Oil Education Articles

Phototoxic Essential Oils


What Is Phototoxicity?

Some essential oils are considered phototoxic which means they make the skin more sensitive than normal to sunlight and UV lamps. When applying phototoxic oil to the skin above the recommended dilution, you should avoid exposure to the sun for 12–24 hours.

Oils that Cause Phototoxicity

The following oils are known to cause phototoxicity:

The dilution recommendations are excerpts from Tisserand, R., & Rodney, Y., Ph.D. (2014). Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals (Vol. 2). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

Oils that Do Not Cause Phototoxicity

It is commonly believed that all citrus oils are phototoxic; this is untrue. The following oils do not cause phototoxicity:

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