If you’re cooking with lemons, you’re probably using their juice. But what do you do with the peels? Most of us just discard them, but you can get more bang for your buck by using them for a simple hack. So, when life gives you lemons, make lemon peel powder! Lemon powder is useful for many things, from cooking to cleaning — but our favorite hacks are probably beauty-focused. Beauty products are expensive, and often filled with unnecessary chemicals we don’t want or need; while lemon peel powder is cheap, all-natural, and most importantly, good for your skin and hair. Keep reading to learn the benefits of lemon peel powder and how to make it.
Beauty Benefits of Lemon Peels
The oils in lemon peels are rich with vitamins and minerals that can bolster your beauty routine. Here’s how lemon peels can naturally benefit your skin and hair.
Lemon peels’ antioxidants and vitamin C can make skin look more radiant and stimulate the production of collagen, which tightens skin and helps keep wrinkles and sagging at bay, says Cosmedica Skincare. In addition, their citric acid has exfoliating properties, keeping your skin smooth and clear.
The vitamin C and collagen boost from lemon peels benefits your hair as well as your skin. Collagen keeps hair follicles strong and healthy, laying the foundation for growth. Lemon peels also have anti-fungal properties that can keep dandruff from building up, says the Miami Hair Institute.
How to Make Lemon Peel Powder
Want the beauty benefits of lemon peels in a pinch? Make them into an easy-to-apply powder. Check out instructions for how to make it from Lifestyle blog Homestead and Chill. (They recommend using organic lemons, as non-organic ones may have chemicals on the outside that you don’t want on your skin or in your hair.) Here are the steps to make lemon peel powder.
- Wash your lemons thoroughly, then use a vegetable peeler to remove the rinds. (Make thin ribbons, doing your best to avoid the bitter white pith.)
- Lay out your rinds on a baking pan or cookie sheet.
- Preheat oven to lowest possible temperature setting.
- Bake rinds until crisp and totally dry, easily breaking. This may take from several hours to a whole day. (If you live in a dry climate, you can air-dry rinds first, cutting down on oven time.)
- Grind rinds finely using a coffee grinder, blender, or food processor. Sift through fine mesh strainer, if needed, to have a fine powder.
- Put in an air-tight glass container and store in a dry, cool place for up to a year.
How to Use Lemon Peel Powder
There are many ways to use this (literal) golden powder. You can use it for cooking or baking, says Pam Farley of Brown Thumb Mama. Sprinkle it on pasta, salads, and meats, or combine it with herbs and spices for a custom blend. Farley also notes you can use it for cleaning — mix it with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, castile soap, and water to make a gentle scrubbing solution. Or, employ it as a cheap and powerful beauty hack. Keep reading to see how lemon peel powder can make your hair and skin look their best.
Try Farley’s sugar scrub. Combine 2 tablespoons lemon peel powder with ½ cup granulated sugar. Mix, adding a tablespoon at a time of avocado or coconut oil, until you reach the desired consistency. Massage mixture over wet skin in the shower and rinse. (Be careful — the shower floor may be slippery from the oil.) The mixture can be stored in an air-tight container for a month.
Combine lemon peel powder with coconut oil and massage into scalp for 5-10 minutes, letting it sit for an additional 10 minutes, recommends The Wellness Shop. Rinse out with mild shampoo and lukewarm water.
So, the next time you make a delicious shrimp scampi for dinner or lemon bars for a picnic, set your used lemons to the side. Armed with this new information, you can use the peels to make an aromatic, natural beauty scrub for your skin or hair. You deserve it.