Limes aren't just the tart fruits of the Citrus aurantifolia tree -- they're also tiny powerhouses of vitamins and nutrients. The benefits of limes aren't limited to culinary delights, either. The nutritional content of limes can be put to use improving the internal and external health of your face and skin when applied topically or ingested.
Facial blemishes caused by acne occur when dirt, oils and dead skin cells clog your pores. Bacteria trapped in facial pores causes inflammation and contributes to redness and soreness. Cleansing your face with lime may help keep acne-causing bacterial growth at bay. Limes possess natural antibiotic properties, as noted in the results of a study published in the November 2006 issue of the journal "BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine." When researchers exposed a variety of bacteria, including E. Coli and Staphylococcus aureus, to lime oil, the results showed inhibited growth of these bacteria.
Astringents cause a minute, temporary tightening of muscles. For this reason, astringents are used to improve the appearance of facial skin and are found in a number of commercially available beauty products. They're used to tighten pores and temporarily reduce oil production for a clearer, brighter complexion. Lime oil has astringent properties when applied topically, according to author Dorie Byers' "Natural Beauty Basics."
Removes Dead Skin
Acid peels slough off dead skin cells. This popular beauty treatment is a staple of spas and has been used for centuries as an at-home remedy for improving the appearance and health of facial skin. Limes are a citrus fruit and as such contain citric acid. In addition to adding flavor and aroma, the citric acid found in limes helps remove dead skin from your face. Without dead skin hiding the healthy skin cells underneath, your face looks more vibrant and clear. The prompt removal of dead skin also prevents the sloughed cells from clogging up your pores which can help reduce flare-ups of acne and blemishes.
From the Inside Out
When your body processes nutrients, they oxidize. The results of this process are molecules that have an uneven number of electrons and are called free radicals. Free radicals start a chain reaction within your body, causing other molecules to oxidize. This entire process leads to a degradation of cells, which contributes to aging and damaged tissues. Certain vitamins, including vitamins A and C, act as antioxidants. Antioxidants absorb the brunt of the free radical chain reaction and allow them to be passed harmlessly from the body via the urine. According to the USDA National Nutrient database, 100 grams of raw lime contains 29.1mg vitamin C and 50 IU vitamin A. Adding limes to your diet can reduce free radical circulation within your body, leading to reduced tissue damage and fewer signs of aging, which in turn can lead to a brighter, more youthful complexion.
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Growing 'Tahiti' Limes in the Home Landscape; Jonathan H. Crane, et al.
- "BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine"; In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Some Plant Essential Oils; Seenivasan Prabuseenivasan, et. al.; November 2006
- "Natural Beauty Basics"; Dorie Byers; 2001
- "The Spa Encyclopedia"; Hannelore R. Leavy, et. al.; 2003
- "The Tropical Spa"; Sophie Benge, et. al.; 2004
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Limes, Raw
- "Clinial Anatomy and Physiology for Veterinary Technicians"; Thomas Colville, et. al.; 2008