We all know the lemon is high in vitamin C, and that taken with honey it's a traditional home remedy to soothe sore throats. It's also an essential ingredient in lots of sweet desserts, and adds a zing to cocktails and soft drinks alike.
But there's a lot more to the humble lemon than that: the adaptable citric has a number of cosmetic uses and is widely used in perfumery and aromatherapy, as well as having energising and revitalising properties. Even that's not the end of the story. Here are a few ways you can use this sour citric in your own beauty routines:
Cleopatra may have bathed in asses' milk, but she probably used lemons when she washed her hair. The Egyptians mixed water and lemon juice as a hair treatment as the citric acid helps break down and eliminate sebaceous fat. So if you suffer with greasy hair you could try incorporating lemon juice in the rinse water.
In the summer, natural blondes can try mixing the juice of a lemon with a quart of water and using it as a hair rinse or spritz for sun-lightened streaks.
If you live in a hard-water area, over time, the lime deposit on the hair cuticle deadens the hair's natural shine. Try using a special deep-cleansing shampoo every couple of weeks to eliminate the build-up, and add a few drops of lemon to the final rinse. You should soon find the lustre restored to your locks. Vinegar will also work, but doesn't smell quite as good!
Rough and dull skin on elbows, knees and heels can also be tackled with lemon juice – just cut a lemon in half and rub the cut surface over the affected area. The citric acid acts as a natural exfoliant and also helps to lighten the discoloured skin. Apply a moisturising cream afterwards and you should notice an improvement almost straight away. Within a month you'll be surprised how much softer and smoother your skin is.
Yellow nicotine stains on the fingers and nails are unsightly, but lemons can help here, too. Rub the affected areas with half a lemon every couple of days and you should soon see the colour start to fade.
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