Using Lemon Juice to Help Pimples

woman with lemon
Home Acne Treatments

Acne sufferers of any age are increasingly looking for more natural methods of curing and controlling blemishes, and many have been pleased to see that lemon juice helps pimples disappear effectively. Trying a simple lemon juice remedy may be helpful for those with mild acne.

Using Lemon Juice on Acne

Lemon juice can be used alone or in combination with other ingredients directly on the skin.

  • Dab clean fingers, a cotton ball or cotton swab in a halved lemon and apply the juice directly to the pimple overnight.
  • Mix the lemon juice with a bit of honey, yogurt or egg white to help cure the acne while protecting your skin. If you go this route, mix the lemon juice - about half a lemon should do - with a spoonful of egg white or honey and apply as a mask for 20 minutes. People with sensitive skin may want to try this method if the straight lemon juice stings.
  • Some people sleep with lemon juice mixed with honey on their face, but the mess on the pillow may not be worth the possibility of clear skin in the morning. If you want to use lemon juice at night, dab a tiny bit on with your finger or a Q-tip. Be sure you only touch the pimple itself, or you may wake up with a white spot where the rest of the lemon juice ended up.

How Lemons Help Pimples

Lemon juice is a citric acid and very rich in vitamin C, which has many benefits for all skin types. The citric acid acts to exfoliate the skin, an important step in treating acne. It's also an astringent, thus drying the blemish itself. Lemon juice is also a natural skin whitener, so it can act to reduce a pimple's redness. A bit of lemon is also good for applying to fresh acne scars, both for the exfoliation that speeds up the healing and for temporary bleaching to improve the look of the skin.

As with most acne treatments, whether prescription, a home remedy or over the counter, many people find that it works wonders, while others see no improvement. The good news with trying lemon juice, as opposed to an expensive prescription, is that it's dirt cheap and if it doesn't work, you can literally make lemonade to ease your disappointment.

Although many proponents of natural and alternative health, such as Dr. Oz, are fans of lemon juice a health treatment, it is not necessarily recommended by medical doctors for acne. If you have persistent or problematic acne, check with a dermatologist prior to any home remedy.

Lemon Juice as a Drink

Lemon juice may also help pimples when taken internally, in addition to being applied topically. Either on its own in hot water, or mixed with some honey, lemon juice can help clear out the system and thus brighten the skin. While drinking either a half or whole lemon a day may be effective during a bad breakout, you should be cautious with keeping up this remedy. Lemon juice is a harsh acid and can damage your tooth enamel if consumed regularly.

Problems with Acidic Juice

There are some possible problems with the use of lemon. Skin may be painful or burn due to the citric acid. This irritation may leave residual red marks.

Lemon juice can also be very drying. This is great for pimples, but can be hard on the skin. Mixing a dab of honey will help balance the dryness. Pure, preferably organic, honey has natural antibacterial properties that make it a good healer of blemishes in itself, but it's also a strong natural moisturizer.

The Real Lemon

While it's tempting to use lemon juice from concentrate for the sake of convenience, for topical applications, it must be the actual lemon; the properties are diluted in bottled lemon juice. If you are troubled by acne or by acne scars, consider giving lemon juice a try. This inexpensive and natural cure may just be the answer.

Using Lemon Juice to Help Pimples