Di Shalevski's Essential Oil Education | Photosensitive Oils

Di Shalevski's Essential Oil Education | Photosensitive Oils

Di Shalevski l Heal Thy Self With Oils Team Di Shalevski l Heal Thy Self With Oils Team
3 minute read

Summer is my most favourite time of year and if you’re anything like me, you love spending as much time out in the sunshine as possible, with essential oil!

When you’re choosing an essential oil for your summer’s day, it’s important you understand photosensitivity, especially if you’re going to be spending the day out in the direct sunlight. 

Essential oils that are photosensitive can cause skin irritation ranging from itchiness to pigmentation and even blistering if exposed long enough. 

Citrus oils are among the most common essential oils that cause photosensitivity. That’s because compounds found in citrus oils - known as Furanocoumarins - greatly increase UV sensitivity and while most photosensitive oils are citrus, some other oils can contain compounds or mixes of compounds are not sun-safe either. 

All of Young Living’s essential oils that cause photosensitivity are labelled. Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Orange, Bergamot, Tangerine, Peace & Calming®, Stress Away™, Citrus Fresh™, Gentle Baby™, and Joy™ are some of Young Living’s popular oils that cause photosensitivity, but other oils can come with these risks as well so it’s important to always check the label to see what cautions are associated with the oil you’re using.

Using photosensitive oils at nighttime helps reduce the risks associated with these oils. Feel free to add these oils to your nightly skin care routine, evening body wash or lotion, bedtime bath, or relaxing before-bed foot, neck, or back massage.

Blocking UV rays by covering up will also help reduce your risk of reaction. Apply oil to the back, lower chest, or temples and throw on a crewneck tee and hat. Just be sure that anywhere you apply oil is fully covered with a heavy or tightly knit material.

Most undiluted photosensitive oils require 12 hours before sun exposure but some can take up to 48 hours. Be aware that the amount of oil you use and whether or not you dilute your oil affects the concentration of photosensitive compounds.

If you or someone you know has a reaction, get out of the sun immediately and wash with cold water and soap. Alternatively, if there is no soap handy, you can also apply vegetable oil directly to the affected area to dilute the essential oil and calm the skin.

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