Using Citrus Essential Oils in Natural Skin Care

You may have heard some grumblings recently about the dangers of using citrus essential oils as an ingredient in your natural DIY skin care. One post I saw on Instagram talked about the phototoxicity of these oils (meaning when the oils are in sunlight and on your skin, they can cause your skin to become sensitive to sunlight). The author went on to list the essential oils that cause this issue, such as bergamot, angelica, grapefruit and lemon. 

Phototoxicity is definitely something to be concerned about, as it can cause damage to your skin, leading to sensitivity, sunburn or skin darkening. But that doesn’t mean you can’t continue using citrus oils in your natural skin care routine. Here are three tips to keep in mind when using citrus essential oils:

Always dilute your essential oils

You never want to apply any essential oil directly to your skin. Remember, these are concentrated chemicals (yes, they are chemicals just like water is a chemical). Being such, they can cause a skin reaction, even if you’re not allergic. Dilution is the difference between touching a pan that’s lukewarm on the stove and touching a hot pan right out of the oven. So, take care. Mix your essential oils with your favorite carrier oils, like olive oil or coconut oil. You can even mix them with butters to make a scented moisturizer. The sky’s the limit…as long as you’re flying safely.

Most citrus essential oils are best used in wash-off products

Why? Because of the issue with phototoxicity. Photoxicity doesn’t mean that you have to give up on using your favorite citrus essential oils. Face washes, body washes, and scrubs are great options for using citrus essential oils because the oils will get washed off in the shower and further removed with your towel during the drying process. So, no contact with the sun, but your skin still have had a chance to absorb some of the awesome ingredients, like the antioxidants and vitamin c, that are common in citrus essential oils.

Not all citrus essential oils are created equal

Another thing to note is that not all citrus essential oils are phototoxic. Many expressed citrus oils are phototoxic, but distilled essential oils (produced by steaming rather than squeezing) no have phototoxic properties. They are perfectly safe to use in the sun. Also, mandarin and sweet orange essential oils are both regarded as safe in their expressed forms and are accessible at any online marketplace. So, if you’re having a hard time finding distilled citrus oil, maybe go with expressed mandarin or sweet orange.

If you’re not much of a DIYer but still love the fragrance of citrus, you should check out CaLoveCo.’s Citrus body butter. This skin moisturizer will wake up your senses and make your skin glow. Guaranteed. You’ll stay moisturized for days. AND…you can wear it in the sun cuz no phototoxicity. We use mandarin and sweet orange essential oils, which are safe for sun use and still give your skin all the antiaging antioxidants for a smooth, youthful appearance. Want an instant discount? We just need an email to send it to 😉.

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