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Lemon essential oil is a great example of turning to basic nature for healthy living solutions. Lemons are available in abundance everywhere, and their oil has earned their rightful spot in the list of must have essential oils. From its wonderful smell, to its powerful compounds, lemon essential oil is used for everything from healing cuts to cleaning floors, and from rejuvenating the skin to detoxing the body. Are you ready to find out more?
What Is Lemon Essential Oil?
Lemon essential oil is made out of – you guessed it – lemons! Now while many essential oils are extracted from obscure plants with impossible to pronounce names, lemon essential oil is produced from the familiar yellow citrus fruit, by cold pressing the peels. Cold pressing means the peels are squeezed under high pressure at room temperature, the same way you might squeeze the lemon itself for lemon juice. Lemon oil can be made by pressing it at a high temperature, but this reduces the quality of the oil and removes many of its nutrients, so make sure your bottle says cold pressed on the label.
While it is not known where exactly lemons first originated, lemons have been used by the ancient Indians, Egyptians and Romans as a treatment against infectious disease. Today, they are grown all over the world, and are one of the most widely used citrus fruits in the world. And it’s a good thing that they grow so many of them, since it takes about 75 lemons to make one small 15ml bottle of lemon essential oil!
The main compound in lemon oil is a compound called limonene, which is responsible for its iconic smell, as well as for most of its uses and benefits. It also contains high levels of Vitamin C. If you thought that lemons were only good for lemonade, read on to see what else they can do!
Benefits Of Lemon Essential Oil For Skin
Having been used for thousands of years in salves and treatments of wounds, lemon oil is a powerful antiseptic that can help prevent infection and reduce inflammation. If you have a fresh minor cut or scrape, try diluting a few drops of lemon oil into a bowl of water, dip a washcloth in the mixture, and press it to the affected area for 10 minutes. Make sure to dilute it or it will sting! You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil to help soothe the pain.
Lemon oil is also a great astringent, meaning that it helps tighten up the pores in your skin, and keep excess oil from seeping out of of your skin. While it may seem counter-intuitive to fix oily skin by rubbing even more oil on it, one drop of lemon oil mixed in with 5 ml of a carrier oil such as jojoba oil can help tighten up the skin pores and help your body regulate sebum (body oil) excretion, and restore smooth and healthy looking skin.
If instead of oily skin, dry skin if more of your problem, you’re not alone. Almost everyone experiences some sort of dry skin with the weather changes, from chapped hands or dry flaking legs. A few drops of lemon oil mixed in with 15 ml of jojoba oil is an excellent moisturizer. Apply some before going to bed, and you’ll wake up with smoother, soothed, and healthy feeling skin. This is due to the high levels of vitamin C in the oil, which is a crucial vitamin for skin care.
After any application of lemon oil, avoid direct sunlight and UV rays to that area for up to 12 hours after, as burning and itching may occur.
Using Lemon Essential Oil To Treat Acne
While many essential oils work great for acne, you’re going to want to choose one depending on what type of skin you have: dry, normal, or oily. Lemon oil is a particularly good choice for people with oily skin. Like we discussed above, it works as an astringent, so it helps tighten the pores and reign in those overly productive sebaceous glands that are producing all the extra oil. It is important to prevent the sebum oil from building up, because when it does, it clogs the pores, trapping all of the impurities.
This clogged impure environment helps bacteria thrive, causing minor infections, inflammation and acne. The antiseptic and antimicrobial properties in the lemon oil help kill the bacteria, anti inflammatory properties help bring down the inflammation, and its special exfoliating properties help remove the dead skin cells, making it a very effective and thorough acne treatment. To treat acne, try mixing a few drops of lemon oil into a small amount of a carrier oil such as jojoba oil, and apply it to the affected area before going to sleep. Don’t apply during the day if you are going to be going out into the sun.
Benefits of Lemon Essential Oil For Hair
In congruence with its ability to help with oily skin, lemon oil can also help tighten up the over active pores in the scalp, and help cure an oily scalp and oily hair. Nobody likes to have oily hair, so if you’re looking to get rid of it, mix a few drops of lemon oil into a carrier oil like avocado oil or jojoba oil, massage firmly into your scalp, and then rinse it out after an hour or two with a natural shampoo. Since lemon oil is a great exfoliator, as well as moisturizer, this same process can help get rid of your dandruff, too!
I would like to stress how important it is to rinse it out with a natural shampoo. The chemicals in most commercial shampoos, such as dimethicone, are directly linked to damaging the scalp and causing dandruff (as well as many other problems). So between cutting out the chemicals and treating yourself with lemon oil, you should be right on track to a healthier scalp!
A hot oil treatment is another great option for your hair, regardless of hair type. This will give your hair an incredible shine, improve the elasticity, and tame those split ends. Mix a few drops of lemon oil into a tablespoon or two of a light oil such as jojoba or almond oil. Fill a bowl with hot water, and place the bottle of oil into the bowl for a few minutes to warm it up. Then, massage the oil firmly into your scalp for several minutes, using firm circular motions.
The warm oil will open up your pores and really sink into your scalp, giving it a much needed deep treatment. Then apply a light layer of oil to the rest of your hair, and cover your hair with a shower cap. To really lock in the warmth for maximum absorption into your scalp and hair, wrap the shower cap with a warm towel (soak a towel in hot water and then ring it out until it’s not dripping). After 30 minutes or more, wash out the oil with a natural shampoo. Do this weekly or twice a month. Even if you have greasy hair, this hot oil treatment should help regulate your scalp production of sebum!
— My Soapy (@mysoapyshop) March 10, 2017
How To Make Your Own DIY Lemon Essential Oil
You know what they say: “When life gives you lemons, make lemon essential oil.”
Fortunately, it’s almost as easy as making lemonade! Start with a grating the peel of an organic lemon into lemon zest. If you don’t have an organic lemon, scrub the peel extremely well to remove any pesticides and chemicals, since you really don’t want those toxins to be part of your concentrated essential oil. Fill a small glass jar with the lemon zest, and fill the rest with olive oil, using a rough 1:1 ratio. Shake the bottle well, and then store in an area that gets lots of direct sunlight, such as a windowsill. Leave it there to ferment for a few days, shaking the bottle once a day. After 3 days or so, strain the content through a strainer or a cloth, and store in an airtight container. That’s all!
Since homemade essential oils are not produced in fully sterile environments, they are not safe for ingestion, so keep that in mind. You’re homemade oil should last in an airtight jar for about 6 months. If you are pregnant, take any medication, or want to use them with your children, consult with your doctor before using any sort of essential oils – even high quality ones that you purchase from a trusted source.
I can’t think of a reason that any household shouldn’t keep a bottle of lemon oil around. After fixing up your skin and hair you can then use lemon essential oil to clean stains, scrub floors, repel bugs, and so much more!. If you are looking for an essential oil that smells great, is made out of something that you can recognize and pronounce, and is a super effective way of dealing with basic physical problems we all struggle with, go out, get some lemon oil (or make it), and see what it can do for you!