Citrus Appeal

You know that citrus fruits are good for your health, but they’re just as powerful when it comes to keeping your skin, hair and makeup fresh and youthful.

Citrus Appeal
Pin it Stephanie Rausser

Few things have the power to refresh like the smell and taste of citrus. Add tart, fresh lemon to your water or bite into the juicy sweetness of an orange, and chances are, you’re instantly invigorated. And you can give the natural glow you get from eating healthful citrus fruits a boost by squeezing them into your beauty routine, too: The right citrusinfused fragrances, skin and hair care products (and even citrus-hued makeup) can improve your mood, help your skin stay clear and hydrated, and keep your hair shiny and bouncy. “From the inside, the potassium in lemons, for example, protects the body from the risk of stroke, osteoporosis, kidney stones and high blood pressure,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., L.D., wellness manager at the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. And its vitamin C is crucial for the growth and repair of all body tissues. Topically, the vitamin C found in citrus may pack just as much punch by protecting skin from oxidative stress, which causes wrinkles, sagging and discoloration, says Jessica Wu, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and author of Feed Your Face: Younger, Smoother Skin and a Beautiful Body in 28 Delicious Days (St. Martin’s Griffin). “Oxidative stress is damage to your skin’s collagen due to pollution and aging, which produce free radicals that attack your skin,” Wu explains. “Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it neutralizes those damaging free radicals.” The vitamin C in citrus not only boasts super skin benefits and even helps add luster to locks, but studies have shown that the smells from these fruits make us happier and more alert. So read on to turn your beauty lemons into lemonade and get sexier with citrus.

Looking for an instant lift? Try a fresh, invigorating spritz of a citrus-based scent, says Karen Gilbert, a natural skincare and fragrance expert in London and author of A Green Guide to Natural Beauty (Ryland Peters & Small). “Many studies show that scent is tied to mood, and citrus notes have been found to have an uplifting, antidepressant effect,” she says. Because our sense of smell is part of our limbic system, which processes memories and emotions, it stands to reason that you can sniff your way to bliss. Citrus scents tend to fade much more quickly on skin than, for instance, floral or spicy notes, however. So for a lasting impression, Gilbert says, “Reapply often or layer your products, such as first using a matching body lotion or solid perfume base, then setting it with a spritz of fragrance on top.”
1. Güd from Burt’s Bees Orange Petalooza Natural Body Mist ($6; is the perfect eye-opener in the morning; is free of parabens, phthalates and petrochemicals; and isn’t tested on animals.
2. Red Flower Guaiac Organic Perfume Oil Roll-On ($48; boasts essences of pink grapefruit and leather that create a warm, unusual scent and is packaged in 80 percent recycled paper.
3. One hundred percent vegan Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Perfume Roll-On ($12; contains notes of Italian sweet and mandarin orange, and the roller ball applicator means it’s less likely to leak in your bag and convenient to apply anytime.

In Living Color
You might be hesitant to step away from the subdued safety of your go-to brown, black and gray makeup shades, but when worn correctly, fruit-inspired hues can brighten your face and your whole outlook—without prompting friends to ask if you’ve joined a circus. “When worn correctly, these colors are formulated to bring light to your face,” says Jessa Blades, makeup artist and founder of Blades Natural Beauty in New York City. Anyone can wear today’s oranges, greens and yellows without winding up with an effect that’s too intense or bold, she says, although it’s best to stick to one bright shade at a time and keep the rest of your palette neutral. Dab a tangerine blush on your cheeks, or try a lipstick with a pinkgrapefruit base. (If you want to tone it down, just blot and then add a clear gloss, says Blades.)
1. Apply Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Mildew and Eldorado ($17 each; with a dry brush for a sheer, not-too-bright wash of color, or dip your brush in a little water to amp up the intensity.
2. Sula 100% Natural Lipstick in Awake Til Sunrise ($8; is a creamy orange shade free of petroleum-based ingredients.
3. The ultimate multitasker, Benefit ChaChaTint Mango Tinted Lip & Cheek Stain ($29; imparts a long-lasting hue on both lips and cheeks