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20 Amazing Things You Can Do With a Lemon

When life gives you lemons, use their zesty juice on anything and everything.

With their weight-loss powers, secret uses, and refreshing scent, lemons are our favorite Sour Patch Kid. Not only are the yellow orbs rich in 100% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C—a powerful antioxidant that lowers your cardiovascular disease risk and can also boost fat-burning by up to 25%—but they're also way more versatile than you can imagine.

To find out how lemon juice can help you look and feel your best, check out these surprising uses for lemons. And for more tips, don't miss these 15 Ways to Lose Weight with Lemons.

Wave goodbye to acne

middle age woman to see a mirror

Ever wondered how to get rid of pesky pimples and the ugly marks they leave behind without breaking your piggy bank at the dermatologist's office? Luckily, your solution costs pocket change and is probably already in your fridge! Lemons are perfect for erasing pustules, blackheads, and their leftover scars.

All you have to do is dip a cotton ball into freshly squeezed lemon juice (you only need about a tablespoon!) and then rub it on the affected area for about five minutes each day. The fruit is naturally styptic, which can stop the bleeding and its acidity will kiss inflamed acne goodbye.

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Take a dip into the fountain of youth

woman looking at red acne spots on chin in mirror, upset young female dissatisfied by unhealthy skin

If your less-than-stellar skin is making you look a decade older than you really are, turn to your lemon's mighty juices. Patting lemon juice on your skin will help tighten it and smooth out fine lines. To further your efforts of aging gracefully, consider avoiding these Worst Foods That Wrinkle Your Skin.

Scrub away imperfections


Instead of spending big bucks on fancy scrubs, make a homemade version. Simply squeeze a whole lemon into a small Mason jar and then add enough granular sugar until the mixture becomes thick. Then, splash your skin with warm water and exfoliate away! This natural DIY scrub will keep your face and lips baby smooth.

Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!

Erase your elbows' dark spots

Two women friends meet in a street with bare hands. Instead of greeting with a hug or handshake, they bump elbows instead

Many folks suffer from hyperpigmentation on their elbows and underarms, but how many people actually know that this discoloration is easily treatable? Not many, we'd say. Here's the easy trick: After a shower, dip your elbows in fresh lemon juice or rub a slice on your underarms. If you do this every day, the fruit's bleaching properties will work wonders!

Lighten your locks

Mature older woman eating an apple with great skin

Ever dreamed of becoming a blonde bombshell? Well, now you can—without a trip to the hair salon. If your hair is on the lighter side (sorry, raven-haired gals!), you can use the juice of a lemon on your locks twice a week to lighten them. Don't have enough lemons for your entire head? Nuke the uncut fruit for 15 seconds in the microwave for twice as much juice.

Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.

Remove unwanted hair

Woman going to bed.

To make homemade body wax, squeeze the juice of one whole lemon and add it to a half cup of sugar. Pop the blend in the microwave until it turns brown; keep stirring until it's sticky. Before you spread it on, let the wax cool down a bit. Now all you need is a few cloth strips, and you'll be on your way to silky, smooth skin.

Amp up hair health

Attractive Asian woman serious about her brush for presentation hair loss problem and looking at comb.

Speaking of hair, make sure the strands on your head are on their A-game. Rubbing your scalp with lemon juice and leaving it in to work its magic for a half hour before you wash your hair can strengthen your locks, get rid of dandruff, and make your tresses shine! For more ways to keep your hair in mint condition, check out these 30 Best and Worst Foods For Healthy Hair.

Fix a patchy tan

Woman scratching arm indoors

Don't you hate when the summer sun tans your feet and hands a little too much? To get rid of sock- and glove-like patches, mix lemon juice with water and baking soda, and then exfoliate the affected areas with the mixture. Because lemon juice and baking soda have bleaching properties, the two can help tone the skin.

Whiten teeth

woman looking at her teeth in the mirror

Forget Crest Whitestrips! To achieve a pearly white smile, mix a bit of lemon juice with baking soda, dip your toothbrush in it, and scrub—but only for a minute! You can repeat this every other day for a red carpet-ready smile.

And for better oral health, stay away from The 6 Worst "Healthy" Foods for Your Teeth.

Pamper your nails

Manicure nail

If you're the type who always has their nail game on point, you're aware of how discolored your nails can get after you remove the polish. To prevent that unsightly yellow hue, soak your claws in a bowl of lemon juice diluted with water for a few minutes. In no time, they'll be bright and back to health.

Add it to H20

Woman drinking lemon water to be hydrated

Detox water is incomplete without lemons. The citrus' skin is loaded with D-limonene, an antioxidant that helps liver enzymes rid of flush toxins from the body to help you feel your best. So go ahead and pop the peel into your glass, too!

Add lemon slices to tea

hot tea with lemon

Here at Eat This, Not That!, we're huge fans of tea. The antioxidant-rich beverage is perfect to wake up to, drink in between meals, and some brews can even help you sleep better. So what can trump this tried and true drink? Simply add lemon to your morning brew for a debloating vitamin-rich detox tea.

Preserve avocados and apples

Woman slicing avocado

Ever wondered why your guac wasn't exactly green after a few hours? You can blame the phenolic compounds present in the healthy fat-rich fruit; when these compounds are exposed to air, they oxidize, turning your avocados (and apples, too) from an appetizing to a not so appealing hue real quick. To ensure your avocado toast is Instagram worthy, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice to counteract the oxidation process. Your followers will thank you.

Get rid of a hangover

take off discomfort glasses after long wear and massages nose bridge

Let's face it: Hangovers are the reason we consider nixing alcohol forever. But once the weekend rolls by and you find yourself at another bar at 2 a.m., you may want to jot this one down for the morning. Two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice plus one teaspoon of sugar mixed into eight ounces of water will save you from a massive headache and an upset tummy.

Improve your concentration

Woman is stressed tired and cant focus on her work

Fitness and nutrition expert Jay Cardiello swears that the scent of lemon oil can increase alertness and improve your concentration. But for a quick practical fix for when you don't have the essential oil on hand, try boiling water and adding lemon juice. We totally recommend giving it a shot next time you're in need of some extra brainpower.

Don't miss these 30 Best & Worst Foods for Your Brain.

Relieve stress

Stressed frustrated young asian businesswoman reading bad email internet news on computer feeling sad tired

For instant stress relief, reach for some lemons rather than a box of frosted donuts. Why? Vitamin C-rich lemons help decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol. So if you find yourself in a hair-pulling sitch, calm your nerves by stirring up some homemade lemonade (with a few extra spritzes of lemon) and snack on one of these 5 Best Foods That Fight Stress.

Banish tummy issues

Young African Woman Lying On Sofa Suffering From Stomach Ache

If you regularly suffer from nausea, indigestion, and constipation, consider ditching processed foods. But if your diet is already pretty clean, try adding a few drops of lemon to your meals. The small yellow fruit helps purify the blood and flush your digestive tract to help you feel like your best self again.

Lower your blood pressure

blood pressure monitor

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is harmful because it can lead to heart failure, kidney disease, and stroke. Lower your risk of these scary ailments by drinking potassium-rich lemon juice diluted in water.

And potassium isn't only beneficial for high blood pressure. The electrolyte plays "a key role in hydration in our muscles and tissues, which helps with muscle contraction and relaxation, and is also crucial for muscle health and recovery," explains Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition.

Soothe a sore throat

Honey dripping from honey dipper in wooden bowl

Whenever my throat was sore as a child, the one thing I'd look forward to was my mother handing me a tablespoon of honey with fresh lemon juice to suck on. Although the treat was obviously yummy, it was meant to soothe the pain—and it certainly did. So next time you're bedridden and can't ignore a raw aching throat, head straight to the kitchen.

Suppress your appetite


Lemons are wonderful appetite suppressants because they're packed with powerful pectin fiber, which helps increase satiety. A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition discovered that those who ate just five grams of pectin felt fuller.

For more, check out these 108 most popular sodas ranked by how toxic they are.

April Benshosan, MS
April is a born-and-raised Brooklynite who has a passion for all things health, wellness, and tastebud-related. Read more about April
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