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Le jus de citron pour une peau éclatante ?

Misconception: Using lemon juice for radiant skin.

Many people extol the virtues of pure lemon juice on the skin. Apparently, it helps to cleanse the skin, tighten pores, and lighten spots. But what is the real story?

The effects of using pure lemon juice on the skin.

The purported benefits of using lemon on the skin (lightening, anti-acne, anti-spot...) are linked to the natural acidity of this citrus fruit, as well as its content of vitamin C and citric acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid. However, the topical application of lemon juice presents more risks and side effects than benefits.

Firstly, lemon is irritating, especially for sensitive skin. This is due to its extremely acidic pH (2 - 3), which is much lower than the physiological pH of the skin, ranging between 4.7 and 5.75. This high acidity of lemon juice can alter the skin's natural pH, leading to a weakening of the skin barrier. This can result in irritations, dryness, redness, and excessive desquamation (peeling skin).

Next, the lemon is composed of photosensitizing molecules, such as furocoumarins, which increase the skin's sensitivity to UV rays. In fact, furocoumarins have the ability to interact with DNA, causing damage to skin cells and inflammation.

If you apply lemon juice to your skin before exposing it to the sun, you may experience redness, swelling, and blisters. This can also lead to conditions such as phytophotodermatitis or even chemical leukoderma, also known as vitiligo. This skin disorder occurs when your skin lightens due to a loss of melanin, and large, widespread white patches may develop.

Finally, it is important to note that the levels of citric acid and vitamin C can vary from one lemon to another. Therefore, if you use pure lemon juice on your skin, you do not know the concentration of acids you are applying, which can be dangerous. In cosmetics, there are many active ingredients that possess the same properties praised by lemon, but in a safe manner. Discover them below.

And what about the lemon water used in cosmetics?

The differences in biochemical compositions between lemon juice and lemon water are due to different extraction processes. Lemon juice is extracted through mechanical pressure, while lemon hydrosol is the result of steam distillation of whole lemons. Unlike lemon juice, which has a very acidic pH, the lemon hydrosol can be used in cosmetics because it has a significantly less acidic pH (between 5 to 7). Furthermore, it possesses brightening, sebum-regulating, toning, and purifying properties, making it suitable for all skin types, particularly oily, acne-prone, dull, combination, and pigmented skin.

aqueous lemon extract safely for your skin. At Typology, we even offer you products based on this natural extract such as:

So, which products should one turn to?

Just like lemon plant water, there are other active ingredients, much safer than pure lemon, depending on your skin issues:

  • For dull skin : The vitamin C and fruit acids are ideal for combating signs of fatigue and giving your skin a radiant boost. These compounds are indeed present in large quantities in lemon juice. Discover our dull skin routine designed to refresh and brighten your complexion. Additionally, remember to hydrate your skin daily with our antioxidant face cream and exfoliate your skin once or twice a week with our peeling mask.


  • ALWEIS R. & al. Lime-induced phytophotodermatitisJournal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives (2014).

  • MYUNGHWA K. & al. Chemical leucoderma induced by homemade lemon toner. Australasian Journal of Dermatology (2014).

  • HSIANG D. & al. Phytophotodermatitis: Rash with many faces. Canadian Family Physician (2017).


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