Lemon cosmetics

All-natural beauty products: not a new idea

Lemon cosmetics

A brochure touts lemon's cosmetic benefits.

While all-natural and organic beauty products may experiencing popularity at the moment, they’re nothing new. Just ask members of the California Fruit Growers Exchange, natural beauty proponents for more than 80 years.

The Fruit Growers Exchange (AKA “Sunkist” Citrus Fruits) published this brochure describing lemon’s beneficial effects on the hair, nails, and complexion. Featuring Miss Claudia Dell, Dorothy Christy, Irene Rich, Olive Borden, and Leila Hyams, actresses popular in the late  1920s and early 1930s, the brochure pitches lemon as a wholesale replacement for pricier beauty treatments. “One of the best of beauty aids, Mother Nature has bottled in the great cosmetic laboratory of the outdoors. It is a fruit–LEMON, THE NATURAL COSMETIC! A fragrant essence of sunshine, it comes to you, compounded subtly of non-injurious, cleansing fruit acids, to solve the problem of cosmetic costs.” (The writing in these things is fantastic. Over-the-top, theatrical advertising GENIUS. I can’t get enough).

Soft, fluffy, manageable hair. Luminous, well-moisturized skin. Pretty, soft, clean hands. White teeth and healthy gums for the whole family. All attainable through regular lemon rinses, the Fruit Growers say. Vitamin C and fruit extracts turn up in today’s cosmetics and creams: they’ve certainly stood the tests of time and proved their worth. 

Lemon cosmetic 1930 brochure

Claudia Dell, Radio Pictures Player, shows off her lemon-scented tresses and lovely complexion.

This brochure’s true beauty goes beyond the photos of stunning starlets, the dated language, and the DIY beauty tips. For me, its true charm lies in the assertion, “Beauty is every woman’s right! Deep in her heart, every woman knows that she has the right to beauty.”  Even better: “Now the world knows that there are as many types of beauty for women as there are women in the world. Each woman has her own beauty, her own charm.” (The unspoken implication: Each woman can be even more beautiful as long as she keeps using those lemons.)

Next time you’re short on funds and that organic botanical all-natural shampoo/cleanser/whatever? Exercise your right to beauty. Hit the citrus.

For face and hands: mix equal parts glycerine and fresh lemon juice, or add the juice of 2-3 lemons to your bath water.
For hair: after washing, rinse with warm water combined with the strained juice of two lemons.


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