Does lemon juice for acne scars work: A research-based answer

Lemon juice for acne scars?

“Does lemon juice for acne scars work? Would my acne scars ever go away? Are lemons good for me & my skin?”

If these are a few questions about lemon juice that are constantly echoing in your mind, then you have landed at the right place.

The truth is while you love the fresh aroma and citrusy flavor of lemons and hear a lot of herbal medicine lovers supporting its all-round benefits for body & skin, particular acne scars.

But the question remains, is using lemon juice really worth it for treating acne scars? 

If you want to find out the truth and other best home remedies for curing your stubborn acne scars, then you can’t afford to miss out on a wealth of information below that can help you get rid of them permanently.

Lemon juice for acne scars: Does it actually work?

lemon juice for acne?

While it is true that lemon and its extracts have been extensively used in various skincare products thanks to their powerful skin-friendly properties. 

But as stated earlier, the problem with the assumption that whether lemon juice works for acne scars or not, is that a lot of purported benefits you read online are merely anecdotal.

The following are the potential observational benefits of lemon juice for acne & acne scars.

1. It can reduce acne inflammation  

Thanks to its strong anti-inflammatory properties, it can considerably reduce the swelling, itching, and redness caused by acne.

2. It can heal acne & remove blackheads

Thanks to its very good anti-bacterial & antiseptic properties, it can heal present acne and check the growth of bacteria & fungus to avoid further progression of blackheads.

3. It can limit sebum production to control acne

Excess sebum production is the prime cause of the development of acne. Thanks to its sebum inhibiting properties, it can dry out the skin due to citric acid found in it.

4. It can lighten skin to fight blemishes & spots

Thanks to its powerful skin whitening & bleaching properties, it can effectively fight any sorts of pigmentation, blemishes or spots caused by acne scars.

Research evidence: does lemon juice for pimples actually work?

The very short answer. “There is no research evidence or scientific proof to support the fact that lemon actually treats acne scars”. While evidence to support the lemon as a good home remedy for acne scar treatment is pretty minimal…

… But that does not mean it does not help in treating acne & pimples as there are many anecdotal stories available online & offline to vouch for its positive benefits. 

So, in theory, & practical, lemon juice does actually works for improving your acne and acne scars to some extent. So, how to use it then for acne scars treatment?

Using lemon juice for lightening acne scars

Lemon is one of the most popular natural skin lightening, bleaching agents used worldwide. 

Why lemon works?

Lemon juice has some of the excellent bleaching properties which make it an old remedy for whitening/lightening up sun spotted dark/brown skin. That’s why you would find it a common ingredient in skin lightening creams.

Different ways to use lemon for acne scars treatment

The following are some of the best ways to use lemon for treating acne scars. 

These different methods are meant to increase the effectiveness of lemon treatment as other elements mixed with lemon increase its efficiency and minimize any harsh side effects of lemon juice.

1. Simple lemon remedy

lemon remedy for acne scars

What do you need?

  • Just a lemon
  • Few cotton balls

How to use it for acne scar treatment?

  1. Simply squeeze out the lemon juice out of fresh lemon and rub on the sunspot area for a few minutes.
  2. Now, leave it on for about half an hour. After that, simply rinse it off your skin.
  3. Finally, simply pat dry and use a good moisturizer after it.

How Often to do it?

While the lemon juice can be applied daily without worrying about side effects, the lemon-sugar scrub should not be used more than 2-3 times a week.

2. Lemon juice as a face mask

lemon face masks for acne scars

What do you need?

  • About 1-2 tbsp of tomato juice
  • About 1-2 tbsp of cucumber juice
  • About 1 tbsp of sandalwood

How to use it?

  1. Mix together about 1 tbsp of lemon juice, about 1 tbsp of tomato juice, about 1 tbsp of cucumber juice and 1tbsp of sandalwood and make a thick uniform paste.
  2. Now, simply lather this paste onto your skin and let it rest for 20-25 minutes before you rinse this off with lukewarm water and use a good moisturizer after it.

3. Lemon juice as an exfoliating mask

lemon as exfoliating face mask
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What do you need?

  • About 2-3 tbsp of brown sugar
  • About 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice

How to do it?

  1. Simply mix about 2-3 tbsp of brown sugar with 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice. Stir well to make a smooth consistency.
  2. Now, gently scrub this on your skin for 5-10 minutes before you rinse it away with lukewarm water and apply a moisturizer after it.

4.  Lemon juice with coconut oil

lemon juice and coconut oil for acne scars

What do you need?

  • About 2-3 tbsps of coconut oil
  • About 1-2 tbsps of lemon juice 

How to make this remedy?

  1. Mix both coconut oil and lemon juice in equal proportions and mix them well to get a homogenous mixture.
  2. Using your fingers tips, gently and thoroughly massage all over your scalp and leave it to dry for 25-30 minutes.
  3. After about half an hour, wash it off with lukewarm water and use a good shampoo.
  4. Apply this treatment for at least twice a week while you are having dandruff and after that, you can normally use it.

Why this remedy works?

Coconut oil is a great moisturizer but a very good anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial too which is such a great solution for dar, dry, irritated skin.

  1. A study conducted in 2014 found it to be a great alternative for petroleum jelly for effective dry skin treatment and providing the skin with effective hydration for dry skin.
  2. Similarly, a 2016 research found coconut oil of having amazing emollient characteristics which are essentially moisturizer filling up empty gaps in the skin making it appear more radiant, smooth, supple.

Couple these powerful benefits of lemon juice with coconut oil and you have a wonderful natural skin-lightening remedy at your disposal.

Caution please!
While there is no doubt in its ability to fade away those ugly dark brown sunspots, but due to its acidic nature, it can cause irritation on the skin and eyes. So watch out for that and use it in moderation.

Few important precautions for using lemon juice

Since the pH of lemon is 2-3 which makes the citric acid found in it a really powerful acid that can lead to serious issues to the skin like irritation and allergic reaction which necessitates some precautionary measures.

To save your skin, though, follow these safety tips:

  1. Avoid lemon juice if you have sensitive skin- If you have a sensitive type of skin, given the harsh acidic nature of lemon juice, you need to stay away from it.
  2. Don’t go out in the sun with traces of lemon juice  – Always thoroughly wash off your face after you have applied lemon on it as this can cause a serious phototoxic reaction that is harmful to the skin. So always wear sun protection like sunscreen. Or else, for more safety, use it only at night as an exfoliating mask.
  3. Never apply lemon juice directly on the skin – Given the strong acidic nature of lemon juice and the potential irritation caused, it is never wise to apply it directly on the skin. Rather, always mix with something else like water, honey, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.
  4. Don’t put on lemon on the skin for too long – Since lemon is a strong acid, leaving it for too long on your skin you risk a potential side effect. So, always use it a limited amount of time and that too when mixed with something else. 
  5. Don’t use on deep blemishes – Never try to use lemon juice on deep blemishes as this can lead to serious reactions and would delay the actual healing of those scars. Also, when using on for a little spot treatment, just touch it up on your scars and rinse it off with water.
  6. Watch out for any rashes or reaction and immediately stop putting lemon on your scars – Once you notice an abnormal reaction like the appearance of rash or severe irritation, it’s time to call up your dermatologist and banish using lemon juice immediately.

Other natural home remedies to get rid of acne scars

natural remedies to get rid of acne scars

While lemon juice is practically a good home remedy to deal with acne scars but given the lack of scientific evidence and potential harness for skin, you might want to have a look at some other good home remedies for treating those ugly acne scars.

The following are some of the best natural/home remedies to get rid of those acne scars for good.

1. Baking soda for acne scars

baking soda for acne scars

Essentially, baking soda has some excellent clarifying and purifying properties which not helps to remove any sebum or dirt from the skin surface but its strong antiseptic and anti-fungal properties effectively eliminate the fungus or bacteria causing the further spread of acne scars.

2. Black Seed Oil for acne scars

black seed oil for acne scars

Also known as Nigella Sativa, a plant native to Eastern Europe can also be bought online. It’s a good antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties work greatly in unison to reduce acne scars. 

Moreover, black seed oil has been found to speed up the wound healing process while minimizing the skin pigmentation to suppress the appearance of scars.

3. Rosehip Seed Oil for acne scars

roseship seed oil for acne scars

While it is a well-known anti-aging solution, recent studies have indicated rosehip seed oil utility for treating acne scars too. These researches found that since it directly benefits surgical type of scars, this implies its potential benefits for minimizing normal acne scars as well when used twice a day.

4. Honey for acne scars

honey for acne scars
  • Honey is rich in powerful antioxidants that are very effective against minimizing ance than other treatments like benzoyl peroxide & retinoids.
  • Honey has been found to suppress triggering factors of acne – bacteria & inflammation which then helps in speeding wound healing and minimizing the potential for scars.

5. Aloe Vera for acne scars

Aloe vera for acne scars

Aloe vera is another good natural remedy for acne scars. It is due to the following reasons.

  • Being naturally a great moisturizer, it triggers hair cells regrowth by creating an enabling environment for skin cells growth by calming and soothing a damaged skin area.
  • Like honey, it’s strong antibacterial & anti-inflammatory properties suppress any progression of bacterial or fungus on acne scars which helps acne scars to heal and minimize quickly.
  • Regular application of it on acne scars can stimulate the production of skin collagen which helps to make the acne scars disappear as new skin cells replace them.

Applying aloe vera in the form of a gel or lotion can provide immediate relief by 

  • Cooling down the burning sensation of the skin
  • reduce inflammation and soothes the pain
  • slow or reduce the skin’s peeling process

A past study spanning over more than 3 months found that taking a daily aloe vera gel supplement can stimulate the production of collagen to significantly minimize the appearance of wrinkles/blemishes/scars.

6.Green tea for acne scars

green tea for acne scars

Green tea is another potential remedy for acne scars due to the following reasons.

  • Rich in good quality antioxidants, Green tea, when applied topically has been shown to help with acne (drinking it can promote good health too). Essentially, according to research, green tea is rich antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents called flavonoids & tennis, which directly benefits against acne.
  • Particularly, a major antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) inhibits the production of sebum and P.acnes –  and acne-causing bacteria that directly benefit acne-prone people.

In short, according to a number of studies, just an application of about 2 – 4% topical green tea extract can greatly control sebum production which suppresses pimples.

While you get some green tea containing lotions & creams, but you can conveniently make your own green tea remedy at home.

7. Sulfur for acne scars

sulfur for acne scars

Sulfur can work for your acne scars due to the following reasons.

  1. Sulfur has the ability to dry up and skin surface and remove away any present dead skin cells which it could — in theory — reduce the appearance of scars too.
  2. Sulfur has strong antiseptic and antifungal properties too which fights away any potential fungus or bacteria lurking on acne scars that prevent their disappearance.

8. Turmeric Powder for acne scars

tumeric powder for acne scars

Turmeric is great for acne scars specifically because it contains curcumin, a compound with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce excess production of melanin, which adds pigmentation to your scar and makes it darker.

This in turn treats discoloration and helps skin glow. Moreover, Since it’s also antiseptic so it smooths your skin without irritation. 

How to use it?

Use it with some of that honey we mentioned earlier!

Simply just add equal parts honey and turmeric (1 tsp each) and keep it on for about 20 minutes to allow the paste to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells.

Finally rinse thoroughly with cool water.

9. Shea Butter for acne scars

shea butter for ance scars

We all know shea butter definitely helps women prevent or eliminate stretch marks, so why shouldn’t it work on ugly acne scars?

Apply it daily to feel its moisturizing effects brightening your skin.

But what is better is that if you can find unfiltered raw shea butter, use that instead of any refined version. Refined usually means any nutrients have been broken down or destroyed. 

Store-bought brands usually irritate because they have added fragrance and other additives.

10. Lemon for acne scars

If you want to lighten your scar, lemon is a tried & tested choice.

Why it works for acne scars?

Lemon juice has some of the excellent bleaching properties which make it an old remedy for whitening/lightening up sun spotted dark/brown skin. That’s why you would find it a common ingredient in skin lightening creams.

What do you need?

  • Just a lemon
  • Few cotton balls

How to use it for acne scar treatment?

  1. Simply squeeze out the lemon juice out of fresh lemon and rub on the sunspot area for a few minutes.
  2. Now, leave it on for about half an hour. After that, simply rinse it off your skin.
  3. Finally, simply pat dry and use a good moisturizer after it.

How Often to do it?

While the lemon juice can be applied daily without worrying about side effects, the lemon-sugar scrub should not be used more than 2-3 times a week.

Since lemon can make skin sensitive to sunlight, give your scar a fighting chance at healing by using a daily moisturizer with SPF before heading out during the day.

Other acne scars removal tips

best acne scars removal tips

While natural home remedies are good, you might want to look out for some other treatment tips that can be equally helpful and effective.

1. Apply topical treatments like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid

Using topical treatments like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid ingredients that help exfoliate the skin’s surface can help regeneration of new skin cells, removal of dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover and regeneration which would greatly reduce the risk of formation of scars.

2. Use collagen regeneration treatments

Using OTC collagen regeneration topical treatments like vitamin C, glycolic acid or retinol can help improve your skin cells turn over rate which helps remove dead skin cells and bring out new skin cells which directly remove scars.

3. Try out Microdermabrasion

You can try microdermabrasion to treat those scars which help remove dead & dark skin cells and bring out new skin cells that can significantly reduce scars.

4. Try out chemical peeling

Chemical peeling is another good choice to treat those stubborn scars as the removal of top skin in this process takes away acne/pimple scars with it.

5. Laser treatment is another option

This is a professional treatment that is used by a dermatologist to remove away dead skin cells by laser resurfacing therapy that smoothens the skin surface and remove away even the deepest of acne/pimples scars.

6. Seek professional help if everything does not work

If the above acne scars prevention remedies and tips don’t work, consulting your dermatologist should be your best bet. 

They have a variety of effective medications like antibiotics, topical cream and cortisone injections, etc that can not only treat your acne pimples but prevent any possibility of scar formation.

Takeaway: The Whole lemon does have proven real-life health benefits like but it’s a great kitchen ingredient with a range of other benefits.

Benefits of lemon

  1. It is rich in vitamin C, a primary antioxidant that helps protect cells from damaging free radicals.
  2. It can support weight loss
  3. It improves the normal digestion process
  4. It improves our mouth breadth
  5. It ensures kidney health i.e the citric acid in lemons may help prevent kidney stones
  6. Vitamin C has been found to improve heart health
  7. It can protect again anemia
  8. It may protect against cancer risk

Beautywised conclusion!
Where there is no doubt lemon has proven health benefits but its utility and effectiveness as lemon juice for acne scars is limited to anecdotal & observational success stories only, as proper scientific proof of lemon juice for acne scars has yet to be gathered.

So for that matter, you can keep using it for minimizing your scars until and unless it works and does not lead to any serious side effects like irritation and allergic reaction.

lemon juice for acne scars works

FAQs

Q: How long does it take for acne scars to go away with lemon juice?

Ans: About 4 – 6 weeks given the fact that you use lemon juice for acne scars twice a day.

Q: Does lemon juice remove acne scars?

Ans: Yes, lemon juice can remove acne scars due to its excellent bleaching properties which make it an old remedy for whitening/lightening up sun spotted dark/brown skin. That’s why you would find it a common ingredient in skin lightening creams.

Q: Is it OK to leave lemon juice on the face overnight?

Ans: No, it is not ok to leave lemon juice on face for an overnight due to its strong acidic nature. It can lead to irritation and harsh reaction.

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