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Essential Oils That Cause Sun Sensitivity

Updated on June 29, 2013
Essential Oils That cause Sun Sensitivity
Essential Oils That cause Sun Sensitivity | Source

Sun Sensitivity ~

Essential oils are not always beneficial when applied topically.

Certain oils may cause the skin to become more sensitive to sunlight and can result in the skin resembling sunburn.

This reaction is known as phototoxicity or sun sensitivity and there are certain essential oils that are known to be sensitive when in direct contact with the sun or indeed any UV light.

A little bottle of essential oil harbors much more than a few drops of fragrance. This is an Introduction to sun sensitizing so you may continue to enjoy and use essential oils safely.

Yuzu Citrus Fruit

originating in East Asia, Yuzu fruit are extremely popular in Korea and Japan.
originating in East Asia, Yuzu fruit are extremely popular in Korea and Japan. | Source

Bergamot Essential Oil

one to be careful of unless it is bergaptene free.
one to be careful of unless it is bergaptene free. | Source

Sun Sensitive Oils ~

  • Bitter Orange
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Angelica
  • Dill
  • Rue
  • Cumin
  • Orange
  • Mandarin
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Bergamot
  • Lime
  • Tangerine
  • Tagetes
  • Yuzu

Lime and Orange

when undiluted lime and bitter orange are extremely phototoxic.
when undiluted lime and bitter orange are extremely phototoxic. | Source

Rays of Sunshine

sun and citrus may cause skin irritation.
sun and citrus may cause skin irritation. | Source

Phototoxicity

a reaction between sun or uv light and certain essential oils when used on the skin.
a reaction between sun or uv light and certain essential oils when used on the skin. | Source

Cold Pressed Oils ~

The “usual suspects” list is dominated by cold pressed citrus essential oils and it is important to know this when using these oils in beauty products, as the saying goes forewarned is forearmed.

I love citrus oils and have used them in different skin products including lip gloss and lip balm recipes successfully so they do not have to be omitted necessarily, just used wisely and sensibly.

The tangy, invigorating and refreshing scents of different citrus fruits and oils are too good not to use.

As a rule these oils should not be used within 12 hours of skin exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet rays.

Any facial treatments including a face scrub and face mask should be done at night-time.

The citrus oils that are produced by cold pressed extraction are the most likely to react on the skin with extended periods in the sun.

Lemon however, remains phototoxic even after distillation.

Lime, Bitter orange and Bergamot are incredibly phototoxic when undiluted but when they are diluted in small amounts the sun sensitizing effect is virtually negligible.

Grapefruit

one of the safest citrus oils to use.
one of the safest citrus oils to use. | Source

What is Bergaptene?

  • Bergaptene (5-methoxypsoralen) is a chemical which is found in citrus essential oils and the ingredient responsible for causing the sensitivity.
  • Oils that have a low percentage of bergaptene (less than 0.000075%) will have less of a reaction such as Sweet Orange Oil which contains 0.00005%.

Did you know about sun sensitizing oils?

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Do’s and Don’ts ~

DO avoid suncreams or tanning products with citrus oils in the ingredients.

DO leave it until later in the day or early evening to apply any beauty treatments.

DO use homemade mouthwash recipes using citrus as normal.

DO cover up if venturing into the sun after applying any phototoxic oils.

DO use citrus in homemade potpourri and air freshener recipes.

DON’T wear citrus perfume out in the sun. Leave it until evening time and keep the mosquitoes and insects away instead as a repellent.

DON’T use a lemon lip balm for a day at the beach but use it for later on.

DON’T go out in the sun after a massage treatment using any of the sun sensitive oils.

DON’T forget that these oils DO have many therapeutic and skin benefits when used appropriately.

"Creating health awareness through homemade beauty solutions"

Afternoon Winter Sun

Lime Kiln State Park, San Juan Island, Washington, USA.
Lime Kiln State Park, San Juan Island, Washington, USA. | Source

Credit to Sharkye11 ~

Credit To homesteadbound ~

All yellow dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs

Author Info ~

Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @ Suzie HQ

Essential Oils That Cause Sun Sensitivity Comments

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    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 3 years ago

      @SuzieHQ thanks for this hub. Its good to know that these oils can cause such irritation. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Here you go with this sunshine thing again. Do you know that we only have sunshine 85 days each year in Olympia? What do I care about essential oils that cause sun sensitivity. I'm praying for more sun; what are the chances I'm worried about sun sensitivity? I swear, Suzie, you and I are good friends but you continually ignore my needs.

      How about essential oils for those of us who never see the sun? Now, when you write that hub I'll share it with God himself. Until then, quit flaunting this sun thing in front of us who never see it. :)

      I sure hope you have a great weekend. I see the Mickster has a new hub so I guess I'll stop by there and flip him some shi_

      hugs,

      bill

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      Glad you wrote this as this is important for people experimenting with different skin care ideas. Thanks for writing. Always enjoy the next installment. Of course voting up, sharing, pinning and all that.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi torrilynn,

      Thanks very much for checking this out, good knowing you found it informative on the dangers, cheers for the thumbs up :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Now Bill,

      There you go again, moan moan moan! You should be thankful for those 85 days a year as SOME OF US only get max 66 DAYS of sunshine annually!!!!!!! LOL

      Ignore your needs, well now . . . let's look at the evidence.

      I did a body painting one catering for the creative talent you are which had the basis for providing an activity you go do frugally with Bev.

      Eye cream and eye gel designed for you in mind for helping the dark circles and puffiness as a side effect for burning the midnight oil as you write your CLASSES for all of us students.

      NEED I CONTINUE? LOL

      Ah, you are such a riot my friend, enjoy your SUNLESS days this weekend,

      ESSENTIALLY !

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Carol,

      Hope you have been relaxing on your break. Glad you enjoyed this as there are many safety elements when using essential oils that are important to know including sun sensitivity. Appreciate you checking in and commenting! Thanks Carol for votes and sharing all the good stuff!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Oh yes Susie, I have personally seen this effect in pure lemon juice as well so I guess the essential oil would cause more phototoxicity as mentioned here.

      Glad that you have provided a list of the essential oils and appreciate the do's and don'ts associated with their use.

      Voted up, useful, interesting and sharing.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey Suzie. Very interesting. I had no idea that these oils cause sun sensitivity. This is very useful info. Another great addition to your collection. Great photos and video selection. Another winner. Keep them coming Suzie and have a great week.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Rajan,

      Lemon is the most toxic when in direct contact with sun rays (both UVA and UVB) and some sensible use of citrus is well worth adhering to. Good to know you found the Do's and Don'ts useful it is one of those things that I felt would be useful. Cheers for the votes, shares and pin.

      I have linked your roses hub to my new one Homemade Herbal Facial Steams hope that was okay?

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Citrus is wonderful for the skin as long as care is taken so i felt it was important to highlight this. Thanks for your lovely comments on my post, I love photos and miss not having my own camera so look forward to replacing it when budget allows! Cheers Bill, enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great week!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Certainly and thanks, Suzie!

    • lesliebyars profile image

      Buster Johnson 3 years ago from Alabama

      I love this hub and it was full of tips and things I did not know. Voted up and interesting.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Cheers Rajan! From a purely selfish point of view I have a few suggestions for you for future hubs - herbs as I would love to know more about these for my recipes! You are my health guru!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi leslie,

      So good to know you found this useful. Thanks for stopping by, commenting and for the thumbs up in votes!!

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 3 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Very useful information here. I had no idea that certain products were no good in the sun.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi truthfornow,

      These oils when in direct sun may cause some skin irritation not always so it is best to take precautions. They are still beneficial to skin just need to applied carefully. Thanks for your visit and comment.

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 3 years ago from Georgia country

      Thank you for informing us of the essential oils that may be harmful for our skin when in direct contact with sun. I had no idea of it.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Janet,

      So kind of you to visit this and comment. Knowing the dangers of certain oils when out in direct sunlight is, I believe, useful and important knowing. Glad you agree!

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 3 years ago

      You are more than welcome!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi torrilynn, cheers!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Great hub again Suzie. Thank you for sharing this information. I have to pass it on to my friends in the Philippines. I know some of them are using facial skin care with citrus fruits.

      Voted up, shared and pinned. Have a nice day.

    • denden mangubat profile image

      denden mangubat 3 years ago from liloan, cebu, philippines

      useful and voted up.this is my first time knowing this that some of the essential oils use for cosmetics has reaction when exposed to sunllight.so it is better to use this product indoors.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Thelma,

      Glad you enjoyed this one on sensitivity with the sun it is important when using the Citrus oils. Hope your friends will find useful. Appreciate your votes share and pin, have a great weekend!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Denden,

      Lovely to have your support here, delighted you found this useful and you learned something new with essential oils and the sun. Many thanks for your votes, hope to see you again!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      This was another excellent hub from you, Suzie. So useful and helpful for this time of year. Voted up!

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