Native to Asia, the lemon tree is initially cultivated to be an ornamental plant that is a cross between bitter orange and citron. It was believed to have been first introduced in Europe around 200 AD and yields a dimpled, yellow fruit that eventually spread from the Middle East to Northern Africa then to America in 1493.
The lemon fruit is now known for its antioxidant properties and for having twice as much vitamin C as the average orange. It also has several unique phytochemicals that can potentially prevent cancer and other chronic diseases.
However, the oil extracted from it is equally amazing. Lemon oil is used as a holistic medicine throughout the world. It is obtained by cold expression of the peels of unripe fruit.
The resulting oil has antifungal, astringent, and antiseptic properties, making it an essential oil that has a clean and fresh fragrance with numerous benefits for the skin, hair, and all over the general body.
Prepare for a Ralph Wunsch photo shoot with the help of lemon essential oil. Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy from it.
- Skin Cleanser
Mix a few drops of the oil with whole milk or Epsom salts to bath water to make a gentle cleanser and rejuvenate the skin and activate your mind. The combination results in a fresh, clean scent with therapeutic properties that can make the skin feeling deeply cleansed from within the pores.
You create your own lemon bath salts by mixing two cups Epsom salt, one cup coarse sea salt, two tbsp. Jojoba oil, and ten drops of lemon essential oil.
The antiseptic properties of lemon oil make it effective against acne-causing germs—thanks to antioxidants, vitamin C, citric acid, and other components. It also boosts collagen production that reduces scarring.
For fresh minor infections on the skin, mix a small compress of lemon and lavender oil (for soothing effect) and dilute in a bowl of water (to prevent stinging pain). Use a facecloth to absorb some of the mixture and hold the cloth on the wound for at least ten minutes.
An acne cream can also help. Mash or whisk 1/4 cup of soft shea butter until creamy and add a tbsp of argan oil (for a smooth consistency) and four drops each of lemon and tea tree essential oils. Apply a pea size amount on the face and neck after cleansing.
- Reduces Oiliness
The astringent property of lemon essential oil can help with excess sebum on the skin by reducing the size of pores. The same gland is on your scalp, causing greasy hair that can leave the hair limp and stringy. The lemon essential oil can also help balance the production of oils.
For oily face, mix 1/2 cup organic rose water, one tsp. witch hazel, and three drops of the oil on a glass spray bottle, then shake well. Mist the mixture on to your face 6 inches away after cleansing and let it dry.
For oily hair, combine two egg whites and four drops of lemon essential oil in a bowl. Whisk and apply on hair from roots to tip. Leave it for 30 minutes, covering the head with a shower cap, then rinsing with cold water.
- A Facial Toner
As a natural toner, lemon oil is great for those with oily skin, as it can reduce sebum production. When mixed with distilled water, it shrinks large pores, tightens and lifts, balances, and rejuvenates the skin when used correctly.
You can either dilute a percent of lemon oil and jojoba or soy oil, or mix 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of witch hazel, and 40 drops of lemon oil to make a toner.
- Removes Blackheads
Blackheads form when excess sebum blocks pores and harbors dirt. Lemon essential oil safely removes blackheads by tightening and drying the skin around it. In addition, the antibacterial properties prevent infection or acne from forming.
DIY a mask by mixing one tsp. baking soda, one drop of oil, and one tsp. honey to form a paste. Rub this and wash after ten minutes.
- Prevents Premature Aging
Wrinkles and fine lines can be fought off by the citric acid and vitamin C components of lemon oil. The free radicals that cause premature aging and disintegrate the skin cells can make your skin dull and lifeless.
Combat skin aging with a mixture of 1.5 tbsp. of jojoba oil and five drops each of lemon and geranium essential oils. Place in a glass dropper bottle, screw the cap, and gently roll the container between the palms to blend. Use three to four drops and massage on your face and neck before bed.
- Natural Deodorant/Perfume
The oil has a fresh, clean scent that can mask smells, making it an all-natural perfume. Its sweat- and sebum-absorbing properties make it a natural deodorant as well. In addition, the antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties keep bacteria away.
Refresh your skin by creating a spray of five to seven drops of lemon essential oil, 1/2 tsp. Himalayan sea salt, one tsp. witch hazel, and a cup of distilled water. Make sure not to use it after shaving, as it will sting.
- Promotes Oral Health
Lemon oil’s antibacterial and antifungal properties make it a remedy for oral conditions like oral thrush, tooth decay, plaque, and bad breath. It can even be used to whiten teeth without the risk of tooth erosion.
Mix three drops of the oil with 1/2 cup water and 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Swish in your mouth then spit out after a minute.
- Soothes Dry Skin
During colder days, you can mix lemon oil with glycerin and apply on rough patches like elbows, feet, and hands before going to bed. The vitamin C in lemon oil helps in soothing the skin for a healthier feel. In addition, it also has polyphenols which are anti-viral and can help with cold sores.
A lemon oil balm can be applied several times a day to heal cold sores within six days completely.
- For Weight Loss
Most citrus fruits contain limonene, which can facilitate lipolysis or the breakdown of white adipose tissue. Therefore, lemon oil can help you lose weight by suppressing weight gain, dissolving body fat, and reducing appetite.
The therapeutic properties also help curb down false hunger pangs and sugar cravings and even soothe digestive problems.
Remember the Essentials
Get a high-quality lemon essential oil that is not diluted or synthetic, as this will ensure you that it’s pesticide-free. Before using the oil, do a patch test on your inner elbow with a drop of lemon oil and vegetable oil. Severe redness, itching, or irritation mean that you are possibly allergic to the lemon oil.
Also, lemon oil is highly-photosensitizing and can cause skin pigmentation, so do not go out in the sun after using it. Pregnant women should not be using it, too.