Refreshing Limes

Bursting with fresh, citrusy, uplifting aromas, lime juice is great for overall health and gorgeous skin! Read on to find out more…

Squeezed on food and in refreshing beverages, sliced and enjoyed in green or black tea, savoured in chutneys….limes are delicious for their sourness, tartness and freshness. Apart from their uplifting aroma and zesty taste, they also have health benefits when consumed and skincare benefits when applied topically.

Believed to have originated in India, limes—locally called nimbu—were apparently transported by Arab traders to the East Mediterranean in about the 10th century. The fruit then spread to different countries, and now grows across the world and is valued for its taste and health-giving benefits.

Wellness from Within
Limes are a good source of Vitamin C that has a spectrum of benefits from boosting immunity to promoting healing of skin and absorption of iron. “Freshly squeezed lime juice mixed in warm water is an easy beauty and health boosting juice to drink first thing every morning. It improves digestion and gets the body system and metabolism going. It is a mild diuretic, thereby reduces bloating. The Vitamin C in it helps give the skin a natural glow and boosts immunity. Further, lime also contains pectin, a natural fibre that helps improve blood sugar levels,” says Dr. Kiran Lohia, Dermatologist, Lumiere Dermatology. Lime juice mixed with water may also be consumed during the day, with no or minimal sugar, for maximum benefit. Squeezed on fruits and salads, it enhances their taste, adds value and reduces oxidation.

Explaining the role of Vitamin C for health, Dr. Lohia adds, “It is a vital co-factor in the body’s metabolism and is also important for the creation of collagen—a significant protein in the connective tissue. This connective tissue forms the structure within and around the bones, joints, skin and vessels. It keeps one alive, functioning and young. Furthermore, it is proven to help protect against colds and mild viruses. Vitamin C can truly improve one’s immunity as well.”

Topical Application
Apart from consuming lime water, lime juice also has benefits when judiciously applied topically. “Lime juice can function as a mild chemical peel given its acidic nature, forcing the surface layer of the skin to slough off naturally. Vitamin C that it contains is a proven anti-pigmentation, anti-aging and antioxidant agent,” says Dr Lohia.

However, as lime juice is acidic in nature, it must be diluted before use or else it could lead to redness and/or peeling of the skin and/or a burning sensation. It may be diluted with glycerine, yogurt, milk or cream of milk. Further, any blend with lime juice should be applied at night and not during the day, as it can cause a skin reaction if used just before stepping into the sun. The blend may be used on young and mature skin types, however it should also not be applied on sensitive or irritated skin.

Lime essential oil, obtained from the zest of lime, also has benefits. Its refreshing and uplifting aroma makes it ideal for use in aroma lamps well as in blends with carrier oils for massages. As lime oil has antiseptic properties, its use in a blend helps heal the skin. So the humble lime may be used in many ways to derive the many benefits of
its goodness!

Dermatologist Dr. Kiran Lohia, practices clinical and cosmetic dermatology at Lumiere Dermatology Clinic, New Delhi. She shares a few simple tips regarding using lime juice for skincare.

Dry Skin: For cleansing and exfoliating, blend ½ teaspoon of lime juice, a teaspoon of milk cream, and a teaspoon of rosewater. Apply gently apply with round circular motions on wet skin and then wash off.
For nourishing, blend ½ teaspoon of lime juice, a tablespoon of yogurt, a few drops of glycerine and a few drops of a carrier oil like sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil or coconut oil. Add a drop of rose essential oil for a touch of luxury. Leave on for 10 minutes then wash off.

Oily to Normal Skin: For cleansing and exfoliating, mix ½ teaspoon of lime juice with ¼ teaspoon of fine walnut powder, ½ teaspoon of besan (chickpea flour) and a tablespoon of yogurt. Apply and rub off very
gently. Use as a natural scrub once or twice a week. For simple cleansing, use the same blend without the walnut powder.

Normal Skin: For nourishing, blend ½ teaspoon of lime juice with a tablespoon of yogurt. Leave on for 10 minutes and wash off

Oily Skin: For nourishing, blend ½ teaspoon of lime juice, with a tablespoon of milk. Leave on for 10 minutes and then wash off.

Sensitive Skin: Avoid using lime juice on the face.