The Zest of Life: 10 + Ways to use Lemons for Everything!

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I love everything about lemons. The sharp acidity, the way it adds flavor to food . . . I’m always reaching for a wedge of lemon. But not only does lemon taste good, it’s a potent and vital ingredient when it comes to both our health and our beauty. I know you’re likely wondering how something so acidic can be healing, but lemons are loaded with antibacterial properties, and are rich in vitamin C and B. The fruit acids are not only good for the skin, but also help give the skin that sought after glow.

And what’s not to love about lemons? They’re readily available, they’re cheap to buy and there are a multitude of ways in which you can use them, whether internally for health benefits, or externally in beauty products. And from gently removing dead skin cells to lightening age spots, lemon is a great natural aid for your beauty counter. Here are 10 of the best ways to adopt lemon into your beauty and health routine.

1. lemons PROMOTE HYDRATION

So, we all know that we should be keeping hydrated with water but so many of us struggle with the blandness of the tasteless liquid. That’s where lemon comes in. Infusing your water is a really great way to make it more appealing, and lemon adds a wonderful freshness that you’ll want to sip again and again. Simply cut a few slices of lemon and pop them into your water bottle. Over the day, every time you refill your water bottle, the water will become infused with the taste of lemon.

2. A GREAT SOURCE OF VITAMIN C

Slightly less than two lemons will provide you with 88% of the daily required dosage of vitamin C, and these vitamins are responsible for a number of roles in our body. Their antioxidant content will help to destroy free radicals in the body, preventing damage to our cells. Vitamin C also helps the body produce collagen, which assists in the formation of new bones and helps to repair wounds.

You can use lemons to increase your daily vitamin C intake. Simply find ways to incorporate them into your diet; we’ve already discussed infusing your water, but lemons also make a very quick, delicious and healthy salad dressing. You could also add some lemon slices to a dish, such as salmon, not to mention how well lemon juice works in guacamole. And we’re partial to these lemon coconut pancakes.

3. IT FRESHENS BREATH

Have you ever woken up and nearly been knocked out by the backlash of your very own breath? It happens to the best of us, but we may not have that problem again if lemons have anything to do with it. Lemon helps neutralize odors, and in a world where strong scents like garlic and onion can leave us with breath to scare away a vampire, it makes sense that lemon can take away the stench. Bad breath is often caused by a dry mouth. Lemon can stimulate saliva, helping to naturally refresh your breath.

So, drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning to banish bad breath and to leave your mouth nice and fresh, and try another glass after every meal. Or infuse your water bottle with lemon and sip it throughout the day to always give your breath a refreshing boost.

4. a GREAT way to DETOX

If I told you that there was a drink that was inexpensive, would make your skin slow, aids digestion, can help to kick-start weight loss and is packed with vitamin C, I bet you wouldn’t think lemon water, right? But lemon water could be just what your body needs for a little detoxification. And when it comes to the body, our liver goes through a pretty strenuous time in order to keep our entire system from shutting down. So, from time to time, we need to give our liver a little helping hand when it comes to flushing all of the bad toxins inside our bodies out.

By drinking lemon water daily, you can ensure that there is an increase in the production of bile, a necessary substance when it comes to a healthy digestion. Lemon juice also helps to control the flow of excess bile, ensuring that no damage is caused to the digestive tract and stomach, and instead allows us to give our liver a reboot. The acids found in lemon also work to encourage your body to process the good stuff found in food at a slower pace. When this happens slowly, it means our insulin levels remain steady and we get more of the nutrients out of our foods, therefore you’ll find you’re less bloated.

Wake up every morning and squeeze some lemon juice into some room temperature, or warm, water. To kick it up a level, you could even add a little bit of apple cider vinegar to really detox the body and have your skin looking radiant and glowing. Or try this delicious take on lemonade.

5. ANTI-AGING PROPERTIES

Thanks to the antioxidant benefits of vitamin C and the exfoliation of the citric acid in lemons, they can be used to prevent the hands of aging. Vitamin C itself is a potent anti-aging ingredient and thanks to the L-ascorbic acid, the most potent form of vitamin C in the fruit, it’s been proven that in certain serums this has helped to reduce the signs of aging in as little as 3 months. Make a quick and easy anti-aging beverage by adding a few drops of lemon juice in some green tea, adding a teaspoon of honey for sweetness, and sip on it to keep both your skin and your heart youthful.

6. ADD THEM TO YOUR SKINCARE 

There are various ways in which you can add lemons to your beauty routine. From lip and body scrubs to foot soaks and face masks, the cheap and humble citrus fruit can improve the health of your skin.

Fade age spots: Due to the astringent properties in lemons, you can use them to fade unwanted age spots, freckles and even scarring. Apply lemon directly to the areas you’re wishing to lighten before bed and wash off the following morning with cool water. Continue this for a week or two and you should find that the area of skin is both cleansed, and lighter in color. Alternatively, if you have lots of problem areas you’re wishing to combat, squeeze some lemon juice into your bath and soak for 15-20 minutes.
Make a moisturizing mask: Add moisture back to dry and dull skin. Mix equal parts lemon, honey and olive oil and combine the mixture before applying to dry areas. Leave this to dry thoroughly for 7-10 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Follow with a natural moisturizer to lock in moisture and keep your skin soft and smooth.
Make a toner for oily skin: Lemon is a wonderfully cheap way to tone your skin; it’s inexpensive and many of us always have lemons hanging around the kitchen. When you use lemon juice it works as an astringent which them encourages your pores to close, resulting in tighter skin and a smoother complexion. Simply wash your face and then apply a small amount of lemon juice onto a cotton pad and then wipe over your face. Leave this on the skin for 5-10 minutes and then use either lukewarm or cool water to wash your face. Avoid using hot water as you don’t want to re-open those pores again!
Remove dead skin cells: We shed around a million skin cells over a 24 hour period, so that’s a helluva lot of dead skin cells lingering around. Dead skin cells can prevent our skincare from working, so we need to scrub away those skin cells to keep skin healthy and permeable. Use lemon as a facial exfoliator by mixing the juice of half a lemon with two tablespoons of sugar. Gently rub this in a circular motion before washing it off. Your skin may be a little sensitive afterwards, so don’t use strong toners or skincare. Allow skin to settle down, and then you’ll find your skin is glowing.

7. they make a great natural deodorant

First things first, don’t apply lemon to your pits if they’ve been freshly shaved. It will hurt, and there may be tears. But once your pits have settled down ditch those dangerous aluminum-based deodorants and turn to lemons. Wipe a slice of lemon around your armpits on a daily basis, and you’ll not only feel fresh and clean, but you’ll remain so, too.

8. IT CAN PROMOTE HAIR GROWTH + HEALTH

Looking to get those sun-kissed highlights without forking out a small fortune? Lemon has you covered, girls. But a little goes a long way, and if you become a little too generous with lemon you may find that your hair gets dry and damaged, and we don’t want that. It’s also worth noting that you should be cautious about going in the sun with lemon in your hair; lemon juice is highly acidic and can burn both your scalp and your hair when under direct sunlight. But there are some healthy ways to boost your hair in a safe and effective way.

As lemons are rich in vitamin B, vitamin C, folic acid and minerals such as magnesium and calcium, it’s a really great way to maintain voluminous locks that are both strong and healthy. Lemon works to strengthen the hair follicles, which will in tern reduce hair loss. And thanks to a compound in lemons called limonene, the acidic fruit can actually transform dull, frizzy hair. So, how to safely use lemons on your hair?

Mix with conditioner: Try mixing a little lemon juice with your conditioner. You’ll benefit from the lightening properties that lemon naturally possesses while keeping your hair hydrated and soft.
Apply a lemon rinse: Get into the shower and take the lemon rinse in with you. Once you’ve washed your hair, pour the lemon rinse over your scalp slowly before rubbing it into your scalp. Allow the rinse to sit on your hair for 3-5 minutes and then wash it out gentle with warm water. If you’re looking to lighten your locks, you could leave the lemon juice on for longer before washing it out.
Promote hair growth: Make a DIY mask and leave it on your hair overnight. Mix together a tablespoon of warm olive oil with 1/2 tablespoon of warm castor oil, and add 3 drops of pure essential lemon oil. Massage the mixture into your hair for 5-7 minutes and then wrap in a towel and go to bed. In the morning, wash your hair out, making sure to hydrate it with a natural, herbal based shampoo and conditioner.
Treat oily hair: If your hair is limp and lifeless, it may be down to your hair storing oils, and this will then make your hair become oily more rapidly. Use lemon juice diluted in warm water and brush this through your hair so that it reaches both the roots and the ends. Massage it and then leave for 5 minutes, before washing off. You could use a little honey to make hair soft if its brittle and dry.

 

9. HEAL ACNE SCARRING + prevent breakouts

While not all of us suffer from acne, everyone has the odd blemish or two thanks to a stubborn spot that has left its mark. The vitamin C present in lemon triggers the production of collagen, which is responsible for keeping our skin firm and smooth. When it comes to keeping our skin acne-free, there are various ways in which lemon can help. First, it’s a natural bleaching agent, therefore lemon juice will work to reduce the appearance of acne scarring and other dark blemishes. The natural astringent qualities of lemon will also work to tighten your skin, leaving it smooth and shiny, and the antibacterial compounds in lemon juice will kill the bacteria on your skin that causes acne breakouts. So not only will it fade old scars, it will also work to prevent any future spots.

If your skin is inflamed or you’ve got broken skin, don’t use lemon until your skin has healed. While it will help to heal skin, it will also hurt and leave skin sore, and we don’t want that. If using lemon to heal scarring, dab a Q-tip into the lemon juice and then wipe it across the affected areas.

10. GET RID OF dandruff 

We’ve all been there at some stage, and having dandruff doesn’t exactly enhance confidence. Who feels their best when they’ve got flakes of dead skin cells falling from their hair? While a common cause of dandruff can be dehydration and you may need to up your water consumption, there are natural ways to banish dandruff with the use of lemon. The citric acid in lemon works by helping to restore the pH balance of the scalp, which will then work to prevent an overgrowth on the scalp. Thanks to the astringent qualities of lemon it balances the sebum levels of the scalp, which means your hair won’t become greasy easily not to mention lemon will also prevent itching.

Massage scalp with lemons: The first way you could try using lemon to prevent dandruff is to massage the juice straight onto the scalp. Leave for around 30 minutes, and then wash off.
Mix with coconut oil: As dandruff can cause hair to dry out, and lemon can do the same thing, you’ll want to add a moisturizing oil such as coconut to the lemon juice. Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with 4 tablespoons of lukewarm oil and then mix them both together before coating your hair. Wrap this in a towel for up to an hour before washing with a mild shampoo.

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Lora O'Brien

Lora O'Brien

Lora is a virulent wellness enthusiast. She freelances from the UK where you can find her writing about all things healthy foodie and natural beauty. Fun fact? She reads and watches more DVDs than the average human.
Lora O'Brien

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