Lemon on Face: Why Shouldn’t You Apply It Directly?

HK Vitals

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

The internet is flooded with DIY tips and an average user is inundated with different ways in which lemon on face should be used to treat a variety of skin problems right from treating fine lines and wrinkles to getting rid of whiteheads and spots. Lemon is a common kitchen ingredient and comes pretty cheap, but does it mean applying lemon on face to our heart’s content will solve all our skin woes? Is lemon really safe for the delicate skin of the face? Let’s find out!

Can We Apply Lemon on Face?

Lemons contain a handsome amount of Vitamin C which is cited to be a magical ingredient for the skin. But is using lemon on face akin to using a product containing Vitamin C? Not exactly! A Vitamin C-based skincare product typically contains lemon juice as one of its ingredients and has been manufactured with a processed, consistent amount of it that is safe to use. A lemon on the other hand cannot possibly contain the same amount of Vitamin C as required. In fact, no two lemons can contain the exact same amount of acid in them.

While Vitamin C does help fight acne, skin spots, pigmentation etc; it is also an acid that can burn the skin. Using a skincare product that contains a safe amount of concentrated Vitamin C is far more effective than simply applying lemon on face directly.

How unsafe is using lemon on face? 

There are several benefits of lemon on face when it is diluted and used with other ingredients, but, it can cause a few skin problems if you don’t follow the right method of using it. Skin irritation is the most common reaction to using lemon on face. Other common dangers include dryness, peeling, and redness but there can also be much more far-reaching effects like:

1. Phytophotodermatitis

All natural ingredients need not necessarily be harmless. This is one misconception that we need to break. Exposure to the sun with Vitamin C on the skin can lead to severe sunburn and result in blisters, scarring, burns, welts, and a lot of pain. 

Citrus substances, when exposed to UV rays cause an inflammatory reaction and becomes a nasty skin irritant. While the hazard-causing compounds can be removed with processing, this is not possible if you use a DIY skin treatment that involves directly using lemon on face.

2. Chemical Leukoderma

Repeated exposure to certain chemical compounds contained in lemons in uneven quantities can do more harm than good for the skin. You may think of it as a solution to treat your freckles or dark spots but it may lead to uneven white spots throughout your face, and those that are permanent. This condition is known as chemical leukoderma and it is not a pretty sight to witness.


In conclusion, applying lemon on face can offer some benefits for the skin when diluted or used in a face pack, it is essential to exercise caution and perform a patch test before using it. If you experience any adverse reactions, it’s best to avoid applying lemon directly on your face and seek advice from a dermatologist for alternative skincare options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is lemon on face harmful?

Ans: Lemon is highly acidic in nature and can result in dryness, skin irritation, burns and may cause sun damage on exposure to sun. It is thus not advisable to use lemon on face.

Q2. Is lemon on face effective in treating dark spots? 

Ans: Lemon on face does render some bleaching effects however, it can cause severe skin reactions including but not limited to phytophotodermatitis – whitening of the skin in patches. 

Q3. How can I use lemon on face?

Ans: Using lemon on face is not advisable. You should instead incorporate lemons in your diet.

HK Vitals


All Healthkart products are manufactured at FSSAI approved manufacturing facilities and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please read product packaging carefully prior to purchase and use. The information/articles on HK Vitals (www.hkvitals.com or subdomains) is provided for informational purpose only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your doctor or other healthcare professional. These statements are not ratified by any government agency and are for general guidance only.