When Life Gives You Lemons, Make A Face Mask

You've finally won the war against acne. No more breakouts, oil production is under control, and you are simply glowing with your new, fresh, natural look. There's just one thing...those incredibly noticeable dark spots left over from the final bad breakout that plagued your face. Fighting dark spots is an everyday battle for most of us, especially for anyone with darker skin tones and many over the counter products focus on eliminating redness in spots as opposed to brightening the spot. Plus, all those serums can quickly add up in price. Luckily, I have a fantastically affordable alternative.

I give you: lemon juice. This well-known skin lightener can be bought for as little as three lemons for a dollar at your local grocery or you can purchase pre-squeezed juice in an adorable, easy-to-use little bottle. The best part about this natural remedy? It works on all skin types and skin colors. The second best part about this natural remedy? Your skin loves vitamin C and the more you seep into your pores, the better. Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals (that's why you crave a tall glass of orange juice when you're sick!) and is a powerful antioxidant. In addition to warding off the flu, it can be used to strengthen cell growth and firm up your skin—it's a natural warrior in the fight against wrinkles.

According to Wellnessmama, vitamin C is crucial for your body because it creates healthy, durable skin and has major anti-aging properties chemists wish they could compete with. Here are three of my favorite ways to use lemon juice on my skin! Just be careful—you always want to dilute with water so the acidity doesn't burn you.

Even Skin Tone / Brighten Dark Spots

I always keep a bottle of lemon juice handy to keep my skin tone even and youthful, stocking up about once every two months. You'll notice a difference in a matter of weeks and, because this only requires a cotton ball drenched in lemon juice, this is the easiest part of my beauty routine. I use lemon juice on a freshly washed face (before applying any oils) and keep it there for the whole day, but it will be just as effective as a toner if you only leave on for a few minutes and rinse. If you have a lighter skin tone, be sure to use an SPF before going out into the sun! Also, if you are a freckled friend, be mindful that lemon juice can also lighten freckles. For extra beauty boosting power, add vitamin E to your vitamin C and set those dark spots free.

Anti-Aging and Wrinkle Treatment

If you're already hard-core about vitamin C, purchase a powder form to make your own DIY serum. Facial serums tend to be the priciest of all skincare (this kale serum is retailing for over a hundred bucks right now), but can be easily made at home in just a few simple steps. Use 1/2 teaspoon of the powder and about a tablespoon of water—be diligent about these portions to prevent skin irritation. Store your new serum in a dark container to prevent the vitamin C from oxidizing and keep at a low temperature (the fridge is a perfect home for your new beauty treat!).

Remove Blackheads

Blackheads are one of the most annoying things to get rid of. If you've had it with awkward nose strips that either fall off immediately or take two hands to painfully rip from your skin, then this treatment will be your jam. Just mix baking soda, water, and lemon juice into a paste and add plain, unflavored yogurt. (If you aren't about that dairy life, use coconut milk or unflavored coconut yogurt—lactic acid is the key ingredient we're looking for here). Apply this to a freshly washed face, leave on for about 5 minutes, and rinse well.