When Life Gives You Lemons, Let’s Talk Beauty.
Lemon juice is both a staple part of my every day diet and a crucial natural beauty ingredient I swear by. So how did lemons become such an integral part of my day to day life? Well to put it simply, I have always loved the flavor. Freshly squeezed over strawberries with far too much honey. Or even in a cup of Rooibos tea… again with far too much honey. Growing up, I took the opportunity to add lemon juice to whatever I could.
Later on, as I became a beauty hungry teenager with (of course) no money. I stumbled upon a book from my mum’s library, which very quickly became my first beauty bible. “Vogue’s Body and Beauty Bible” from 1977. I did a bit research and realized the potential lemon juice had for DIY beauty rituals as well. It then struck me just how essential natural beauty ingredients are before introducing any sort of product or treatment into your regime.
Now I know that one of the biggest healthy ingredients trends at the moment is apple cider vinegar. And whilst I can completely vouch for its benefits (both in health and beauty). In all honesty, I hate the taste, so I just stick to lemon juice whenever I can.
Why should lemon juice be part of your beauty regime?
Lemon juice is packed with Vitamin C – a nutrient that fulfils a very important function which many overlook. Vitamin C is responsible for creating and maintaining your collagen production. This largely includes your skin, hair and nails. (1) Not only is it proven to help prevent and reduce skin wrinkling. Yes, you heard me correctly. Studies have shown that people who consumed more Vitamin C have less risk of wrinkled and dry skin. (2). But also strengthen and protect your hair and nails. (3)
Here are my top three favourite DIY hydrating beauty treatments filled with lemon juice that I highly recommend:
1. Honey and oatmeal face mask
Mix 30g honey, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon sweet almond oil until smooth. From there, add just enough oatmeal (about 2 tablespoons) for it to become firm paste. Lather this onto your face and neck for about 20 minutes. Then go read a book or catch up on some series before rinsing it off. Voila!
2. Olive oil and lemon nail soak
Mix 3 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice in a bowl. Heat it until it’s lukewarm and pour equal amounts into two loose, disposable plastic gloves. Apply the gloves and keep them on for about 10 minutes before rinsing your hands. (I really only recommend watching TV whilst you wait!)
3. Honey and lemon hair mask
Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of honey until they emulsify. Then if you would like, add about 4 drops of rosemary essential oil before applying it to the mid-length and tips of your hair. Wrap it up in a bun and keep busy for about 30 minutes before heading to the shower for a proper hair wash.
What can lemon juice do for your health?
I know the end goal here is to know why lemon juice, preferably raw, is an essential natural beauty ingredient. However, as I mentioned right at the beginning, your internal health is the first fundamental step to achieving a healthy exterior. In fact one lemon contains approximately 1/3 of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C (4). Which means it can:
1. Boost your immune system
It’s proven though multiple studies that Vitamin C plays a vital role in keeping your immune system strong. And a lack of Vitamin C can actually weaken your cells that play a vital role in your maintaining your immunity. (2) Some studies suggest that this could also help prevent or limit the duration of the common cold in some people, but the results are still too conflicting to tell for sure. (5)
2. Reduce your chances of lifestyle disease
Again, the star of the show we should thank is Vitamin C. Which is proven to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease as well as stroke, and lower blood your pressure. Some studies have even indicated that people with low vitamin C levels, especially obese men with high blood pressure, have a higher risk of suffering from a stroke. (6)
3. Keep your gut healthy
It is proven that lemons are high in a fibre and prebiotic called pectin, which is known to assist good gut health. (7) And furthermore, the citric acid (a type of Vitamin C) it contains can act as a mild diuretic, decrease your chances of kidney stones and ultimately aid your digestion.
Personally, I like to start my day with a a cup of hot water and lemon to get my digestive system moving before I eat. Now, whilst there’s not enough scientific evidence to prove this practice is fully effective. It’s proven that too much ascorbic acid (another type of Vitamin C) it contains can cause dental erosion. So keeping your lemon juice diluted is a top notch idea if you want to keep your million dollar smile. (6)
So the fundamental thing I hope you can take away from this is this. When life gives you lemons, store them in your beauty cupboard because products are expensive and this is a good first step.