The Regimen

Don’t Try Brightening Your Skin with Lemon Juice

Woman With Lemon Touching Face

The internet raves about the benefits of using lemon juice on your skin for brightening, lightening, and exfoliating. But these advocates fail to mention the burning, the irritation, and damage to the skin barrier that results from this DIY don’t. We know you’re bored, but before you start experimenting, read this, then bake another loaf of bread instead.

Vitamin C is an excellent booster for brightening and evening skin tone, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you can go directly to the source to get its benefits.


What’s wrong with lemon juice?

Lemon juice contains three acids: citric acid, malic acid, and ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is highly acidic. Citric acid and malic acid are alpha hydroxy acids, which create exfoliation in the skin. 

Acids and exfoliation are a good thing for the skin when controlled. But this combination of high acidity and exfoliating elements with nothing to buffer it makes for a highly irritating substance.

The extreme acidity of lemon juice can cause chemical burns to the skin, especially if the skin is exposed to the sun. Milder effects are contact dermatitis, an itchy rash, redness, or irritation, and, at the least, disruption to your skin’s natural acid mantle.

Because pigmentation is triggered by the inflammation that arises from irritation, lemon juice can have the effect of spurring pigmentation rather than the desired effect of brightening skin.


Vitamin C in Skincare

Vitamin C is widely used in dermatology for its multiple benefits. It’s an antioxidant superstar that’s essential to the synthesis of collagen. It helps to repair and prevent photodamage. It also inhibits the melanin-stimulating enzyme tyrosinase to help reduce pigment and encourage a brighter, more even tone. 

In skin care formulas, vitamin C is concentrated to the appropriate percentage and balanced with other key ingredients to avoid irritation and ensure results. One of the best complements to vitamin C is vitamin E, another cell-repairing antioxidant. The pair works synergistically to enhance photoprotection exponentially. Find this potent pair in Pure C + E and use it daily to supercharge your brightening regimen. 

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