Lemon Juice or Lime Juice for Pigmentation

What it does: Lightens freckles and mild pigmentation over time.

How to do it: Cut the lemon or lime into slices, and rub a slice directly onto the affected skin. You can also squeeze the juice first if you prefer.

Dab juice straight onto freckles or dark blemishes. (But whatever way, remember to use fresh! This is all-natural and will not stay effective for long.)

Leave on skin until dry. Wash off with water.

Why it helps: Lemon and limes have high acidic content. It is this acid that exfoliates the top layer of skin, increases cell turnover, and over time helps to fade pigmentation and freckles.

86 Replies to “Lemon Juice or Lime Juice for Pigmentation”

  1. ya, you are correct but dont you think that more acids present in lemon are sometimes not tolerable by many ppl and they may even make the skin worse..

    please comment..

  2. i think lemon should not be used directly…….always use a base to dilute it like water/ honey/ besan/ curd etc…this way it work the best without hurting your skin. One can also mix lemon juice in oil to have a massage………… 🙂 i hope it will help others who are confused .

  3. load of shit.
    stop bringing peoples self esteems down you racist pigs.
    drker skinned people are fine the way they are..they dont need to be lighter.
    websites like this piss me of!

    1. this isnt even about dark skinned people you twat what is going on in your head????
      it is about people who need help with skin belmishes i am not dark skinned and need help because of the medication i am taking its not all about your opinion~!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. it’s not talking about people with dark skin, it’s to help people with uneven skin tone or pigmentation you moron..

    3. it doesn’t say black people u closed-minded idiot
      some people are just trying to work on blemishes and scarring
      some medication and injections cause abnormal darkening as well, so maybe one part of their face is darker than the other

    4. This is for lightening freckles or old acne scars that leave the skin discolored not to lighten as you put it “darker skinned people” had you read the entire article you’d know that. Use your intelligence & read the entire article instead of commenting without full knowledge.

    5. Um I think they just meant in terms of helping improve the quality of your skin and making it more even … Not changing the colour of your skin entirely lol

    6. U decided to come on the website besides it not saying bieng dark skinned is bad or shit there jus tryna help people who prefer to be light skin if websites like this piss u of why are u on it reading the content. So ignorant lol u don’t even know what ur talking bout

    7. Its.for.acne. No ones is being racist you paranoid, misunderstanding. Makes me sick to think there are people like you.

  4. I’m 52 years old, I noticed some pigmentations on my face (shadowy and freckle like brown spots). I decided to try some home remedy before going to the doctor. I tried to gently rub a slice of lime to the affected area, leave it for a few minutes, rinse, pat dry with soft towel and apply my regular moisturizer. I tried it 2 times a week for a month. The effect was very noticeable. The shadowy portion was gone and the brown spots became lighter. Now, I do it regularly on a weekly basis. Lime rub is now part of my daily skin care regiment not only on my face but to my elbows, knees, arms, legs and armpits.

    1. hey rosalie.. great to hear about your remedy.. could you please update us as to the progress since your last post.. thanks. i am considering embarking on a lime treatment for my pigmentation. any updates would be great. thanks.

    2. You’ve convinced me. I used to do a baking soda/lemon thing on a scar I had and it helped a little bit after 2 weeks, but I wanted instant results. But I guess some results is better than no results. I will do a weekly/biweekly mask, too!

    3. Thanx for share this home remedies..it’s really very helpful for me..becoz I have also pigmentation around my lips..

  5. Just to clear this up (no pun intended!), hyperpigmentation is darkening due to acne or other skin diseases, NOT just having dark skin. So getting rid of it? DEFINITELY not racist.

  6. yeah i agree i need help because my skin has gone dark in areas because of the use of oral contraception, this has nothing to do with racism fk sake this is for queations and answers so sht up
    ‘your a shithead’ twat. only say something on here if you need help not abuse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. ACTUALLY…I know this is an old thread, but had to comment. Upon doing some research online it seems that many many people use lemon as a lightening agent for skin…these are Black, Brown, etc. folks. Maybe y’all aren’t aware of this, but it is a sad truth. An even sadder truth is that beauty culture absolutely brainwashes people with the idea that light skin is more beautiful. Everyone is jumping on this poster, but his/her reaction is totally understandable. If he’s wrong, that’s great! I’m glad to hear that’s not what this post is about. But he is in no way stupid/ignorant/etc. for assuming this. Using lemon to whiten/lighten skin on people of color is a common belief and practice, and that is what is racist.

    1. Understandable…but tell me this. Was it necessary for him/her to jump the gun and say “racist pigs”? And did you notice the other bringing anyone’s “self esteem” down? I didn’t. If he/she took their time to read what was written, then he/she wouldn’t have gotten the negative feedback. It is in fact idiotic how he/she replied. I understand the replies are harsh…but then again, you reap what you sow.

  8. Grind oatmeal, add lime or lemon juice, honey and almond oil. Make a past and apply it to your face. Leave it for 15 to 20 min. Your skin will look shinner, smoother and the dark spots will get lighter. I have been doing this for the past week and I could see results.

    1. hi this is a question for mina. do you think your remedy will work for pigmentation? also do you know what the almond oil and oatmeal are for as i am unaware of their properties

    2. Hi Mina.

      Your idea for the face paste sounds really good and I want to give it a go but I’m not sure about the measurements needed to make it. If you would be able to give it to me, that would be greatly appreciated(:

  9. Even if people of darker skin tone want to lighten their skin, why is that racist? If they want to do it, it’s their business. Why is it that it is perfectly acceptable for a light-skinned person to go tanning, but when a dark-skinned person wants to get lighter, they are criticized? Is that not a complete double-standard?

    1. Wow, very interesting point.

      I believe it may have something to do with the history of minorities with European domination. Dark people wanting to be light is often seen as a sign of European brain-washing or a sign of being dominated by white Europeans — as if, in order to feel beautiful or accepted, you must try to look as much like your dominators as possible.

      But every race wants to alter their skin colour. East asians find beauty in being the most pale.

  10. Like the earlier commentors pointed out…it’s generally useful as a topical agent for people with blemishes brought on by lots of sun exposure over the years or hormonal shifts brought on by pregnancy.

    Because of the association with ‘aging’ a lot of people find it undesirable. it would be more accurate to accuse these people of being ‘ageist’ than ‘racist’

    deep breath! 🙂

  11. lemon juice is very good for skin…drinking lemon water also helps in charm your face…. and also try some sandalwood and lemon juice paste..that makes you fair….

  12. OMG don’t try this immediately after extraction. It burns a little. Other then that, it felt like my T-zone was a little less oily. And it smells very fresh..

  13. Thanks for the lemon tips, i suffer from freckles as i used to be in the sun alot as a child. One good thing lemons are great for is getting rid of germs on cutting or bread boards, rub a sliced lemon all over the board and it kills all the germs and leaves the board smelling fresh from (cutting veges and meat on them).

  14. I have fair skin. One day after being out in the sun too long I got a sunburn on my forehead near the scalp that was large and oval shaped. After a couple days it turned brown and splotchy and just looked weird, especially since it was so big and did not match the rest of the color of my face. I have been rubbing lemon juice on it (out of a bottle even though I think fresh lemon would work better) and on my entire face. The blotchy mark is fading away and my entire face is actually looking better as well. I have a more even skin tone overall, less acne, less blackheads on my nose, and just an overall brighter look to my skin.

  15. I have started sandal wood and lemon juice paste on my face by reading in online and i observed some change its a good skin whitener

    1. Wé black people , we sometime have a very strong dack in our skin the lime really helpful to make our dack more light and pretty. We need to take care of our skin . I wittness many black people that need to pay more attention to their skin but I never said nothing to them . I as black have the experience . Lime and vinegar and other liquid soap to clean our skin . Pour them in your bath , stay for 30 minutes then shrub your skin and your feet to keep clean and clear. Your pore can breath more and full of energy , vitamin …

  16. Hi,
    Could I just rub a fresh lemon on my problem area before going to bed so it penetrates deeply? Or is it better to let the lemon sit for a short period then wipe it off? Also, how long would it take for my discolored skin to even out?

    1. Hi Melle, if you don’t feel too much stinging or get excessive redness from applying it on your skin, it should be alright to leave it on overnight. As lemon juice (or anything acidic) will make the skin more sun-sensitive, just take care to avoid strong sunlight immediately after and protect yourself with a good sunscreen.

  17. This idea really works. I believe in natural remedies and I am impressed with your tips and points.

    Thanks for sharing.

  18. my skin is too oily. And the main problem is blackheads and pimples.I used to clear my face with estragent while coming from outside But it doesnt work .Now by reading your tips i applied lemon on my face.Does it works. Is my face gets free from this and become clear glowing.
    please reply me …..

  19. Lemons work very well to bleach ths skin and “even out” the scarring.

    To the above comment. I would also suggest adding cucumber to the mix for your skin. Do them both together, wait 15 mins, then add olive or coconut oil to your face. Let that stand for 15 mins, and use a hot rag over and over to steam off the oil.

    Most people think the oil causes pimples, this is not the case. So make sure you use the oil. Trust me, you will start getting complements on day one.

    For acne, look for hormone balancing foods (stay away from processed milk). Acne is much more likely to be an imbalance than from anything else. That is why you get it when you are a teen.

  20. Av used lemon and honey for 2 weeks n trust me my face is wow…baby like. I love the combination bt remember not to go to bed with make-ups on.

    1. Thanks for the information Nancy , I have pigmentation and trying to det ride of it and tried so much of creams and doctors….hopefully this works………..Thanks:)

  21. I THINK I have hyperpigmentation. I have spots, and recently (and still am) broke out in spots, and usually I squeeze them (sorry) and that leaves a scar obviously but there’s a good few I tried my best and left them but as they disappeared they just left a dark mark on my skin, I thought they would go away but nope still there!
    For the lemon thing, can I use it but leave it on? Because that’s what I’ve been doing, didn’t realise you had to wash it off, does it matter?
    They’re really annoying…I wake up every morning looking at my skin in absolute disgust, I had perfectly fine skin before the summer 🙁

    1. Hi Maggie

      If it doesn’t sting too much or cause excessive redness, it should be fine to leave on. But since our skin will secrete sweat and sebum (oil), eventually the acidity of the lemon juice will lessen to a point where it’s no longer exfoliating/peeling the skin cells, so it may not give so much extra benefit then.

    1. Like most other naturally-occuring acids, it should help superficial hyperpigmentation (epidermal), but will likely not do much for deeper skin discoloration (dermal). So it really depends.

      Hyperpigmentation from acne or spots tend to be more close to the surface/superficial if the initial injury isn’t too deep.

      Hope that helps.

  22. Hey,in summer m havng flawless skin,bt as winter starts my face gets blackheads nd pimple which leave scars! Plz guide me wil lemon turmeric mixture or lemon honey mixture wil be beneficial?

  23. the cream which my dermatology is given for pigmentation is just lighten my acne scar but I want to clear it off completely from my cheeks so if you could suggest me some good cream which can completely erase the marks from my cheeks as well as from my forehead

  24. Yes. I used lime every night its work!!!..better than clinique..I spend to much money ..clean doesn’t work for me ..or laser. . Save your money just used lime or lemon

  25. I have dry skin but also am freckled and have pigmentation on the cheek area of my face, will the lemon, lime juice dry my skin further if I use it to lighten the dark spots?

    1. Diane: It may dry your skin out a little bit. Perhaps use a rich moisturiser twice a day (after washing the lemon/lime juice off) or try this on one area of the skin to see how it reacts.

  26. About a year and a half ago I cut my leg, and the scar faded nicely, but then I started sunbathing, and now I’ve been left with a dark area around my scar. It basically looks like a thin white line where the skin was cut, then two tan lines on either side of that, then the rest of my leg is pale, so it is REALLY noticeable. My tan has faded since then, but this area is still dark. I’m not sure if this is considered hyperpigmentation, but I’ve been applying lemon juice every second day and it hasn’t had any effect. I’ve also been exfoliating the area. Sometimes I look at it and think it’s beginning to fade, but then a few days later it darkens again.

    Does anyone know if this is called hyperpigmentation and can anyone help me get rid of it?

    1. are you using a sunscreen? if you aren’t, you’ll make the problme worse and the affected area can get darker as lemon makes the skin photosensitive. You have to use sun-screen while using lemons for your skin

    2. My dermatologist said that a scar from a cut often will darken the skin
      with the use of straight lemon juice.

  27. I have pigmentation onmy forehead and both check . I’m using lemon hony and using overnight cucumber and lemon juice but in getting dark what shall I do I stop or continue.its just only four days. Plzz help urgent

    1. me too,i used lemon,it lightens but afterward it darkens the area again.i think we should used it for once a week only and do not leave it overnight.rinse it after 5 minutes

    2. are you using a sunscreen? if you aren’t, you’ll make the problme worse and the affected area can get darker as lemon makes the skin photosensitive. You have to use sun-screen while using lemons for your skin

  28. Hello.. Im 22.. I am having a serious problem with my face ..its totally well but i have a small dark brown hyper pigmentation mark of about quarter of an inch on my cheek causing to have n negative energy in me all the time. its a humble request to let me get rid of it pleaseeeeee.. i ll b highly glad to see the results.. guide me in how n when to use the product….thank u

  29. Hi! I’ve got skin pigmentation on both my upper check. It’s been three weeks now. I use lime and white vinegar diluted in equal parts of water. I put lime juice on my dark patches and leave it on for about 15-20 minutes. Rinse it water and i use the vinegar/water mixture as astringent let it dry and apply my night cream. In the morning i used the vinegar water astringent again and apply sunscreen. It really works. Now the dark patches are not so noticeable anymore.

  30. Hi Samantha,

    Thanks to reply immediately to my previous question about turmeric use.

    Could you please tell me, firstly, whether Lemon Juice is better for cheeks pigmentation or Any vinegar ( or any specific like apple or white or yellow vinegar?) is better to treat it? or I should use both as mentioned in ” Anonymous comment dated April 16, 2013″ ?

    Secondly, Can I use above mentioned acids followed by castor oil mixed with Turmeric as well?

    1. Hi Sumaila, both apple cider vinegar and lemon juice are good. As to which is better for fading hyperpigmentation, I’m not sure… However, lemon juice contains Vitamin C, which might give it an added boost in that department. On the other hand, vinegar is probably more convenient to use (no squeezing!), so I guess in the end it’s all about your own preferences. The most effective treatments are those that we can do, after all.

      If it helps you, I find that makeupalley is a good resource for user reviews (here’s the lemon juice page ). You’ll have to register to read more than the first page, but it’s pretty worth it. You can also do a search for apple cider vinegar and see what people say about it.

      And yes, you can use acids to exfoliate before using castor oil and turmeric. That would actually help them be better absorbed by the skin.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      1. Hi Samantha,

        Thank you so much for a comprehensive reply to my questions and useful resources recommendation. This is really helpful to me. Now I don’t have confusions any more and know well, what to use and how.

  31. Dear Samantha

    I was reading up your post on hypopigmentation where you used castor oil to heal it. Please let me know if you had areas of Hypopigmentation that went away from using castor oil. I desperately need your help and advice. Are you aware that there is another site vouching effective treatment of hypopigmentation by rubbing ginger root. I had tried that for a while but my skin is not taking too well to it. Redness and itching becomes too unbearable after some time for me.

    My hypopigmentation was caused by a matchstick burn. I do not have any scarring. Just hypopigmented while colour.

    Please help me.

    1. Hi sven90, yes I had both in my burn — hyper- and hypo-pigmentation. Castor oil healed both very well.

      Yes, I’ve read that ginger and turmeric are old remedies for vitiligo. If you can’t use ginger, why not try organic turmeric powder? There is some heat with turmeric, but it should be milder than ginger.

      Good luck 🙂


    2. I have been having great results on my skin with organic castor oil and lemon juice organic or lemon oil organic…I apply before i go to bed and wash this only in the morning…it really works for dark spots…

  32. Hello everyone 🙂
    I made my own face mask myself a few weeks ago and I am seeing nice results, my skin appears softer and lighter and when I apply foundation it blends in smoother than before. All the ingredients I used are natural and good for your skin. I created a mask that I’ve been wearing an hr a day, then I wash it off and apply a toner I also did myself.
    Ok so here it is and I hope you like it, the face mask will harden a bit on your face but I find no problems wearing it and just relaxing or distracting myself a bit like I am right now while I wear it 🙂
    So I blended these ingredients in the blender and keep it in a small container, make sure to keep refrigerated to keep it fresh.
    so first I made rice water. Put water and rice in a container and let it sit in the fridge over night.
    1 teaspoon Natural honey
    rice water and a teaspoon of soaked rice
    1 egg white
    few drops of vitamin E
    few drops of lime juice

    I don’t have exact measurements but I blended everything to a thick consistency, so easy on the rice water… if its too watery add more oatmeal, you want to make a paste that will stick to your face. Remember to cleanse your face thoroughly with mild soap and water before applying the face mask.
    When you put the mask on, on your dry cleansed face, first dab a small amount and just massage your face for a minute or so, the blended rice exfoliates your skin and makes it so soft. After that you can dab more paste all over your face and leave it on for an hr. After an hour has passed, wash your face with warm water until you get all the paste off.
    I apply a toner I made myself after this.
    The toner is very natural and easy. It is rice water with a few drops of lime or you can put the rice water by itself with a cotton ball. 🙂

  33. Hi Samantha!

    My skin is hypo-pigmented. There are white spots on the face (specifically the cheek area). Is Tumeric paste helpful to cure it or is lime a better option? Kindly suggest.

    Thanx & regards:

    1. Hi Pam, I think the best treatment might depend on what caused the hypopigmentation.

      If it’s from scarring, I’d advise you to focus on healing the scars (e.g. through healing oils like castor oil, coconut oil, etc). With time and patience, the skin will repair itself and normal pigmentation can return. I had a deep burn scar that healed with castor oil over 9 months, and as my scar healed, so did the hypopigmentation in it.

      If there’s no deep scarring, you could try fresh turmeric or ginger for several months. You can also read up on ‘babchi oil’ — though if you try this, be careful to dilute it and watch your skin’s reactions as it seems to be pretty powerful stuff.

      Here’s an excerpt from a book that says ginger can help with hypopigmentation and it boosts cell regeneration.

      Hope that helps.


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