The DIY Elbow-Lightening Treatment That Costs, Like, A Dollar

If you don't want to spend big money on lightening creams, stick your elbows in lemons!
Publish date:
July 8, 2013
DIY, bargains, brightening, lightening, lemons, elbows

When I was younger, I would always make fun of my mom for having really dark elbows (daughter of the year over here). I was 13 years old and thought that brown, rough elbows were something that happened to old people. But now I’m 23 and started noticing around age 18 that my elbows were pretty dark, too.

Most people I know don’t have elbows like this. I’ve been looking at a lot of my female friends’ elbows recently and they just don’t look like mine. Theirs blend with the rest of their skin while mine are black holes in the middle of my arm. I think maybe my mom didn’t really see this as a problem for her so she didn’t do anything about it beauty-wise, and therefore didn’t teach me how to deal with it either.

I’ve always been very lazy with lotion, maybe only applying it once a week (or less), and I’m told lotion is how you maintain pretty elbows and prevent nasty dark patches. But what if your elbows are already damaged? Before you can "maintain" them with lotion, you have to fix them first.

Mine have gotten to the point where they’re so dark and dry that I need to stop being lazy and do something about them. So, after a quick Google search and a visit to Dr. Yahoo Answers, I learned that a pretty common way to treat dark elbows is with lemons. We all know that lemons can lighten our hair, and the internet was telling me that it can do the same thing to my elbows.

Here’s what I’m starting with:

I know they aren’t terribly unsightly, but it’s something that has been bothering me for a while and this lemon method is really easy to do, so why not?

To start, you have to buy real lemons. I went to the store and bought six because I thought I would do this every day last week, but I did skip some days. (Also did you guys know that lemons are, like, five for a dollar?!)

When you get home, take a lemon (you don’t even have to wash it because you won’t be eating it), and cut it in half.

Set the halves on a table and then basically jam your elbow into each one, it will make little bowls for your elbows to sit in. This can get pretty messy because all of the juice will squeeze out when you shove your elbows in, so maybe put a towel underneath the lemons (I didn’t figure this out until the third night I did it).

Also, quick side note: some people may recommend exfoliating before you do this so the lemons are touching a fresh layer of skin. I didn’t do that because I waited to shower until after marinating my arms because I was covered in lemon juice (and also I hate showering, so I can’t even fathom taking more than one a day). However, if you do choose to exfoliate, this may work faster for you.

OK, so now that your elbows are chillin’ in the lemons, turn on some Dance Moms, and sit there anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. I did this four times in one week, and each time I sat for about 15 minutes, but it can’t hurt to do it longer.

Once I was done, I jumped in the shower to rinse off all of the juice/not smell like a lemon.

When I got out of the shower, I added my own special step to this process to moisturize my elbows and continue the lightening process. I got some LUSH Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter and slathered it on. The saleswoman told me that even though it’s called "cuticle butter," it’s really great for patches of dry/rough skin, and she was totally right. Plus, it has more lemons! The more the merrier!

As I said above, I did this four times in one week. And guess what?? I think it’s totally working! My elbows aren’t as light as I want them to be yet, but they are much much brighter than before.

That’s a pretty big change right? I honestly didn’t think this method would work because I’m always pretty skeptical about "natural remedies," but I think I’m going to stick with this lemon method and keep doing it until my elbows are perfect.

Here’s a closer look just so you can see my progress:

Have you guys ever tried this? Do my elbows look better? Do you guys know of any other methods or products that may work better or faster?