Imagine biting into a Lemon Aspen. If your face scrunched up in anticipation of an overwhelming sourness (despite having zero clue about what an actual Lemon Aspen tastes like), you’re on the right track. As its name implies, the fruit offers an acidic flavor you’d typically expect from your usual lemon, only with additional hints of herby tones reminiscent of eucalyptus and honey. If you’re plugged into “skincare talk”, your eyes might have lit up at the mention of “lemon” – because lemon is packed with Vitamin C, and that’s always good news for the skin … right?
Well, yes and no. While Lemon Aspen can undoubtedly do wonderful things for your complexion, its skin benefits aren't due to Vitamin C. But, instead, a whole host of other botanical compounds. Intrigued? Continue reading to learn more.
What is Lemon Aspen?
The Lemon Aspen (scientific name: Acronychia Acidula) is a flowering, small- to medium-sized tree local to Queensland, Australia, but can also be found as far south as Sydney along the coast (1). Its fruits – aptly named "Lemon Aspen" – grow in heavy bunches, with each measuring about 1.1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. Depending on the variety, the fruit can be pale green, yellow, or off-white.
Just in case you were wondering, no, the Lemon Aspen doesn't resemble the appearance of lemons. Unlike the latter, which has an oval shape, each Lemon Aspen features 4 or more well-defined ribs, making them look squarish when viewed from the bottom.
And perhaps more interestingly … despite its recent rise in popularity as a functional food, the consumption of Lemon Aspen dates back thousands of years, for medicinal and culinary purposes.
Benefits of Lemon Aspen for Skin
Okay, so Lemon Aspen is a bush food. But that still doesn’t explain why (or even how) it’s good for your skin. Don’t worry; we’re getting into that right now.
#1: Combats oxidative damage
Lemon Aspen is packed to the brim with antioxidants. Sure, it doesn't contain significant amounts of Vitamin C – but Lemon Aspen more than makes up for that with its content of Vitamin E and a wide variety of polyphenols, including ferulic acid, rutin, and caffeic acid (2). And just how powerful an antioxidant is Lemon Aspen, you ask? It appears to exert 2.7 times the antioxidant capabilities of blueberries!
Imaginably, this is bad news for free radicals (you can be sure they’re trembling in fear right now!) As a refresher, free radicals are “bad guys” with at least one unpaired electron. Their quest to become stable causes widespread destruction; free radicals are often more than ready and willing to "rob" an electron from anything it encounters – including DNA, barrier lipids, collagen-producing fibroblasts, and pigment-generating melanocytes.
The resulting damage (i.e., oxidative damage) manifests as loss of skin elasticity, fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, and hyperpigmentation (3). In other words: what you’d know as premature skin aging. Accordingly, the more you can “satisfy” free radicals’ need for stability, the better your skin will be protected. This is where Lemon Aspen comes in.
By fighting off free radicals on the skin – a result of daily environmental stressors like sun rays, air pollution, and excess artificial blue light exposure – Lemon Aspen could help you stave off premature skin aging to achieve a more youthful-looking complexion. Meaning? You'd be well on your way to sporting brighter, fuller, and healthier skin.
For those who need more convincing: studies have, time and again, highlighted ferulic acid's (reminder: one of the primary polyphenols found in Lemon Aspen) skincare benefits (4). It’s known to smoothen out the appearance of fine lines, fade hyperpigmentation, and prevent photo-aging.
Another polyphenol found in Lemon Aspen worth mentioning is rutin. According to a 2016 randomized controlled trial published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, the daily application of a rutin-containing cream resulted in a significant improvement in skin elasticity and the appearance of wrinkles compared to placebo after 4 weeks (5).
#2: Keeps skin well-hydrated
Here’s something you need to know. Water is constantly evaporating through the deeper layers of your skin towards the dry, outside world (a process known as trans-epidermal water loss). Of course, some water flux is necessary for normal skin functioning. But excessive water loss is problematic because dehydrated skin can start to appear flaky, dull, tight, and become easily irritated.
More unfortunately still, there’s the fact that, with age, the skin loses Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid naturally – which significantly increases the risk of skin dehydration (and, along with it, all the issues mentioned above) (6). Thankfully, you’re not entirely powerless against this. And the “secret weapon” you have on hand? That’s right: Lemon Aspen. Or, more specifically, Lemon Aspen’s Vitamin E content. Research shows Vitamin E to have moisturizing benefits that could keep your skin looking fresh, full, and bouncy (7, 8).
#3: Exerts antibacterial properties
Struggle with blemishes? Then Lemon Aspen's antibacterial properties could be the key to helping you control your breakouts. To understand why, knowledge on how blemishes form in the first place would help. See: at the root of all blemishes is a clogged pore (an "opening" in the skin that not only surrounds each hair follicle but also houses your sebaceous glands).
The sebaceous glands secrete sebum through the pore opening – helping keep your skin soft and protected. But, sometimes, the pore gets clogged by dirt, dead skin cells, and excess oil. This mixture of "stuck" sebum and dead skin cells allows bacteria that typically live on the skin to grow in the plugged follicles and cause inflammation, paving the way toward lesions (i.e., pimples).
So. How does Lemon Aspen help? Well, nearly all of its polyphenol compounds – including quercetin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid – have been shown capable of killing the blemish-causing bacteria P. acnes (9). As a matter of fact, Lemon Aspen itself is also capable of warding off P. acnes, in turn, suggesting its potential as an acne-fighting skincare ingredient (10).
Side Effects of Lemon Aspen
The topical application of Lemon Aspen isn’t associated with any known side effects. Still, as with any new skincare production addition into your regimen, be sure to patch test before proceeding to apply it on your face. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
How to Use Lemon Aspen for Skin
You can apply Lemon Aspen to the skin both in the day and night, depending on the specific skincare product you choose. You can typically find Lemon Aspen formulated into all types of products these days: from cleansers to toners; from serums to moisturizers.
Good news: there are no known contraindications to other skincare actives, so how you fit Lemon Aspen into your routine truly comes down to your personal preferences. As for other skincare actives the Australian superfruit plays well with? Plenty. There's Vitamin C, Vitamin A, CoQ10, Collagen, Peptides, Hyaluronic Acid, etc. Pretty much anything you can think of.
Oh, and here’s a sample routine that could inspire you into harnessing Lemon Aspen’s powerful skincare benefits for yourself:
- Cleanser: Remove your makeup and wash your face with a non-stripping cleanser, like our Hyaluronic Acid + Quandong Cleansing Gel.
- Toner: Spritz on your toner of choice after cleansing. For a refreshing, hydrating skin boost, give our Reset + Refresh Kangaroo Paw Toning Mist a go.
- Serum: Massage a few drops of serum (e.g., our Hyaluronic Acid + Collagen Serum) into your face.
- Eye cream: Apply your eye cream before you slather on your choice of creams and oils. If you’re looking for one formulated with Lemon Aspen, then our Age Defying Lemon Aspen Botanical Eye Cream fits the bill perfectly.
- Moisturizer: Use Hyaluronic Acid + Native Snowflower Moisturizer during the daytime, then pamper your skin with our Deep Moisture Hyaluronic Acid + Kangaroo Paw Night Cream (formulated with Lemon Aspen) as you catch your beauty sleep.
- Sunscreen (daytime): Sunscreen acts as a shield against the outside world (so you don’t end up applying all those products on your face for nothing).
Lemon Aspen for Skin FAQ’s
What does Lemon Aspen do for the skin?
Lemon Aspen is packed full of antioxidants that fight oxidative stress, counter signs of premature skin aging (e.g., fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation), keep the skin well-hydrated, and ward off breakouts.
What skin type is Lemon Aspen good for?
Lemon Aspen is suitable for all skin types.
Terrakai Skin Products that Include Lemon Aspen