Acne is never fun, no matter how bad it is or how often you get it. You might have tried a lot of at-home remedies with the hope of finding a miracle solution, maybe even putting baking soda on the face every day, but can lemon and baking soda clear your skin?
Although baking soda and lemon are widely touted as natural cures for acne, they may actually irritate your skin and make your breakouts worse.
Lemon Juice for Acne
The plus side to lemon juice is that it's an all-natural, inexpensive product that you can easily buy at the store. However, science doesn't suggest that you'll see any significant results using lemon juice directly on your skin. The fruit itself may burn your eyes due to its acidity, and it can also strip your skin of its natural oils (which could potentially make your acne worse).
Acne is often caused by a disturbance in your skin's natural pH levels, whether this comes from stress, hormones or the food you eat. With any treatment, you'll want to be extra careful about disturbing your skin's pH even more, which will only exacerbate the problem.
According to a 2018 study in the Molecules journal, the use of citric acid skin peels can result in swelling and drying of the face, especially if you use them too much or too frequently. If you're curious about this method and really want to try it for yourself, start with a very tiny amount of lemon juice to test your skin's response to it. You'll know after using it for a few days whether you experience an adverse reaction.
You can also try applying a citrus essential oil, which is totally safe to use in moderation — though you may also find it upsets your skin's pH levels. Trial and error can help you determine whether lemon can cure your troubled skin.
Bicarbonate Soda and Lemon for Skin
Like lemon, baking soda is widely touted as a miracle cure for acne, but does it really work? Unfortunately, little research has been done on the specific effects of putting baking soda on your face every day. It can be abrasive for your skin, actually causing more breakouts due to irritation.
Again, if you're set on trying this for yourself, start small. Use only a pinch of baking soda in your moisturizer one morning or night to see how your skin reacts. But if you overdo it, you may end up doing more harm than good.
Read more: 6 Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid
Baking Soda and Lemon Alternatives
Luckily, there are plenty of natural treatments for acne that have stronger scientific backing. Herbal remedies like rosemary and tea tree can be safely applied to the skin in oil form, and you'll also find them as ingredients in many store-bought skincare products.
Try using tea tree essential oil or lavender oil (in small doses) to treat your breakouts rather than baking soda and lemon. And when in doubt, your dermatologist can help you find a natural solution that works for you in the long-term.
While acne can be frustrating, each person's skin is different — so what works for you may be different than what works for others. Try a variety of natural remedies to figure out what can help you look and feel your best.
- The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology: "Skin Surface pH in Acne Vulgaris: Insights from an Observational Study and Review of the Literature"
- Molecules: "Dual Effects of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids on the Skin"
- International Journal of Molecular Sciences: "Biological Activities and Safety of Citrus spp. Essential Oils"
- Jundishapur Journal of Microbiology: "Medicinal Plants for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: A Review of Recent Evidences"