Essential Oil Recipe Journal
Photosensitive Essential Oils. Avoid direct sunlight for 12-72 hours after using these essential oils.

Important Safety Precautions for Photosensitive Essential Oils

Photosensitive Essential Oils. Avoid direct sunlight for 12-72 hours after using these essential oils. www.paintedteacup.comI hope everyone is enjoying all of the sunshine and hot weather so far this summer! I know I have and I have been loving using my essential oils, especially when camping 🙂 That being said, there are certain precautions that need to be followed when using essential oils outside. I have talked about essential oil safety a lot in the past (Essential Oil Safety Guide) however I wanted to take the time to specifically talk about safety with essential oils and sunlight.

What is a Photosensitive Essential Oil?

Photosensitive essential oils are often in the citrus family. When photosensitive essential oils are exposed to sunlight, they have the ability to create a skin reaction. If you expose photosensitive oils to sunlight for up to 12 hours after use, it could create a rash or burn on your skin. As an exception, do not expose bergamot essential oil to sunlight for up to 72 hours after use.

What Oils are Photosensitive?

Here is a list of essential oils that are photosensitive. Avoid direct sunlight for the specified amount of time after use. Please note, there may be other photosensitive essential oils that are not included in this list!

Avoid Direct Sunlight For Up To 12 Hours After Use:


Avoid Direct Sunlight For Up To 72 Hours After Use:


Pin this list to help you remember which oils are photosensitive!

Photosensitive Essential Oils. Avoid direct sunlight for 12-72 hours after using these essential oils.

Tips for Using Photosensitive Essential Oils:

Here are some ways that you can use photosensitive essential oils, even when the sun is out!

Apply photosensitive essential oils at night:

I generally use lemon on my face when I have a breakout. Instead of putting the lemon on my face in the morning, I do so in the evening before bed. This actually works great as it allows the oil to work and by the morning the spot on my face in often considerably smaller. Check out my daily essential oil routine!

Apply photosensitive essential oils to your feet:

If you plan to wear socks or covered shoes then apply the essential oils to your feet! Not only does this allow you to use these oils while the sun is out, but the oils also absorb very quickly through the feet as you have larger pores there. Here are more great benefits of applying essential oils to your feet! Even though the oils absorb fast, you still need to take safety precautions.

Apply photosensitive essential oils under your clothes:

If you are going to be wearing layers, simply apply the photosensitive oils under your clothes. Be sure you do not remove your layers during the day as you may accidentally expose the oils to sunlight.

Storing Photosensitive Essential Oils:

It is important to store all essential oils out of direct sunlight, but this is especially true for photosensitive essential oils! Store your oils in a cool dark place whenever possible. I store my oils in a box similar to this essential oil storage box. When any essential oil is exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time it can cause your essential oils to, for lack of a better word, evaporate.

How do you use photosensitive essential oils? Do you have any other tips for using photosensitive essential oils?

26 thoughts on “Important Safety Precautions for Photosensitive Essential Oils”

  1. I sure learned something new. I never knew that photosensitive essential oils were a problem. I get rashes all the time from unknown reasons and now I’m wondering if it’s from the essential oils I use as I use a lot of citrus essential oils. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hmmm that may be the cause of the problem. Try changing how you use the citrus oils and see if you notice a difference in the rash! Have you tried lavender and tea tree for the rash?

  2. Wow, I never knew this about essential oils. They are all the rave now and I would love to try and use them with the family but now I know to be careful. Thanks for this information it was very informative for me. I’ll have to pin this for later.

  3. Great information about photosensitive essential oils. We are just starting to get the hang of using these and making sure we are doing it right. I love the idea of applying them to your feet!

  4. This is good to know. I didn’t know that these oils can be very sensitive to sunlight. I like using essential oils and I would normally apply it after taking a shower. I learned so much from this post. Thanks!

  5. Thank you for allowing me to learn more about essential oils today! I did not know there were certain ones that are photosensitive and which ones I should wear under my close! I love to smell lavender and jasmine as both take me away to wonderful memories! Thanks for sharing today!

  6. Great to know! I just received my very first essential oil and it just happens to be lemon. I never realized they could be light sensitive which will definitely impact use and storage. Thanks for sharing such a great tip!

  7. Great info to know about essential oils! I don’t have any, but i never realized that they could be sensitive to light!Thanks for helping me to learn something new and for sharing such a great tip

  8. Great tips, and something I think a lot of people don’t know about essential oils. I’ve been using essential oils since the 90s, before they were as popular as they are now and I wish I’d had better access to info back then…. and one of those cool storage boxes!

  9. Whoa, I didn’t know about this before. Do you get to buy photosensitive essentials oils from commercial stores or you do it yourself from ingredients in the kitchen? Don’t this type of oil stain the clothes when you wear it under them?


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