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6 Easy Ways to Use Lemon Oil for Skin in Your Beauty Routine

From cleansing to toning, and even as part of your anti-aging beauty regimen.

Lemon Oil for SkinWhen we think of lemon oil or lemon essential oil, its refreshing natural fragrance immediately comes to mind. It turns out that lemon oil has a range of beauty benefits too that make it a popular ingredient in natural skin care products. Not only does it cleanse and tone your skin to make your morning routine less of a chore. It has long term benefits that help leave your complexion more refreshed and balanced for the long run. Here are the top uses of lemon oil for skin, as well as how to immediately start using it on the daily.

Benefits of lemon oil for skin

  1. Cleanses skin

We’re done with harsh cleansing ingredients that strip our skin’s glow away. For a degreaser that removes dirt and excess oil without drying out your skin, consider using a natural ingredient like lemon oil!

Lemons are rich in citric acid that exfoliates skin and remove dead skin cells that can put a damper on your glow. It’s naturally antibacterial too, so rest-assured your pores are getting a thorough cleanse with this essential oil. Another bonus is that it’ll leave your skin with a natural glow (more on that later), so it’s finally time to put that dull morning complexion to rest!

We love DIY, but the thing with lemon oil is that there are plenty of natural cleansers that already make use of this skin care gem. Here are our top picks:

Lemon Rose Cleansing Oil from Meow Meow Tweet
Time to stop rubbing your eyes while washing your face, this cleansing oil is designed to gently remove stubborn eye makeup. It’s a savior for people with dry or sensitive skin! It has a refreshing lemon, rose scent that’s sure to relax more than just your skin.

Blue Chamomile and Lemon Oil Based Cleanser and Makeup RemoverBlue Chamomile and Lemon Oil Based Cleanser and Makeup RemoverBlue Chamomile and Lemon Oil Based Cleanser and Makeup Remover from Captain Blankenship
Thanks to the lightweight sweet almond oil and sunflower oil in this cleanser, it works well for even people with oily skin. It effectively removes eye makeup, and doubles as an eye serum too!

Meyer Lemon + C Creamy CleanserMeyer Lemon + C Creamy CleanserMeyer Lemon + C Creamy Cleanser from Andalou Naturals
Cruelty-free, gluten-free
Who knew a face cleanser could provide such a pampering treatment? Manuka honey, fruit stem cells, and lemon oil combine to soften skin and lift grime out of your pores. The result is a more lifted and luminous complexion.

  1. Tones skin

Thanks to the rich dose of citric acid in lemon oil, it also makes a great face toner. What citric acid does is serve as an astringent. When applied to your skin, it helps to tighten your pores and promote a more even skin tone. That makes it less likely for excess oil and bacteria to clog your pores, so it’s an especially ideal ingredient for acne-prone skin.

To make your own lemon toner, simply add ½ cup of rosewater and 3 drops of lemon oil to a spray bottle. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil too if you’d like, or a few drops of witch hazel for extra toning power. Mist the mixture over your face after cleansing, then moisturize. We recommend only using your lemon toner at night, as citric acids cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun! Remember to follow up with sunscreen the following day.

  1. Fights acne

We mentioned that lemons are antibacterial and natural astringents. These two traits make lemon oil a powerful acne-buster. It’s a handy ingredient to keep in your bathroom cabinet if bacteria and excess oil keep on invading your pores and giving you breakouts. By keeping your pores tight and clean, citric acid helps ensure your complexion is blemish-free.

Lemon’s brightening effects (see more on it below) might also help you tackle your acne scars too. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help quell redness too from an existing breakout. Simply use a lemon oil cleanser or toner in your daily beauty routine to help keep those pimples at bay.

  1. Balances oily skin

Over-cleansing your face with stripping ingredients can actually dehydrate your skin and cause the overproduction of sebum. By serving as a gentle cleanser, lemon doesn’t strip away natural oils that keep skin balanced. Tired of your face feeling greasy all the time? Lemon oil leaves your skin feeling refreshed and light. It tightens your pores, thereby helping to prevent excess sebum from spreading all over your skin.

Hate the feeling of oily skin at the end of the day? Spritz on an Energizing Citrus Mist to keep your glow on without all that extra grease.

  1. Brightens skin

If you’ve used any skin care product with lemon in it already, you’ll wonder how exactly lemon leaves your skin looking brighter. Lemon not only helps to restore your skin’s radiance right after application, it also works to boost your glow in the long run. By promoting hydration and protecting against UV damage, vitamin C keeps your skin looking radiant and smooth.

Just remember that since vitamins aren’t oil-soluble, they aren’t actually present in lemon oil. Looking to get that extra boost in glow? Massage a face serum containing lemon extract or vitamin C in it before you get your beauty sleep, and wake up to a softer, dewy complexion.

Brightening SerumBrightening Serum from 100% Pure
Cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free
When life gives you lemons, get your skin glowing with it! This serum is packed with lemon juice and lemon extract, along with other skin-brightening botanicals to help enliven your skin, without any harsh synthetic chemicals.

Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum from Eminence Organics
This serum gives aging skin extra support from hydrating hyaluronic acid and antioxidant-rich vitamin C. Apply a few drops of this serum to your face daily for a more plump and even skin tone.

  1. Fights aging

When we talk about an anti-aging routine, we aren’t trying to shame you into turning back time for your appearance. Your skin needs all the support it can get as it ages. Exposure to UV rays and pollution causes the formation of harmful particles called free radicals that damage skin cells, leading to wrinkles and other signs of aging. And with declining levels of collagen and moisture, your skin really needs that extra boost to feel and look healthy.

To help lessen the effects of aging, look for antioxidants in skin care that help prevent against and treat existing damage. Lemon oil has been shown to have significant antioxidant activity, meaning that it neutralizes free radicals and helps protect your skin cells.

Lemon Oil MoisturizerLemon Oil MoisturizerTry adding a few drops of lemon essential oil to a carrier oil such as argan and jojoba oil, and massage the mixture into your face at night for an easy DIY anti-aging regimen. Alternatively, you can finish up your routine with a lemon oil moisturizer to help repair damage and moisturize your skin overnight.


As with any natural remedy or new ingredient, make sure to first patch test or only use a small amount of lemon oil on your skin. Lemon oil causes photosensitivity. To best enjoy its beauty benefits, only use lemon oil products at nighttime, and follow up with sun protection the next day. What’s your favorite way to use this natural skin care ingredient?

It’s hard to keep track of the best natural remedies for skin, so we’re on a mission to introduce all of them to you:

9 Best Oils for Face Wrinkles to Add to Your Anti-Aging Routine: Thanks to their enriching nutrients, these oils help smooth out your skin and prevent long term damage.
Beginner’s Guide to Using Prickly Pear Oil: This highly prized plant oil really lives up to its reputation with its rejuvenating properties.
Marula Oil Benefits for Skin and How to Use it for Anti-Aging: An ancient beauty treatment to defend your skin from daily damage. 

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