Essential oils are amazing additions to our health routines. However, with the days getting longer and the sun getting stronger, we need to make sure to use caution when applying certain oils topically.

Some cold-pressed essential oils, particularly the citrus oils, can be phototoxic when applied to skin that is then exposed to sunlight. Phototoxic effects may include redness, blistering and rash.

Some such oils are:

  • Bergamot
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Cumin

Some things you can do to avoid phototoxic effects are:

  • Apply the oil diluted to the bottoms of the feet, then cover with socks and shoes
  • Apply diluted oil on other areas that will not be getting any sun exposure (like on the spine, under clothing)
  • Avoid sunlight to areas where you’ve applied the oils for 12-36 hours (bergamot being the one needing the longest rest-time before sun exposure).

In the late spring and summer months, these oils are great for bringing about a positive outlook, improving mood, and deodorizing the air. The good news is you can achieve these effects simply by diffusing the oils, which bypasses the photosensitivity effects completely.

To vibrant health,
Dr. Jamilet

Dr. Jamilet Alegria, M.D., joined the CentreSpring MD team of providers in the fall of 2016 after spending years as a Pediatric Hospitalist at both CHOC Children’s in Orange County and at the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Inpatient Pediatrics Unit in Southern California.

Email appointments@centrespringmd.com to schedule a visit with Dr. Jamilet Alegria, M.D..

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Categories: Health Tips