Rich in vitamin C with vitamin B, phosphorous, protein and carbohydrate content, and antioxidant properties, lemon treats indigestion, throat infections, constipation, fever, high blood pressure, dental problems, cholera and respiratory disorders. Therapeutically, lemon purifies blood, cleanses the stomach, and strengthens the immune system to help the body fight diseases.
Aside from its many health benefits, lemon also beautifies. While I was searching for treatments to relieve dryness caused by sun and chlorine, I came across some beauty secrets using the main ingredient lemon. If taking a trip to the salon is too much of a hassle or heavy on the pocket, take your lemons out of the kitchen and give yourself some TLC with homemade remedies that will rejuvenate your skin and give your hair an extra shine.
Lemon for the Skin
1. Squeeze 3 large lemons into a bowl and add 1:3 ratio of warm water. Then use a cotton swab to apply the lemon water generously to the surface of the skin. Leave on for about 30 minutes, and then rinse.
2. Rub a lemon slice on your face and a few drops of olive oil one after the other for about a minute each, then rinse. This is good for lightening red spots on your face caused by acne or too much sun. Since lemon in its pure form is very acidic it may react differently depending on your skin type, so first test it on a small part of your face, before you keep it on for long.
3. Brighten your skin by adding a 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice into your bath water and soak in it for about 20 minutes, or rub lemon on your body before you go to bed, then rinse off in the morning.
4. For natural bleaching, mix tomato juice, lemon juice and milk in equal proportions and apply on the face and body. Leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing. Over time this will cleanse and lighten.
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1. To reduce stress lines, cut two slices of lemon for normal skin, four slices for oily skin and just one slice for dry skin (because lemon is a drying agent so best to use less if your skin is dry). Place the lemon slices in a bowl then mix with a 1/2 teaspoon of cream and 1/2 teaspoon of milk, then pour into a pan and heat for about 2 minutes, then leave to cool for 3 hours. Massage the mixture on your face with your hands for 20 minutes, and once dry add a few drops of olive oil, then wash off thoroughly.
2. Mash an over-ripe banana and mix it with 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, then apply over the face and neck. Leave on for 10 minutes then rinse with water.
3. For pimple scars, cracked soles and palms, dryness of face and hands, and sunburn, squeeze a fresh lime into a cup of milk with a teaspoon of glycerin*. Stir well, then apply on to face, neck, hands, legs and feet, one hour before bed. Keep it on for 30 minutes and then wash off.
4. Create a body pack from 8 teaspoons of yogurt, 3 teaspoons of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Apply all over body with firm upward motions, and wash off thoroughly with soap after 10 minutes.
5. To prevent signs of wrinkles mix 1 teaspoon of honey, a few drops of lemon juice and a drop of sweet almond oil, and apply to the face allowing it to dry for 20 minutes before washing off.
*glycerin – a 3-carbon alcohol, aka glycerol. It is non-volatile and intensely hygroscopic (water-loving), and can be rinsed off any surface with ordinary water. It’s uses are:
To hasten cell maturation and suppress inflammation
Reduce or eliminate any skin disturbance, from psoriasis to bug bites or burns
Doubles healing speed, cuts scarring in half
Mixed with water, an excellent moisturizer
Pure form kills all bacteria on contact by instantly drawing the water out of them
Softens and removes calluses
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1. The combination of tumeric, lemon and starch, serves as an effective cleanser and helps prevent the drying effect of chlorinated water on the skin.
2. For oily skin that is prone to acne, use lemon juice absorbed into an absorbent cotton swab and apply directly to the areas of the skin affected by acne as this help tighten your pores. This method also reduces blackheads by rubbing it on your skin before bed and rinse with cool water in the morning.
3. Drop a little alum into water with a half lemon squeeze. Once the alum** has been dissolved, use an absorbent cotton swap to apply on to the skin’s surface. Keep for about 20 minutes and then wash off with warm water. This helps open up your pores to remove any accumulation of dirt that causes acne.
**alum – a chemical (aluminium potassium sulphate), a whitish powder with several uses, commonly:
As an astringent
As an antibacterial
As a food preservative
As a ‘Styptic pencil’ to quickly heal shaving cuts
To stem the flow of minor blood loss and cuts
Soaked into materials to make them flame retardant
Lemon for the Hair
1. After rinsing off shampoo, massage with hair oil and use lemon juice to wash it, then rinse with water.
2. Squeeze one large lemon and mix the juice with warm water and apply to hair. Leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse.
3. Lemon juice mixed with egg whites, applied from the root of the hair to the tip, left for 1 hour and washed off with cold water, reduces dandruff and treats an itchy scalp.
4. Boil used tea leaves in water and cool the liquid, and add in lemon juice and use the mixture as a rinse after shampoo to add shine to your hair.
5. To help prevent hair loss, mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with 4 tablespoons of coconut oil. Apply on to your hair, leave for 20 minutes and then wash.
6. Put concentrated lemon juice in a spray bottle and spritz generously on to your hair before going to the beach, and also in between swims and sunbathing. Allow it to dry under the sun and once completely dry take a dip in the water. Doing this often lightens your hair and gives it a sun-kissed tint