How do different citrus essential oils compare in their composition and properties?
Citruses: a comparison of different oils
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Peace & Blessings Mr. Tisserand, regarding the subject of phototoxicity of certain EO’s, what is considered the time period that one would have be in the sun to trigger phototoxicity? Is there a threshhold of time one.could be safely in the sun before phototoxicity begins?
This is not known exactly, and depends on other factors, but could be just a few minutes. The longer the time, the more severe the reaction would be.
Both grapefruit and sweet orange consist of 94%LIMONENE (SO DOES BITTER ORANGE). COULD YOU HELP ME UNDERSTAND WHY THE RISK OF PHOTOSENSITIVITY DIFFERS?
Hi Rose, Great question! You are correct that Limonene is the main constituent in some Citrus oils and it can be confusing as some of those Citrus oils have a photosensitivity risk, while other don’t. This is because Limonene is not the constituent that causes the risk of photosensitivity. Certain oils contain molecules called furanocoumarins, and some furanocoumarins react in sunlight and UV exposure. Some common furanocoumarins that are problematic for this risk are bergapten, Psoralen, methoxsalen and oxypeucedanin. All the best, Shane
Dear Mr. Tisserand, what about cis-alpha-bergamotene and trans-alpha-bergamotene – constituents of Lemon and lime oil – are they phototoxic? And also 7-hydroxycoumarin, a constituent of a Grapefruit oil? Regarding the latter, it contains no bergapten or oxypeucedanin. Could this be an isomer of psoralen? Thank you so much, Nina
Hi Nina, the bergamotene isomers are sesquiterpenes, and they are not phototoxic. 7-Hydroxycoumarin, also known as umbelliferone can be a very minor constituent of grapefruit oil and is not considered phototoxic. Expressed grapefruit oil does generally contain bergapten, and it is slightly phototoxic.
Is neroli essential oil phototoxic? I have found mixed information on THIS..Thanks!
Neroli essential oil is not phototoxic. It is distilled, and it comes from the flowers of Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium), not the fruit. Citrus oil that are phototoxic come from the fruit rind and are expressed oils as the constituents that are responsible for phototoxic reactions do not come through in distillation.
Thanks Hana, I assume that neroli flower water is also not phototoxic?
Hello, I’ve been given differing information on whether sweet orange essential oil is phototoxic depending on if it is expressed from the peel or distilled. Please can you tell me if the expressed method (which seems to be the norm) is phototoxic? Also if in combination with bergamot fcf is that phototoxic or advisable to have in a face cream?
many thanks for any advice.
Hi Sophie! Distilled essential oils are not phototoxic as the constituents responsible for this reaction are too heavy to pass through distillation in any significant amount. Sweet orange is generally thought to not be phototoxic even if expressed. Bergamot fcf is not phototoxic either and is safe to use in dilution appropriate for face application.