Saturday, July 9, 2016

Photosensitizers - Which Citrus Oils are Skin Safe?

On a recent Mondays With Marge, Grant asked, "On your site you list your Sweet Orange as possibly causing photosensitivity. My understanding is that Sweet Orange that is cold pressed is not photo toxic. Just curious if this is a typo on the website or if I am incorrect about this.
Oh and why is that some cold pressed essential oils are photo toxic and some others aren't? I.E. Sweet Orange is cold pressed but isn't photosensitizing but cold pressed lemon and lime are.

Nature's Gift Aromatherapy It was a typo...and is now fixed. (THANKYOU!) OLD information and never time to go thru and correct.. Thank you for the reminder. Yes, both Sweet Orange and Blood Orange are "sunsafe" but Bitter Orange is not... go figger!

SUNSAFE citrus oils:

Bergamot FCF
Lemon LEAF oil
Sweet Orange (to include Blood Orange)
Tangelo and/or Satsuma and/or Tangerine

Photosensitizers.. I need to blog this so we can book mark it..

1. NOT all photosentizers are citrus... Angelica Root EO, Cumin EO and Rue oil are known photosentizers. Fig Leaf Absolute is another one to avoid. (skin safe level? NONE)

2. Known to be phototoxic ctrus family: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Expressed Lemon and Lime, Mandarine LEAF (but not the rind!) Bitter orange oil, expressed.

Others that Tisserand lists as *possibly* phototoxic:

Clementine oil, Expressed Combava (Kaffir Lime), Skimmia, Angelica Root Absolute  AND CO2, Celery Leaf Oil and Absolute, Cumin Seed Absolute. and CO2, Khella (Ammi visnaga), Lovage Leaf and Parsnip oils.

The above information all comes from Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition. (But I bet you already knew that.) now.. as to WHY? It's chemistry... that C word again. The photosensitizers contain *either* Furanocoumarins or specific Lactones which have various degrees of phtotoxicity, and may be phtotcarcinogenic. one of the strongest is Bergapten found in.. guess what Essential Oil? Hence the term FCF Furanocoumarin Free as applied to Bergamot. In most (but not all) cases the furanocoumarins do NOT come across during distillation..which is why distilled Lime is safe, while cold pressed lime puts you dreadfully at risk. does this help?

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