How does lime work in skin cleansers?

By: Alexander Page

Lime does a lot more than add a refreshing, citrus scent to cleansers -- it also has the ability to help smooth out your skin's appearance. See more pictures of unusual skin care ingredients.
© Snowden

Citrus scents generally make for some popular fragrances, and lime is no exception. After all, they're refreshing, and they tend to make us think of warm, sunny weather. Citrus fruits are good for us too, which makes us associate their scent with a healthful lifestyle. It's no wonder, then, that we use lime to flavor our food and add zest to our beverages -- even to give Coca-Cola its unmistakable aroma. We also use it to make many skin cleansers smell good.

There are many reasons why limes in particular make a great addition to skin care products. They resemble lemons in their shape and size, but limes have a much stronger aroma. People capture that aroma through the distillation of chopped limes, which produces lime oil [source: Britannica]. The oil can then be used as a fragrance in skin cleansers and other cosmetic products.


The other great thing about limes is that they happen to be high in vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. As a result, lime oil and products containing lime oil can actually help smooth skin tone and reduce the appearance of dark spots [source: Wright]. If you want to see just how effective this can be, take two apples and cut them up. Squeeze a lime on one and nothing on the other. Within minutes, the apple without any lime juice on it will start to turn brown as a result of oxidation, but the lime-treated apple will remain fresh because the added antioxidants neutralize the oxidation process.

So not only do limes have an invigorating scent, but they also might help you look better -- making them a useful addition to cleansers. For more information on substances that are good for your skin, check out the links on the next page.


Lots More Information

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

  • Encyclopedia Britannica. "Essential oil." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. (Accessed Sept. 28, 2009)
  • Wright, Suzanne. "Beyond First Blush: An Up-Close Look at Natural Skin Care Products." WebMD. March 17, 2009. (Accessed 09/08/2009)