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38 Essentials Oils That Are Phototoxic And Alternatives You Can Use


Essential oils and extract oils are known to be healthier than fragrances and artificial fruit aromas, but did you know that, in addition to causing allergic reactions or interactions with medical conditions or medications, they are also phototoxic?

Phototoxicity occurs when substances, such as medications, essential oils, or chemicals, react with sunlight and cause skin injury. When these substances are exposed to UV radiation from the sun, a chemical reaction is triggered that damages the skin cells, resulting in a variety of symptoms like redness, swelling, blistering, and burning. Because sensitivity can vary from person to person, not everyone will experience phototoxic reactions, but it is a serious issue because it increases exposure to cancer-causing UV rays.

List of Phototoxic Essential Oils

The majority of the phototoxic essential oils scents are citrus-based such as lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit, but there are many others, so pay attention this list below to avoid purchasing one.

  1. Bergamot oil

  2. Cinnamon oil

  3. Clove oil

  4. Lemongrass oil

  5. Lemon oil

  6. Orange oil

  7. Peppermint oil

  8. Rosemary oil

  9. Thyme oil

  10. Wintergreen oil

  11. Dill seed oil

  12. Douglas fir oil

  13. Ginger root oil

  14. Jasmine Absolute

  15. Juniper berry oil

  16. Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) leaf extract

  17. Neroli Bigarde (neroli) flower oil

  18. Petitgrain Sur Fleurs (petitgrain) leaf/flower/twigoil Petitgrain Sur Fleurs leaf/flower/twig

  19. Cedarwood essential oil

  20. Tea tree essential oil

  21. Basil oil

  22. Chamomile oil

  23. Cypress oil

  24. Eucalyptus oil

  25. Geranium oil

  26. Helichrysum italicum flower oil

  27. Litsea cubeba fruit oil (lemon verbena)

  28. Myrrh gum resin extract

  29. Patchouli leaf Rossallini hippocampi subspicatus hair extract

  30. Ravensara aromatica leaf/twigtop note

  31. Clary Sage Oil

  32. Frankincense Oil

  33. Grapefruit Oil

  34. Lime cold pressed

  35. Angelica Root

  36. Tagete

  37. Rye

  38. Cumin

How To Identify Phototoxic Essential Oils

While this list will help you stay informed so you can make healthier and safer purchasing decisions for your family, there are definitely more phototoxic oils available than we are aware of. As a result, we believe that reaching you on how to search for phototoxic essential oils is the best thing we can do.

A quick Google search for the essential oil term you want to research; in this case, basil can be used like “basil oil cancer,” “list of phototoxic essential oils,” basil phototoxic,” or “basil essential oil toxic.”

Produces the following link results below:

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Essential Oil Phototoxic Alternatives

Through considerable research, we learned that these essential oils are the safest for both kids and adults. There might be others, but as you conduct your own research you’ll find that some essential oils are only safe for certain age groups and individuals without certain health conditions.

Essential oils that are not phototoxic:

  1. Lime Distilled

  2. Sweet Orange

  3. Ylang Ylang

  4. Spearmint

  5. Lavender

  6. Mandarin

  7. Nutmeg

  8. Sandalwood

  9. Roman Chamomile

  10. Black Pepper

  11. Tangerine

  12. Blood orange

  13. Bergamot FCF

Minimize Phototoxicity

If you find that you really need to use a phototoxicity essential oil, here are some safety precautions you can use.

1. Dilute: Always dilute phototoxic essential oils with a carrier oil before applying to your skin. This reduces the concentration of furanocoumarins, an organic compound found in plants that trigger phototoxic reactions when exposed to light and UV radiation. These reactions can cause DNA damage and the death of skin cells.

2. Stay out of the sun: After using a phototoxic essential oil on your skin, avoid direct sunlight or UV rays for at least 12–24 hours. That means, no tanning beds and sunlamps.

3. Patch test: Before using a new essential oil, mix it with carrier oil and perform a patch test on a small area of the skin. This helps determine individual sensitivity and potential reactions.

Hope you enjoyed this article, and stay safe.



Written By The Resource Manual

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The Resource Manual publishes resourceful articles on the topic of personal, health, love, finance, well-being, and business. Our goal is to provide valuable resources to help others navigate through life more smoothly.

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