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Eau de citron et peau grasse.

Lemon water for oily skin?

Lemon water is a natural ingredient that is attributed with sebum-regulating and purifying properties. Indeed, it is often incorporated into skincare treatments for oily skin. But what does the scientific literature say about this?

Published February 14, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

What does it mean to have oily skin?

A skin is said to be oily when it exhibits a shiny and glossy appearance throughout the day. This aspect is due to an excess of sebum present on the epidermis. While the synthesis of sebum by the sebaceous glands is necessary to keep the skin hydrated and protected, an overproduction, called hyperseborrhea, however, has harmful consequences. Indeed, this phenomenon is likely to cause the obstruction of the skin's pores and the appearance of imperfections. While hyperseborrhea can be multifactorial, the reasons are often endogenous. Notably, heredity or hormonal variations that occur during puberty can be cited.

Lemon water or lemon hydrosol.

Lemon water is a colorless liquid obtained through the condensation of water vapor in a still, during the extraction of essential oil. Although it is not as concentrated as the essential oil obtained through distillation, lemon hydrosol still possesses several interesting properties for the skin and the hair thanks to its composition.

Lemon hydrosol carries the characteristic scent common to all citrus derivatives. Fruity and refreshing, its aroma makes it a preferred ingredient for perfumes and skincare treatments.

Please note : one should not confuse lemon juice and lemon hydrosol. The former is very acidic and extremely photosensitizing, due to its high concentration of furocoumarins. On the other hand, lemon water is a gentle treatment suitable even for pregnant or breastfeeding women and young children.

What is the effect of lemon hydrosol on oily skin?

Lemon water is often attributed with several beneficial properties for individuals with oily skin. Indeed, some sources claim that this ingredient possesses sebum-regulating and astringent properties, and that it could refine the skin's texture. Additionally, lemon hydrosol is believed to have a purifying effect on blemishes. However, it is important to note that to date, no scientific study has demonstrated that the application of lemon hydrosol has visible beneficial effects on oily skin.

If you have oily skin, we recommend you to consider the following active ingredients, which have mattifying and purifying properties that have been scientifically proven.

  • Azelaic Acid : Derived from oleic acid or through the fermentation of cereal grain seeds, this active ingredient works on sebum by breaking down the free fatty acids that make up its composition. It also has an exfoliating effect and removes dead cells present on the skin's surface.

  • Salicylic Acid : it is recognized for its anti-inflammatory and purifying virtues. Moreover, this active ingredient is astringent and its topical application contributes to refining the skin texture.

  • Zinc : This trace element has anti-androgenic activity, which allows it to reduce sebum production by the sebaceous glands. It also has mattifying and anti-inflammatory properties.


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