10 Home Remedies To Remove Dark Spots On Face With Lemon Juice

Tips and tricks to get clean, blemish-free skin with this commonly found ingredient.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Suchana Marahatta, MBBS, MD (Dermatology) Dr. Suchana Marahatta Dr. Suchana MarahattaMBBS, MD (Dermatology) facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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Age is not the only reason why you develop dark spots on your skin. Exposure to sunlight, pollutants, or hormonal imbalances can also cause discoloration, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. With many people ditching over-the-counter creams for natural remedies, you can try some lemon juice for your dark spots. They are high in vitamin C and antioxidants which may be effective in treating hyperpigmentationi  A common, generally harmless condition in which certain areas of the skin develop dark patches due to excess melanin. (1). In this article, we delve deeper to explore how to remove dark spots on the face naturally with lemon juice.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Certain medicines like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugsi  Non-opioid painkiller drugs that are typically used by people to manage mild fever, reduce swelling, and prevent blood clots. (NSAIDs), antimalarials, tetracyclinesi  A group of drugs used to control several bacterial infections, such as cholera, malaria, syphilis, and acne. , and psychotropic drugsi  A drug that alters how the neural system functions, which might influence one’s mood, awareness, intellect, or behavior. cause overproduction of melanin that can lead to hyperpigmentationi  A common, generally harmless condition in which certain areas of the skin develop dark patches due to excess melanin. or dark spots (15).

How Is Lemon Juice Effective In Removing Dark Spots?

Woman using lemon juice for skincare
Image: IStock

Our skin produces melanin, a pigment responsible for its characteristic color. Certain factors cause this pigment to be produced in excess, leading to pigmentation and dark spots. One major cause of pigmentation is excess exposure to sunlight (2). Other factors like hormonal imbalance, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, gastrointestinal disorders, and stress can also lead to dark spots.

Lemon juice is a natural ingredient that can be used alone or in combination with other skincare ingredients to help lighten dark spots. The citric acid in the juice has similar bleaching properties as other OTC products. Its natural acidity makes it work as an organic bleaching agent, which can reduce dark/brown spots gradually.

The vitamin C in lemon juice works by inhibiting melanin production (also called melanogenesis). The nutrient is often used to treat skin hyperpigmentationi  A common, generally harmless condition in which certain areas of the skin develop dark patches due to excess melanin. and age spots (3).

Romi Rafiq, a blogger, shared her experience of using lemon ice cubes on her face for a week. She said, “Fast forward to the results, my acne marks faded away, and I also saw a noticeable improvement in the hyperpigmentation around my lips (i).”

Lemon also acts as an astringent, antioxidant, and antimicrobial agent (4), (5). This makes it effective in exfoliation and managing acne and acne scars. In the following section, we have discussed how to treat dark spots on the face with natural home remedies that contain lemon juice.

Note: As per anecdotal evidence, using lemon in excess could dry your skin out. Hence, do a patch test on your elbow before using it on your face. If you experience itching or skin irritation after a few hours, do not proceed with these remedies. Also, lemon juice can make your skin photosensitive. Hence, apply sunscreen before you step out.

10 Natural Ways To Use Lemon Juice For Treating Dark Spots

  1. Turmeric And Lemon Juice
  2. Coconut Oil And Lemon Juice
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar And Lemon Juice
  4. Parsley And Lemon Juice
  5. Cucumber And Lemon Juice
  6. Olive Oil And Lemon Juice
  7. Yogurt And Lemon Juice
  8. Tomato And Lemon Juice
  9. Baking Soda And Lemon Juice
  10. Aloe Vera And Lemon Juice

1. Turmeric And Lemon Juice

Lemon juice and turmeric for skincare
Image: IStock

Turmeric can enhance the complexion. A study showed that the topical application of a moisturizing cream containing Tumeric extract reduced the appearance of facial spots, fine lines, and wrinkles on human facial skin (6).

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of milk

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix all the ingredients to get a thin paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the affected areas and let it dry for about 10 minutes.
  3. Wash your face with lukewarm water.

How Often You Should Do This

Use this pack 2-3 times a week.

2. Coconut Oil And Lemon Juice

The antioxidants present in coconut oil reduce the skin damage caused by sunlight and pollution. Coconut oil also protects the skin from UV radiation and improves skin barrier function (7). The oil also moisturizes the skin and hydrates it.

You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops of coconut oil
  • 2-3 drops of lemon juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix both the ingredients and massage the affected area with the mixture.
  2. Let it sit for 20-25 minutes.
  3. You can either rinse it off with tepid water or use a soft napkin dipped in warm water to wipe it off.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this once every day.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also add green tea and sugar with lemon juice and coconut oil to make a scrub that helps remove the dark spots on your face.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar And Lemon Juice

Diluted apple cider vinegar and lemon juice can help get rid of dark spots
Image: IStock

Apple cider vinegar is believed to have toning and exfoliating properties. They may help slough off the cells on the skin surface, lightening the dark spots.

You Will Need

  • 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • Cotton ball

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the vinegar and lemon juice with water.
  2. Dip the cotton ball in this liquid mixture and apply it to the dark spots.
  3. Leave it on for 8-10 minutes and then rinse it off.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this a few times every week until the dark spots fade away.

4. Parsley And Lemon Juice

Parsley, like lemon juice, is rich in vitamin C. It may play a role in lightening dark spots on the face (8), (1). In another study, parsley was found to be equally effective in reducing dark spots as hydroquinone cream (9).

You Will Need

  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Cotton ball

What You Have To Do

  1. Add the chopped parsley to a teapot with the water. Boil for 15 minutes.
  2. Strain the infusion of parsley and add lemon juice to it.
  3. Let the liquid cool. Apply it to the dark spots using the cotton ball.
  4. Leave it on for around 30 minutes and then rinse with plain water.
  5. Refrigerate the leftover parsley and lemon juice infusion.

How Often You Should Do This

Apply it daily to your face to lighten the brown or dark spots.

5. Cucumber And Lemon Juice

Cucumber and lemon juice for reducing dark spots
Image: IStock

Cucumber contains antioxidants and silica that help in the gradual lightening of the dark spots (10). The fruit may also rejuvenate your skin.

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of cucumber juice
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Extract fresh cucumber juice and add lemon juice and honey to it. Mix well.
  2. Apply the mixture to the dark spots and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Wash it off with water.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1-2 times a day.

6. Olive Oil And Lemon Juice

If you have freckles or age spots caused due to prolonged exposure to UV rays, olive oil can help. In a study, the SPF (sun protection factor) of olive oil was found to be the highest among the oils tested (11).

You Will Need

  • 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the oil with the lemon juice and apply to the dark spots.
  2. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse off with water.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this 2 times a day.

7. Yogurt And Lemon Juice

Studies show that facial masks containing yogurt may help in skin brightening and provide moisture (12). This may help lighten dark spots over time, though more research is warranted.

You Will Need

  • A few drops of lemon juice
  • 3-4 tablespoons of plain yogurt

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply lemon juice to the dark spots and let it dry.
  2. Apply the yogurt on top of the dried lemon juice and cover the dark spots.
  3. Leave the yogurt on for 10 minutes and then wash it off.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

8. Tomato Juice And Lemon Juice

Tomato contains lycopene and beta-carotene, antioxidants that are known to protect the skin from sun damage (13).

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the two juices and apply the mixture to the dark spots.
  2. Leave this on for 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse off with water.
  4. Pat dry and apply a suitable moisturizer.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

9. Baking Soda And Lemon Juice

Baking soda and lemon in skin care for reducing dark spots
Image: IStock

Anecdotal evidence suggests that baking soda can act as a good exfoliator. The grainy texture of baking soda can help exfoliate the top layer of the skin that has the spots. In the process, it could reveal the lighter part of the skin present below it.

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • A few drops of lemon juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Add some lemon juice to the baking soda powder to get a paste.
  2. Apply this paste on the dark spots.
  3. Leave it on for 3-4 minutes and then wash your face.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this every day.

10. Aloe Vera And Lemon Juice

While there is limited scientific research on the effectiveness of aloe vera in reducing dark spots, some of its active ingredients, like aloin may exhibit skin-lightening properties that may help in reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots (16). Combining aloe vera with lemon juice, which is high in vitamin C, may make for a great skin-brightening combination.

You Will Need

  • 4 tablespoons of aloe vera gel (freshly scooped from the plant or store-bought)
  • A few drops of lemon juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the aloe vera gel with a few drops of lemon juice.
  2. Apply the blend to the dark spots.
  3. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once every day.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can also make a face mask mixing 1 teaspoon each of lemon juice and Fuller’s earth with 2 teaspoons of rosewater. Apply this mask to your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes to lighten the skin.

Note: It is difficult to say how long these remedies will take to remove dark spots on your face because it depends on several factors like your skin type and skin condition, as well as how that particular ingredient works on your skin.

Infographic: Alternative Natural Methods To Use Lemon Juice To Treat Dark Spots

Having dark spots and rough skin is getting more common today. No wonder the internet is flooded with queries about how to get rid of dark spots on the face and the market is flooded with creams, lotions, and serums that promise to remove dark spots. However, you may find equally effective ingredients in your kitchen that help fade spots and blemishes with minimal to no adverse effects. The infographic below shows a few home remedies for face packs that use lemon juice to lighten dark spots. They are simple to prepare and can be found in your kitchen. Take a look.

alternative natural methods to use lemon juice to treat dark spots (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Constant exposure to pollutants, sun, or hormonal imbalances may result in dark spots. Lemon juice for dark spots is one of the natural remedies you can opt for instead of over-the-counter creams. Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that act as a natural bleaching agent to reduce hyperpigmentationi  A common, generally harmless condition in which certain areas of the skin develop dark patches due to excess melanin. and dark spots. You can combine lemon juice with turmeric, coconut oil, tomato, or baking soda to reduce dark spots over time. Remember to avoid going out in the sun with lemon juice on your skin as it may make it sensitive to UV rays (14).

Frequently Asked Questions

Does lemon juice permanently lighten the skin?

No. Lemon juice has natural bleaching properties. However, it cannot be used to cause radical changes in your skin tone. Although your complexion may lighten a few shades, this effect is not permanent.

What happens if you leave lemon juice on your skin overnight?

Lemon is strongly acidic, so it is best not to leave it on your skin overnight, especially if you have sensitive skin. It can cause redness and irritation.

Can I apply lemon directly on my face?

Lemon juice is highly acidic, and the skin on our faces is delicate and sensitive. Applying lemon juice directly on the face can disrupt the natural pH balance of the skin, leading to irritation and damage. If you want to use lemon juice on your face, dilute it with water or mix it with other ingredients mentioned in the article to create a face mask.

Are there any specific precautions I should take when using lemon juice on dark spots?

When using lemon juice on dark spots, take the following precautions to avoid any adverse effects on the skin. Avoid going out in the sun for extended periods and moisturize your skin with a hydrating moisturizer to prevent dryness and irritation.

Key Takeaways

  • The natural acidity of lemon juice functions as a natural bleaching agent to help with the elimination of dark spots.
  • When added with baking soda, it helps exfoliate the skin.
  • Lemon juice may also increase the photosensitivity of your skin, therefore always apply sunscreen before going outside.
  • To gradually lessen dark spots, you can mix lemon juice with tomato, coconut oil, turmeric, or baking soda.
lemon juice for dark spots

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Make your own lemon oil for a healthy and clear complexion. Follow this easy video for a step-by-step recipe for the natural remedy.

If you experience any adverse reactions or find no change in the symptoms, please visit your doctor.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Are Natural Ingredients Effective in the Management of Hyperpigmentation? A Systematic Review, The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5843359/
  2. Skin Hyperpigmentation in Indian Population: Insights and Best Practice, Indian Journal of Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5029232/
  3. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health, Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/
  4. Development of a lemon cutting machine, Journal of Food Science and Technology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4252431/
  5. Phytochemical, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities of different citrus juice concentrates, Food science & nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4708628/
  6. Topical turmeric extract in a moisturizing cream formula reduces the appearance of facial spots and fine lines and wrinkles on human facial skin, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
    https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(09)01591-6/fulltext
  7. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils, International journal of molecular sciences, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/
  8. Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging, Dermato-endocrinology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/
  9. The efficacy of topical use of petroselinum crispum (parsley) versus hydroquinone cream for reduction of epidermal melasma: a randomized clinical trial, Holistic Nursing Practice, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27902522
  10. Potential role of Unani medicinal plants in management of Kalaf (Chloasma): A review, Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/335227969_Potential_role_of_Unani_medicinal_plants_in_management_of_Kalaf_Chloasma_A_review
  11. In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics, Pharmacognosy research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140123/
  12. Clinical Efficacy of Facial Masks Containing Yoghurt and Opuntia Humifusa Raf. (F-YOP), Journal of Cosmetic Science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22152494
  13. Tomato paste rich in lycopene protects against cutaneous photodamage in humans in vivo: a randomized controlled trial, The British journal of dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20854436
  14. Lime-induced phytophotodermatitis, Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4185147/
  15. Drug-induced skin pigmentation. Epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11705252/
  16. On The Novel Action of Melanolysis by a Leaf Extract of Aloe vera and Its Active Ingredient Aloin, Potent Skin Depigmenting Agents
    https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-0031-1298406*
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Dr. Suchana Marahatta
Dr. Suchana MarahattaMBBS, MD (Dermatology)
Dr. Suchana Marahatta is an associate professor and permanent faculty in the Department of Dermatology in B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), Dharan, Nepal. She has 10 years of experience, and her special interest areas are dermatosurgery, hair restoration, aesthetics, and tropical dermatology.

Read full bio of Dr. Suchana Marahatta
Arshiya Syeda
Arshiya SyedaSenior Editor
Arshiya Syeda is a senior editor at StyleCraze with 7 years of experience. Prior to that, she was a content writer and combined her writing and research skills to write over 200 high-performing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and skin care.

Read full bio of Arshiya Syeda
Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze with 11 years of experience in writing and editing. She has authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She graduated from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal, and did her post-graduation from the University of Kalyani, West Bengal.

Read full bio of Ramona Sinha
Swathi E
Swathi ESenior Beauty & Lifestyle Writer
Swathi has a postgraduate degree in English literature from The English And Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, and over three years of experience in writing on beauty, health, and lifestyle. She also has a diploma in English journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Kottayam, and is a certified skincare coach.

Read full bio of Swathi E
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