As the sun begins to shine more often in our part of the world, you’ll want to be mindful of using citrus and some other oils topically.
Why is this?
Some essential oils contain furocoumarins, a special class of constituent that can cause photosensitization of the skin.
Oils containing furocoumarins can cause sensitivity to the action of radiant energy (sunlight) In this case the oils (mostly citrus but some others) react with the UV rays of the sun to cause a reaction on the skin such as a rash or even hives on the area where the oils have been applied.
In a nutshell, this is a mild irritation caused by a reaction with the sun. Although not serious, it’s to be avoided if possible. Avoid sun exposure for 12 hours after topical use of these oils.
Your citrus oils are still fun to use in the diffuser and some may be used internally (see labeling or your holistic healthcare provider) to support detox in the body and to flavour foods but topical use should probably be shelved until summer is over. Sorry!
Oils to avoid using topically in the sun include:
Also avoid using the blends that contain these oils topically prior to sun exposure. You can find more information here: