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Essential oils have powerful and natural effects. Some oils relieve inflammation, others fight bacteria, and some can be calming. As essential oils are so potent, it's important to remember that there are a time and a place for every oil in your collection.
Phototoxic oils are those that react when exposed to ultraviolet lights. These oils can lead to adverse effects such as inflammation, blistering, and burning of the skin.
There are many phototoxic oils and many of them are citrus oils.
Avoid using phototoxic oils before exposure to sunlight. We recommend waiting at least 12 hours before going out in the sun after applying any phototoxic oils to the skin.
You don't have to forgo your favorite citrus oils all Summer though. Personal inhalers, diffusers, essential oil jewelry, and handkerchiefs can all be used to bring your favorite aromas with you on sunny Summer days.
Luckily, not all citrus oils are phototoxic. Bergamot (FCF), Blood Orange, Lemon (steam distilled), Lime (steam distilled), Mandarin, Neroli, Petitgrain, Satsuma, Sweet Orange, Tangelo, Tangerine, and Yuzu are all safe to use while out in the sun.
Summer is a time for outside fun and activity. Keep yourself and your family safe this Summer by practicing safe essential oil use. For more information on phototoxic oils and essential oil safety, we recommend "Essential Oil Safety" by Robert Tisserand and Robert Young.
How will you practice essential oil safety this Summer?