Lemons for Skin Brightening?
Lemon juice is very popular amongst the "do-it-yourself" community as a natural skin brightener, but is it safe? Let's explore that question.
The outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, is encased in an acid mantle-- a highly acidic, protective barrier between the skin and external environmental factors. The pH (or level of acidity of the skin's acid mantle) is between 4.5 and 6.5. When disturbed, the mantle may become susceptible to bacteria in its weakened state and produce skin irritation in the form of phytophotodermatitis (sensitivity to UV light), hyperpigmentation or scarring.
Lemon juice contains citric acid - a fruit acid which has a pH of 2-3. The lower the pH, the higher the level of acidity (and greater potential for skin irritation). Moreover, citric acid is typically found in concentrations of 5-10% in lemon juice-- percentages that are used in chemical skin peels and generally not considered safe for at-home use.
A gentler alternative to the use of lemons can be found in Lemon Peel Bioferment Extract, a natural, skin brightening ingredient made by fermenting an entire lemon with Lactobacillus- a bacteria that lives in healthy internal tracts. Lemon Peel Bioferment Extract can be found in our Happily Ever After Eye Gel and With This Kiss...Lip Brightening Balm.