Everything You Should Know About Photosensitivity: Essential Oils Are to Blame

Photosensitivity, or phototoxicity, is a serious issue that we should not ignore. Many people suffer from it, and sometimes their skin is damaged forever.

However, there are some signs you might want to consider, including the products you use while sitting in the sun. Photosensitivity is nothing but a reaction to the sun from a substance applied directly to the skin, present in some essential oils. How to avoid this? Also, why are essential oils the least choice when walking out in the sun?

Here is what you need to know.

Phototoxicity and Essential Oils

Phototoxicity occurs when some essential oils that contain furanocoumarin cause an inflammatory reaction, sometimes severe, to the skin. The first signs of phototoxicity are:

  • Blistering;
  • Swelling;
  • Sunburn;
  • Sun Spots.

You’ve probably encountered at least one of those symptoms. Usually, they peak up to 3 days after being exposed to the sun.

On the other hand, exposing yourself to UV light can cause you a reaction up to 10 hours after application and might continue for up to 30 hours.

Here is a list of common photosensitive essential oils you should avoid:

  • Bitter orange;
  • Bergamot;
  • Rue;
  • Grapefruit;
  • Lime (cold pressed);
  • Angelica Root;
  • Lemon (cold-pressed).

Also, check out the following list of possibly photosensitive essential oils:

  • Celery Leaf Oil;
  • Parsnip Oil;
  • Clementine;
  • Khella Oil;
  • Angelica Root Absolute and Angelica Root CO2 extract;
  • Lovage Leaf Oil;
  • Combava Fruit Oil;
  • Cumin Seed CO2 extract and Cumin Seed Absolute;
  • Skimmia Oil.

Luckily, you can avoid phototoxicity. There are some useful tips and tricks that you might want to try.

How to Efficiently Avoid Phototoxicity

The easiest way to be sure you won’t have a reaction is to avoid essential oils containing furanocoumarin while out in the sun.

But, you can dilute essential oils, as well, for safety in UV light. If you do this correctly, there is very little to no risk.

Georgia Nica
Writing was, and still is, my first passion. I love all that cool stuff about science and technology. I’ll try my best to bring you the latest news every day.