How To Use Lemon Juice For Acne – 7 Easy Recipes

Lemon juice is one of the most popular natural treatments for acne.

And the internet is often fulsome in its praise for this simple fruit.

It’s easy to use:

You go to your fruit bowl. Slice open a lemon. And squeeze the juice onto your face.

And voila! Your acne starts to disappear overnight.

But is that the full story? 

The truth is, it’s complicated.

Lemon juice certainly helps a lot of people. There’s so much evidence that it’s impossible to ignore. And it could help you as well.

But you need to be careful how you use it.

In this article, I’ll show you how to use lemon juice for acne. And we’ll take a look at the pros and cons to help you make a decision.

Before You Start


When it comes to treating acne, lemon juice has got some good things going for it. But, it’s not for everyone.

Let’s take a closer look:

The Pros

Importantly, it contains citric acid – an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) with strong antibacterial action.

And it also helps to exfoliate dead skin cells and unblock pores.

Alpha hydroxy acids have been shown in studies to be effective at reducing acne (1).

Applying them to the skin gives fast results. And it’s likely to be a big part of lemon juice’s ability to treat acne.

But, it’s also a reason why you should handle it with care.

The Cons

Because it’s very acidic, it can cause skin irritation. It can even burn if you’re not careful.

It’s very drying for the skin. And regular use increases the chance of irritation. So it’s not advised to use it more than 2-3 times per week.

Unfortunately, that’s not the only problem with lemon juice.

After using it, you also need to be very careful about exposure to sunlight.

The problem?

It contains a substance called psoralen. This reacts with ultraviolet radiation, causing damage to skin cells and DNA.

It can leave a painful, inflamed rash on your skin, which can result in hyperpigmentation.

This is known as phytophotodermatitis. Also referred to by dermatologists as ‘lime disease’ (2).

If you use lemon juice on your acne it should be done at night. So that you can avoid the sun’s harmful rays.

Also, because it exfoliates your skin, you need to use a sunscreen when going outside in daylight in the days after use.

How to Use Lemon Juice for Acne

If I’ve not put you off using it, here are some recipes for you to consider:

Lemon And Honey Face Mask For Acne


Honey is an effective antibacterial. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.


  • Get a jar of raw organic honey and a fresh lemon.
  • Put 1 tablespoon of honey into a bowl.
  • Cut the lemon into halves.
  • Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon into the bowl.
  • Mix together thoroughly.
  • Use your fingers to apply the mixture to your skin.
  • Leave it for 10-15 minutes and then wash it off.
  • Use 2-3 times per week.

Neem And Lemon For Acne


The antibacterial properties of neem make it useful for acne treatment.


  • Purchase some neem powder and a fresh lemon.
  • Measure 1 tablespoon of neem powder into a bowl.
  • Add enough water to the neem powder to form a paste and stir together.
  • Cut the lemon in half, squeeze a half into the bowl, and mix again.
  • Apply the mixture to your face with your fingers.
  • Leave it on your face for 10-15 minutes and then wash off again.
  • Use 2-3 times per week.

Aloe Vera And Lemon For Acne

aloe leaves

Aloe vera is anti-inflammatory, and contains a number of antioxidants and antibacterial agents.


  • Get a jar of the best Aloe vera gel for acne and a fresh lemon.
  • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze one half into a bowl.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of Aloe vera to the bowl and mix together.
  • Spread the Aloe vera lemon mixture over your acne.
  • Leave on your face for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off again.
  • Use 2-3 times each week.

Lemon And Avocado For Acne


Avocado contains phytosterols that have an anti-inflammatory effect. And antioxidants like vitamin E that protect the skin.


  • Get a fresh, ripe avocado, and a fresh lemon.
  • Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and scrape the fruit from one-half into a bowl.
  • Use a fork to mash the avocado until it’s a paste.
  • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze one half into the bowl.
  • Mix the avocado and lemon juice together.
  • Use your fingers to apply the mixture to your skin.
  • Leave it on your face for about 15 minutes.
  • Wash your face with warm water.
  • You can use this 2-3 times per week.

Egg White And Lemon Juice Mask For Acne

egg whites

Egg white helps to soak up excess oil on the skin. And it can be used to dilute lemon juice before application.


  • Get an egg and a lemon.
  • Crack open the egg and pour the white into a bowl, taking care to separate the yolk.
  • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze one half into the bowl of egg white.
  • Whisk together with a whisk or fork.
  • Use a brush or your fingers to apply it to your face.
  • Leave to dry for around 15 minutes.
  • Use warm water to wash it off your face.
  • Use about 2 or 3 times per week.

Turmeric And Lemon Juice For Acne

turmeric powder

The curcumin in turmeric gives it antibacterial properties that can kill P. acnes.


  • Purchase a jar of turmeric powder and a fresh lemon.
  • Put a level tablespoon of turmeric in a bowl.
  • Add a small amount of water and mix to make a paste.
  • Slice the lemon in half.
  • Squeeze one half into the bowl and stir together.
  • Massage into your skin using your fingertips.
  • Leave on your face for approximately 10-15 minutes and then wash it off.
  • Use 2-3 times each week.

Lemon And Yogurt For Acne


Yogurt contains probiotic bacteria that are good for the skin.


  • Get a fresh lemon and a jar of natural organic yogurt.
  • Measure 2 tablespoons of yogurt into a bowl.
  • Slice the lemon in half.
  • Squeeze one half into the bowl.
  • Mix together well using a fork or spoon.
  • Apply the yogurt and lemon juice to your face using a brush or your fingers.
  • Let it stay on your face for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Wash it off again with water.
  • Use 2-3 times each week for best results.

Side Effects And Precautions

It’s a good idea to do a quick patch test before using these recipes on your face.

Apply a small amount to the back of your wrist and leave it there for 30 minutes to see how your skin reacts.

Care should also be taken to avoid your eyes. Water can be used to clear away the acid in the event of an accident.

Because the acid dries your skin, applying a moisturizer after use is recommended to keep your skin well hydrated.

Who Shouldn’t Use Lemon Juice?

People with dark skin should be careful about using lemon juice.

The melanin that gives your skin its tone is produced by melanocytes. And these are present in large numbers in people with black skin.

The acid can activate them to produce more melanin. Leading to pigmentation.

Final Thoughts

As a home remedy, lemon juice can be used to reduce acne.

Many people claim success, and scientific explanations can back that up.

But, it’s not without its potential problems.

If you choose to use it, you should proceed with care.

There are other natural acne treatments that aren’t as harsh on your skin. And don’t have so many drawbacks.

If you have sensitive or dry skin, you should certainly consider a more gentle treatment instead.

Have you tried lemon juice for acne? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.

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