem is a GP with a special interest in Aesthetic procedures and Integrative Anti-Ageing Medicine. She is also the founder and Medical Director of national group Skin, Body and Health Renewal and Oasis Spas, with 17 centres and four Oasis spas across South Africa's major cities in Johannesburg, Pretoria, the Western Cape and KZN. Anti-ageing treatments include non-surgical, anti-aging procedures, cellulite and weight loss programmes as well as body sculpting procedures. The ultimate aim of all consultations is to provide optimal health and to restore aesthetic beauty. Health Renewal appointments involves an hour long extensive medical consultation which includes hormonal balancing, nutraceutical supplements, intravenous support and detoxification treatments. Dr Maureen has seventeen Doctors working with her using the same techniques she has spent years honing. Dr Maureen frequently travels overseas to World Anti-Ageing Congresses and Laser Forums to stay abreast of the most up-to-date non-surgical procedures.

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  1. Lovebeauty

    Lemons can be a little bit harsh on the skin so be really careful when applying to sensitive areas.

    5 years ago •

  1. Tiaan Smith

    Great article. I knew it doesn’t really work. I think using lemons is just a bit too extreme.

    5 years ago •

  1. Beaute Revanche

    I have tried this myself, it really does work. Even on your nails if you have got yellow stained nails.

    5 years ago •

  1. Gross

    Interesting, it never occurred to me.

    5 years ago •

  1. disastar

    It does dry out skin but moisturiser helps with that.

    5 years ago •

  1. Azraa

    Thanks for this article. I think its better to use an enzyme exfoliator instead of lemon juice. I find it removes dead skin, and doesn’t damage anything. Lemon juice could dry out your skin. I do like to use a lemon juice and sugar scrub on my body though.

    5 years ago •

  1. lollyrae

    if it’s not going to harm my skin in any way I don’t see why I wont try it. It may be refreshing to the skin.

    5 years ago •

  1. lauren pinnoy

    I don’t believe lemon penetrated deep enough for any real results.

    5 years ago •

  1. tumin

    When I tried lemon it made my skin glow, but didn’t lighten my dark marks…

    5 years ago •

  1. prettyvoice

    I have not yet tried lemon juice, but it is on my list of try-outs. What I can say is that lemon juice can be used for not only your face as a toner, but for your hair as well to bring out the shine.

    5 years ago •

  1. RoseAngel

    I tried the lemon juice and it did dry out my pimples. As to marks I didn’t see a change there. I also had two spots that started peeling the next day. I used a fresh lemon and wiped it on my face waited five min and repeated this step about 5 times. It does tingle a bit but I used a fan to counter act this. I washed it fifteen minutes after last application.

    5 years ago •

  1. Riekie

    Not sure about my face, I still need to find something that works properly for dark spots.

    5 years ago •

  1. Miss Addy M

    I have tried using lemon – diluted with green tea or egg white. It worked a bit in terms of brightening up the complexion and helped in tightening pores a bit. But dark marks/discolouration? Not so much. I then decided to rather drink it – placed two lemon slices in some warm water every morning.

    5 years ago •

  1. Lady-T

    I enjoy drinking warm water with lemon but as for my face, I’m skeptical.

    5 years ago •

  1. junkyard_angel

    I am wary of using lemon juice on my face as it’s really sensitive. As it is acidic I am worried that it’ll dry my skin out. It might be ideal for oily skin types, although I would suggest mixing the lemon juice with maybe some aqueous cream or honey then rinse and tone with cotton wool.

    5 years ago •

  1. Cupcake

    I think it’s up to the individual person to decide whether to have the peel at home or not. I personally think it can get too expensive if it is done professionally. Nonetheless one needs to sign a consent form so If something goes wrong I suppose no one is liable. Lemon juice will be too weak to see great results but with stronger peels I think results will be seen.

    5 years ago •

  1. Lah

    Interesting… I use a J&J night cream for about R20 (small purple tube) and it works wonders for lightening dark spots!!

    5 years ago •

  1. Cornelli

    I don’t think I’m gonna try this!

    5 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    I don’t think natural products can do that much harm can they?

    5 years ago •

  1. the afro beauty

    I tried using lemon juice on my face but I found it extremely drying and my skin was irritated and itchy. I don’t think lemon juice is suitable for use on the face – rather get a Vitamin C serum.

    5 years ago •

  1. ABeauty

    Hmm I think I would also pass. I also did the lemon in the hair trick to make it lighter :D

    5 years ago •

  1. Sammy

    Wouldn’t it dry the skin out? The only way to find out is to try it out.

    5 years ago •

  1. Carlene

    Mmmm, not sure if this is going onto my “to try” list. I do remember using lemon juice in my teens for hair ‘sun streaks’, but that’s about it.

    5 years ago •

  1. me

    Lemon juice is good to clean turmeric stains and onion smells from kitchen hands. Other than that for me I go with Dr. Maureen.

    5 years ago •

  1. Moodley

    I use lemon juice as a toner sometimes as I have really oily skin. It seems to help clear up my skin for a while.

    5 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    Most articles say it works but I still haven’t tried it

    5 years ago •

  1. Candibabes

    I have heard that this works especially well for dark circles under the eyes. I think I will give it a try.

    5 years ago •

  1. AndreaM

    I am currently trying this so I will see how well it works.

    5 years ago •

  1. fay

    It is really great for very light marks left behind.

    5 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    I’ve heard about this home treatment as well. Lemon juice mixed with a dash of honey, sweep it over the areas that need lightening and leave it on for 30 minutes. I can’t say I’ve ever tried it but I am wary of using lemon juice on the face.

    5 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    In all my reading, I have read that lemon juice does have a lightening effect on the skin but it can also dry the skin. One time I tried and I woke up with very dry skin around my nose and mouth area. I think it’s a good ingredient for using in a DIY mask but I don’t think we should expect miracles.

    5 years ago •

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