My 10 Cent Skin Care Solution
How many of you spend at least $20 dollars a month on basic body products? How many of you buy up to $100 dollars per month in specialty skin care items, including sunscreen? I know many mature women who plow their money into facial lotions and serums and supplements and still end up with breakouts, skin discoloration, wrinkles, and sometimes even allergic reactions to these ‘magic’ products.
I have never been much for expensive skin care products. Primarily because my sensitive skin usually ends up irritated and with more blemishes than when I started. Sunscreen has always been one of the worst for me. I still get terrible breakouts of pimples every time I try it. (No matter how ‘hypoallergenic’ the label claims it to be.) And even if a product I try works on, say, the dry part of my face, then it probably causes unsightly zits in the oily areas.
In May of 2013 I began a complete revamp of my diet and skin care routine. This was prompted by a strange rash on my chin and at the edges of my nose that would not go away. It gradually grew (over the course of about 7 months) from a few little bumps to a patch that couldn’t be hidden. I imagine it would’ve been much worse if I wasn’t already quite healthy and diet-conscious. However, the rash on my face was ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’. A myriad other little ailments had been piling up… But the face rash forced me to look at it everyday in the mirror, and ask myself what I was going to do about it.
It would take paragraphs to list all of the things I tried for my skin. Ultimately, cleaning up my diet (you can learn about how I eat at beginwithin.kitchen) and adding large amounts of Vitamin C were the real ‘cures’, I think. I discovered that the triggers for the rash on my face were spicy foods and nuts. Since I cut them out of my diet, the rash has gone away. (I can get little new bumps to start up if I consume chili powder or nuts more than very occasionally.)
However, I also completely changed how I took care of my skin from the outside, and I know that has contributed to the many compliments I get from people about my young-looking, healthy, radiant skin.
Oddly, being out here in the boonies of Argentina had a positive affect on the choices I made. Not having a zillion products available at the stores made me go in search of truly natural solutions. I have since recommended my 10 cent skin care solution to others, and they have been amazed at how well it worked for them.
Of course, I don’t know you and can’t give you specific advice. All I can do is share what I discovered and let you experiment for yourself!
So, what is this inexpensive, all-natural skin therapy?
It’s lemon juice.
It might sounds crazy, but it works wonders for softening skin, fading discoloration and age spots, smoothing lines, clearing redness, and overall treating and moisturizing the skin. Now, all I use for skin care is this tea tree oil soap and fresh lemon juice.
In addition, lemon juice prevents skin damage from sun exposure and stops sunburn. The key is to use it the same day, after you come in from the sun. The sooner the better, but applying it the same evening before bed works great. (Never put lemon juice on your body before going out in the sun!)
HOW do I apply lemon juice for skin care?
I’ve tried applying lemon juice to my skin in various ways. All worked, but I’ll start by suggesting what I think is the most effective way. This is what I do now…
• In the evening, which is when I bathe, I take a half of a lemon into the shower with me. After I’m done washing and rinsing, I leave the shower running but stand out of the flow of the water.
• Then I squeeze the lemon juice directly into my cupped hands and rub it all over my body. Everywhere except my hair. (I tried this and it made my hair very soft; but later it turned a bit brassy and the ends got dried out.)
• I count to 20 while I make sure any seeds or pulp have washed down the drain. Then I turn off the water and dry off thoroughly, leaving the lemon juice on my skin.
The other way I sometimes do it- if I have been out in the sun that day and only parts of me were exposed (say my face, neck, forearms and hands)- is to apply pure lemon juice directly to those parts after my shower and before bed.
Either way, I find leaving it on full-strength and overnight to be the most effective.
For those starting out, you can also rinse it off in the shower (after applying the lemon juice and waiting 20 seconds or so).
Of course, if you have pimples or any little cuts, it might sting a bit. As my friend says, she imagines that sensation as part of the deep cleansing and healing that’s happening. Regardless, the stinging does pass. But if it feels like too much for you, a quick rinse with water will solve it. Even if I get it in my eyes by mistake, it only burns for a short time and there are no residual negative effects.
I have been using this ‘lemon therapy' between 4 and 7 times per week for well over a year with only positive benefits. I live in a very dry climate (the high desert of Argentina), and I no longer need any moisturizer. For me, lemon juice perfectly balances my skin- decreasing oily areas and moisturizing dry ones.
My husband doesn’t like to have any skin care ‘routine’, so he won’t do it daily. However, any day he comes in from work looking red from the sun, I leave a half a lemon in the shower for him to use that night. The next day he’ll be brown, with no residual redness- and there is never any flaking or peeling. I overheard him the other night telling a friend how well it works. I’ve also noticed that some sun-damaged skin patches on on his forehead are going away.
When we go on vacation, I always pick up a lemon or two to use after any days in the sun. Just make sure it’s a true lemon (you’ll know by the smell and taste of the juice). I bought a ‘lemon' at a market in Peru (after a day when I knew I got too much sun at the high altitude of Macchu Picchu). It didn’t work at all. However, it was different- obviously so, once I cut it open at the hotel room. So that time I had to sleep with crispy skin, and later it peeled intensely.
I don’t know exactly why lemon juice is so effective for healing the skin. I do know how powerful and important vitamin C is as an antioxidant and for all collagen and body connective tissue, so my guess is that is the primary active ingredient. However, there could be other factors at play.
I’m not saying it’s a cure-all, but I will say that everyone who has tried it has been impressed with the results. If you try it, I’d love to hear your story.
Give it 30 days for visible changes to occur. You might see results faster for things like eczema on the upper arms, or generally dry skin. Things like age spots and skin discoloration will take longer to treat. I had an age spot starting on one eyelid, and one on the back of one hand (I’m 39 years old), and both are almost invisible after about a year of ‘lemon therapy'.
I call it the 10 cent skin care solution because here in Argentina lemons usually cost about 15-20 cents each (converted from pesos into dollars). If I use half a lemon every day, that works out $35 dollars per year, or about $3 a month. I can tell you that nothing I have every used for my skin has come close to the results of lemon juice, and definitely not for that price! I don’t know how much lemons cost in your area, but I’ll wager it would still be less than most of you are spending on fancy anti-aging serums, deep night-time moisturizers, and other skin treatments.
Plus, I always want to know the ingredients that are in anything I put on or in my body. This is my one-ingredient, totally natural, cheap and easy-to-find-anywhere skin care.
Again, I’m truly interested to hear how this works (or doesn’t for others), so please share your results in the comments section here after you’ve tried it for a while.
In the meantime, I am working on a comprehensive list of the various health ailments I have cured over the years, along with what cured them. It’s a LOT of info, so it might be a little while yet :)
Here’s to healthy skin, naturally!
PS. Using lemons this way, on the face, also seems to be a great natural hair lightener for those females who get light 'moustaches' on their upper lip.
Lemon juice has been used for ages to naturally lighten hair. This is why I don't rinse my hair with it. However, most women (obviously) don't want to see any facial hair and use various bleaching products and removers to deal with it. Try lemon juice!