Citrus – It’s not just for breakfast
There I was, sitting in front of my mirror noticing dark patches on the high planes of my face. I was sure my mirror was simply in a bad mood and I needed to come back later. We have an understanding. However, there staring back at me, my 36-year-old skin was showing signs of aging and I cursed the day the tanning salon was born.
Immediately, I ventured to Ulta to find a miracle product for age spots and my newly acquired fine lines. I noticed as I was perusing the aisles that most anti-aging products have citrus extract or Vitamin C.
Then came the Spanish Inquisition from the lovely attendant in the department. The questions started flying and I realized I had zero idea which product to look at because I knew nothing about my skin. I think she saw my frustration and finally asked more pointedly, “What exactly is the problem or concern?”
I took a deep breath and then the word vomit followed with wonderful hand gestures to really drive home my point – like I was casting a spell on my face. I proceeded to crush her twenty-something soul with my days of smearing Johnson & Johnson baby oil all over my body (to include my face) and her eyes got wider and wider.
After she recovered, she smiled politely and took me over to a product counter and selected about $250 worth of skin care. At this point, I was confident she was seeking revenge for the onslaught of word vomit I had just given her. I ran down the list of ingredients in the products and saw Parabens, Benzophenone, Triclosan and so many more words that seemed more for Jeopardy than putting on my face.
One ingredient that I did find repeated was Vitamin C. I asked my newly acquired side-kick what the benefits of Vitamin C were for the skin, and she gave me a crash course and suggested I look into natural avenues of approach if I was hesitant about chemicals in my skin care products.
She explained that as we get older, our skin becomes less elastic and those pesky wrinkles and age spots start to show on our hands, neck, and face.
Vitamin C not only strengthens the immune system, but helps keep skin smooth, supple, and bright.
In conjunction, lemons are extremely high in citric acid and are known for their detoxifying benefits. If you have acne, using lemon as an astringent can be an extremely helpful natural alternative. Citric acid is also a form of alpha hydroxy (AHA) which helps break down dead skin cells that lead to blackheads. Lemons also have an antimicrobial effect on the skin and help combat against inflammatory acne. Always dilute lemon juice before you use it on your face or body as it is highly acidic and can cause phototoxicity, or sensitivity to the sun.
Thus, my at-home trial and error began. I stopped on my way home and picked up a ridiculous amount of lemons and said a silent prayer I didn’t mess up my skin. I sat down with my friend Google and began researching products you can make at home with simple ingredients to receive the benefits of vitamins C, A, E, and D – which are loaded with antioxidants and other skin loving nutrients.
Did you know the pith and rind of citrus fruits contain a sensational vitamin-vitamin P? Vitamin P is a bioflavonoid and helps protect capillary strength allowing your body to absorb more vitamin C. So, in my mind I thought, “If JLO can do it…so can I!”
I started with a lemon face mask that was for minimizing acne, dark spots, and tightening skin. I had my lemon and egg whites out in-front of me. I mixed my ingredients accordingly, smeared it on my face, and waited the 15 minutes as prescribed. Yes, my cat tried to lick me several times. Apparently, I was delicious. You can also add 4-5 drops of rose water to the mixture for added benefits, but that is not something I have around. Now, Veuve on the other hand….
Then I started putting more lemons and limes in my ice water every day. Now, I HATE drinking water. I am a coffee girl. It is my go-go juice. However, once I started switching up how I took my water, I have been drinking my Zero Water container dry almost every day. My skin is getting brighter and more hydrated, and I feel better. I can see my skin is more subtle as well. In conjunction, my energy level is better – whereas when I drank coffee a lot, I would plateau at about 2:00 p.m.
Next, I tried a skin scrub. MY FAVORITE! I found this wonderful blogger, Just Elizabeth Ashe, who is right here from sunny Florida! She has this fabulous Citrus/Almond scrub that she has on her page and is suggested for elbows, knees, face, and other rough areas. Ladies, holy cow! My skin was so soft after! In addition, she has milk cleanser with lemon toners, citrus bath spa and so many more fabulous little treats for you! Check her site. It is a good one.
One thing I did have an extra good time with was when I was peeling lemons. I had some ribbons sitting on my cutting board and started squeezing them. Have you ever done that? Hold it up to the light and you will see a mist of citrus oils come flying out of the skin. I won’t lie, I started fooling around like a child. I called my husband into the kitchen and marveled, “Look, Brian! It squirts like perfume.”
I squeezed it onto my skin, and I smelled like a lemon. So naturally, I grabbed every citrus fruit I had and started spritzing citrus oil all over my skin. Note, I do not have any citrus allergies, so this was perfectly safe for me to do. Once I smelled like a Bath and Body Works store, I decided this would now be something I do after I cut my lemons up in my water. Waste not want not, right? Move over Chanel, here comes Orange Grove Goddess!
So, what are the takeaways from my great lemon escapade?
First, I discovered I like a more natural approach to skin care. I have been seeing results from doing my weekly egg white and lemon mask. Don’t get me wrong, I still like my go to serums, but ever since I started incorporating my lemon mask, I have seen a real difference.
And, as obvious as it seems, drinking more “Earth Juice”, as my daughter calls it, has given me a real boost in energy and I feel lighter and not so heavy. My attitude and clarity seem to be on the up and up as well. I am proud of my 36-year-old self and my skin, as it seems to be responding well to the changes I have made. In conjunction, I am having fun discovering what I can create at home with natural products I’m personally curating out of my favorite citrus fruits in a more cost-effective way. It is a nice little craft to do with my daughter as well. So citrus-self down, ladies, and give the natural road a try. If anything, you will smell AMAZING!