This popular summer highlighting trick causes more harm than good. Dr. Day dispels this myth and more.
Myth: Squeezing lemon and lime juice on your hair is a safe and natural way to create highlights.
Fact: It is natural but, it is definitely not safe! It can create blistering burns in the skin on other parts of the body even after only a short time out in the sun.
Here’s why: Lemons and lime, among other fruits and vegetables, help get you those highlights because they accelerate the bleaching effect from the sun due to an ingredient they contain called psoralen (pronounced soralen) that makes you exquisitely more sensitive to UV rays from the sun and also some wavelengths of visible light like blue light that are also emitted from devices like your cell phone or computer. That is how they create highlights in the hair, by accelerating the effect of sunlight on bleaching hair. It takes about 10 minutes to activate and become light sensitive and 24 hours for the chemical to deactivate. Once it’s activated in the skin, you can’t wash it off. I have seen blisters on the backs of hands and on the arms where the juice splatters on the skin as the lemon is squeezed onto hair, or into a drink or on the salad while sitting outdoors in the sun. The rash/burn comes out a day or two later and can take months to resolve.
Myth: Sun exposure will make your pimples go away faster
Fact: Sun exposure will evaporate the water out of your skin which will make it feel drier but it will also increase oil production from the sebaceous (oil producing) glands in the skin, which will ultimately make your pores bigger and will make you get more blackheads and whiteheads. Bottom line: tanning is bad for your skin, especially if you have acne.