Essential Oils and the Sun

Phototoxicity happens when certain chemical constituents react with UV light on your skin, killing cells and damaging tissues. Phototoxic burns can show up anywhere from 1-24hrs after sun or UV exposure. The same reaction can happen from cutting fresh limes or contacting fresh line juice prior to sun or UV exposure.

🍈🍊🍋 Citrus oils are the most common offenders, but the method of extraction matters: steam-distilled citrus oils contain less phototoxic constituents than cold-pressed. Bergaptene-free Bergamot (like the Fatskn one) is also non-phototoxic.

Here are some tips to practice safe sun with essential oils:

💧 Ensure adequate dilution (recommendations vary by oil but less than 2% is pretty common: Fatskn products have 1%).

⏰ Wait 24hrs before exposing the area to the sun (not ideal in the summer when you've gotta get that Vitamin D).

🤚 Avoid citrus scents in the summer or go scent-free.

Personally I love some scents every now and then, but my go-to is and always had been the Purist. While essential oils aren't endocrine distruptors like artificial fragrances, they're still powerful and should be used with care when applied topically.


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