Exfoliating With Lemons Is A Skincare Trend You Should Probably Skip - Here's Why

It's a known fact that exfoliating is a crucial part of your skincare routine. Not only does exfoliating leave you with silky-soft skin, but it can also be integral for the rest of your routine. When you exfoliate, you are getting rid of all of the dead skin cells and leftover product that accumulates on the skin. Once you've gotten rid of dead skin cells, your skincare products can better infiltrate the skin, making them more efficient and productive. A lack of exfoliation will hold these dead skin cells on top of your skin, meaning the rest of your routine will affect only this dead layer. However, when it comes to exfoliation, there are still plenty of myths and misinformation that can prove to be damaging.

Incorrect exfoliation can be too harsh for your skin, giving you more problems than you had before. One of the main causes of incorrect exfoliation is using the wrong type of product. The right exfoliating product will depend on your skin type and how much your skin can withstand. Recently, ingredients like lemons have become a trendy new exfoliating product that some claim can create wonders for your skin. But like many viral skincare trends, the lemon exfoliating trend can be damaging to your skin and create major irritation. Thankfully, there are other ways to exfoliate your skin without having to resort to harmful viral tactics.

Skip the lemons

While lemon might be an ingredient in many of your skincare products, it's not the best for exfoliation. Not only are lemons acidic, but they can be too harsh for your skin. Lemon is a potent ingredient in any product, but on its own, it can burn and irritate the skin due to the high levels of acidity. When you use an exfoliating product that contains lemon, it's typically formulated in a way that makes the lemon stable and useable. 

If you simply chop up a slice of lemon and use it to exfoliate your skin, you are creating an unpredictable ingredient that contains dangerous levels of acid for your skin. According to Lab Muffin Beauty Science, if you step outside after using a lemon slice as an exfoliant, the lemon will burn your skin and can create patches of discoloration.

Using lemon on your skin can also disrupt the environment beneath your skin. Since lemon is acidic, it can create an imbalance in pH levels and ruin your skin's natural oils (per The Zoe Report). This trick will leave you with dry and irritated skin that will be difficult to remedy. Although there's no doubt that lemon can be a beneficial skincare component, you want to be careful to use it in a way that's tested and controlled. Using a product formulated for skincare is the best way to get the benefits without burning your skin. Avoid this viral trick and stay away from the lemons if you want healthy and clear skin going forward.

How to safely exfoliate your skin

Exfoliating doesn't need to be a challenging or harsh activity for your skin. The best exfoliating product will depend on your skin type and needs. Those with oilier skin will typically be able to use harsher exfoliants and chemical exfoliants without risking irritation. If you have sensitive skin, you'll want to start with a mild physical exfoliant and notice how your skin reacts to the product. Those with sensitive or dry skin should focus on using an ingredient like mandelic acid, which can exfoliate the skin without you having to worry if it's too harsh or you're scrubbing too hard.

When it comes to manual exfoliating, you need to consider how hard and often you are scrubbing. Chemical exfoliants don't require any added motion on your part to exfoliate the dead skin. Unfortunately, many find chemical exfoliants to be too harsh for their skin. If you opt for a manual exfoliant, you want to use gentle circular motions when scrubbing and avoid over-scrubbing one area for too long. 

Keep the product moving around, as over-exfoliation can cause inflammation and discoloration, especially for those with darker skin types. You don't need brushes or other tools for exfoliation; simply use your hands for a more careful approach. Once you've finished your exfoliation, always follow up with a hydrating moisturizer to help soothe any irritated skin.