Her Home and Hearts

Lemon Essential Oil | Benefits and Uses

Young Living Lemon Essential Oil Bottles


Learn about the benefits and uses of lemon essential oil. Find out practical ways to use it in your daily life.

Scientific Name: Citrus lemon

Aroma: Sweet, sharp, clear, and citrusy

Botanical Family: Rutaceae

Extraction Method: Cold pressed from rind

Key Constituents: Limonene, Gamma-Terpinene, Alpha-pinene, Beta-Pinene, Sabinene


“If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” ~ Annonymous 

The origin of lemons is not completely known, but they are thought to have originated from India. What is known is that they were first introduced to Italy around 200AD. Since 700AD, lemons have been grown in Egypt and Iran. When Christopher Columbus sailed for the New World in 1492, he brought lemon seeds to plant. Today, lemons are grown in many places across the world. Lemon essential oil comes from the rind of the lemon and is liquid sunshine in a bottle! Its bright and joyful aroma can enhance your environment and brighten your day. It certainly does this for me, and this is why I diffuse it almost daily! It is without question one of my absolute favorite essential oils. I just love how happy it makes me feel. It energizes and cleanses the environment, so it is the perfect essential oil to diffuse when you need to get some housework done! And it leaves the air smelling bright and clean. Lemon essential oil gets its benefits from the constituents found in the rind of the lemon fruit. (If you are unsure what constituents are, you can visit my Constituents Made Simple post here.) Lemon essential oil can be used in so many ways, making it a staple for every home!

Benefits of Lemon Essential Oil:

Skin Benefits

Lemon has been shown to have natural antimicrobial and astringent properties. Because of this, it may prove to be especially beneficial to someone who is acne prone or deals with very oily skin. Its astringent properties can help remove excess oil if you struggle with oily skin. One study showed the antimicrobial activity of lemon essential oil to be effective at fighting certain topical bacteria. It purifies and detoxifies the skin, which may help with healing and reduced breakouts. Lemon essential oil also works to clarify the skin. It gently exfoliates dead skin cells and blackheads, which may be trapped in your pores. Therefore, lemon may brighten dull complexions as it removes dead skin cells. And lemon essential oil is high in antioxidants which means it may be effective at brightening and preserving your skin as it works to protect it from free radicals.

Cleaning Benefits

One of my favorite uses for lemon essential oil is cleaning, because I love how well it works to keep my home fresh and sparkling clean. It is wonderful at helping remove stuck on residue, and it deodorizes, so lemon makes a great natural addition to your homemade natural cleaners. By pairing it with distilled white vinegar or baking soda, you have a hard working all-natural cleaner. If you want an easy, safe and effective cleaner, you have to look into my personal favorite cleaning product: Thieves Household Cleaner Concentrate! It has lemon essential oil as a main ingredient for obvious reasons, and it is so inexpensive. I appreciate an effective, clean, and budget friendly product! We use this everyday to clean our home from top to bottom – literally. And we have the peace of mind knowing that it is safe for our children and pets.

Emotional Benefits

Uplifting, calming, bright, and happy are the first words that come into my mind when I think of lemon essential oil. It works so well to boost my mood and energy levels when I feel low or lazy. Lemon is a favorite essential oil for emotional support – you will find it in many blends for diffusing or topical application. Many people (myself included) like to add some extra drops of lemon to their diffuser blends for some extra fresh and bright aroma boost. One study showed that lemon essential oil reduced anxiety symptoms in post surgery orthopedic patients. Clearly, it is a wonderful essential oil to support our bodies during distressing times.

Respiratory Benefits

Using lemon essential oil aromatically or topically may help relieve congestion and promote clearer breathing. Its antimicrobial properties are wonderful to give your body some extra support as well. It is a calming essential oil, which may help calm you mentally and physically when you are feeling strained and tight. Which means it may help you to breathe easier and soothe a sore throat. There’s a reason that warm tea with honey and lemon is a popular sore throat remedy! Our family uses lemon essential oil in a variety of ways during times of illness and allergy flare ups.

Hair Benefits

Lemon essential oil’s refreshing scent, and its cleaning and purifying benefits, make it a wonderful choice for your hair care. It can nourish your hair and help it to be healthy and shiny. Lemon’s antimicrobial properties help to keep your scalp healthy and may be a good remedy for dandruff. Lemon may be beneficial for keeping the pores of your scalp clean as it helps to remove dead skin, dandruff, and excess oil. And it has balancing properties to help keep your sebum regulated which is especially helpful for people with oily hair.

Internal Benefits

When taken internally, lemon essential oil contains antioxidants that help protect the body against free radicals. It’s important when using an essential oil internally that it is labeled for internal use. This is why we use Young Living lemon vitality essential oil. Ingestion of lemon essential oil allows you to receive all of the therapeutic properties from lemon that can support your overall wellness. Some of these benefits are supporting a healthy immune, digestive, circulatory, and respiratory system.

Aromatherapy Benefits:

Aromatherapy has been used in cultures like Egypt, Rome, and China for thousands of years. These cultures used aromatherapy for medical and religious purposes, and they were known to have both physical and psychological benefits. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils through smelling the aroma and topical application to naturally support the body in specific areas.

Aromatic Use:

Diffusing is a great way to use essential oils aromatically. By diffusing lemon essential oil, you can encourage a fresh and cheerful environment all while purifying the air around you. I diffuse lemon almost every single day in our home. It is the perfect essential oil to diffuse while cleaning because it has an energizing and lifting aroma that leaves the air fresh. It is also a very versatile oil that blends well with other essential oils. If you would like more information on the basics of diffusing essential oils heck out my post here.

Topical Use:

Lemon is a wonderful skin supporting essential oil. It contains many wonderful skincare benefits when applied directly to your skin. It is well known for cleansing and clarifying properties. Applying it to the skin not only supports your skin health, but also allows the aroma to stay close to you. This way, you can enjoy the aromatic and topical benefits at the same time.


Lemon essential oil is photosensitive – avoid direct sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after applying. It can be used if heavily diluted: 12 drops of lemon essential oil per 1 oz of liquid. Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a health professional prior to use.

Essential Oil Dilution Chart

Uses of Lemon Essential Oil:

  1. Brighten skin: Take up my Glow Serum Recipe a notch by adding 5 drops of lemon essential oil for some extra brightening power! Find my Glow Serum Recipe here.
  2. Cleanse the Air: Say goodbye to lingering odors by diffusing lemon essential oil. It works for me every single time without fail! (see bottom of post for some diffuser blends featuring lemon)
  3. Degrease Surfaces: Make your own all-natural degreaser. In a 16 oz glass spray bottle add 8 oz of distilled white vinegar, 20 drops of lemon essential oil, and 8 oz of filtered (or boiled) water. Secure top, shake, and start cleaning. Be sure and use a glass spray bottle when using essential oils, over time they can break down plastic. Vivaplex makes quality glass spray bottles, and these are what I personally use. I get them here from Amazon.
  4. Help clarify and balance your facial skin. Make a simple Facial Toner by adding 20 drops each of lemon and lavender essential oil to 4 oz of alcohol free witch hazel. (My favorite is Quinns, because it doesn’t have a lot of extra ingredients; I purchase it here from Amazon)
  5. Antioxidant and wellness support: Carefully place 2 drops of lemon vitality into a capsule and top off with a carrier oil like olive or avocado. You can find the empty capsules I use here to make your own lemon supplements.
  6. Natural Goo-Gone: Need something sticky gone? Try some lemon essential oil! Simply drop some directly onto the sticky and wipe it off. Repeat as necessary.
  7. Cleanse and brighten the air around you: Make a simple room spray that contains lemon essential oil to spritz on linens, furniture, or around your room. You can find my tutorial and different recipes to choose from here.
  8. Clarify and brighten your hair: Take my Healthy Hair Spritz up a notch by adding 20 drops of lemon essential oil to the recipe. Be on the lookout for some extra shine and brightness. You can find the Healthy Hair Spritz recipe here.
  9. Detox support: Add a drop or two of lemon vitality to your water first thing in the morning to support your body’s natural detox process.
  10. Carpet refresher: Try 12 drops of lemon essential oil to 1 cup of baking soda and sprinkle into your carpet, allow to sit for 30 minutes, then vacuum. (If you have kids they will love sprinkling it all over the floor – I like to put it into these little shaker jars for easy use. You can find them on Amazon here.)
  11. Seasonal sniffles: Try diffusing lemon with lavender and peppermint essential oils or adding them to a roller bottle and applying on your chest.
  12. Mood or energy boost: Try diffusing lemon in the diffuser. You can try it alone or with other essential oils.

Favorite lemon essential oil diffuser recipes:

Seasons Changing

1 drop lemon essential oil 

2 drops cedarwood essential oil

5 drops bergamot essential oil

Mood Boost

3 drops rosemary essential oil

3 drops lemon essential oil

3 drops orange essential oil

Beach Day

3 drops orange essential oil

2 drops lemon essential oil

3 drops lime essential oil


At the Lake

2 drops lavender essential oil

2 drops rosemary essential oil

4 drops lemon essential oil

Laundry Day

4 drops lemon essential oil

3 drops eucalytus essential oil

2 drops lavender essential oil 

Oily Alarm Clock

1 drop cinnamon bark essential oil

2 drops grapefruit essential oil

2 drops orange essential oil

2 drops lemon essential oil


  1. The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia, Schiller, Carol & Dave (2012) Basic Health Publications, Inc.
  2. Essential Oils Desk Reference 8th Edition, (2019) Life Science Publishing

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