Definition of phototoxic. 1 : rendering the skin susceptible to damage (such as sunburn or blisters) upon exposure to light and especially ultraviolet light.
We all know that sun protection is something we all need to pay attention to. While the sun is necessary for a healthy body (and mind), there are some things that you need to be careful of when enjoying your time outside. UV rays can damage your eyes and your skin and lead to painful burns and skin cancer as well.
In an effort to achieve natural wellness, many of us choose to use essential oils as part of our daily routine, but did you know that some essential oils can damage your skin when exposed to the sun?
Phototoxicity is the reaction caused by sun exposure (UV light) after applying something to the skin, and some essential oils are phototoxic when applied to the skin. So it’s very important that you pay attention, especially during the summer months. You risk the effects of phototoxicity for at least 12 hours after applying the oil (even if you use a carrier oil) but some suggest staying out of the sun for a full 24 hours.
Some oils are also more phototoxic than others. Tangerine may not bother everyone, for example, it has a milder sensitivity.
Signs of phototoxicity
- Color changes
Phototoxic essential oils
- Citrus Hystrix
- German Chamomile
There may be other potentially photo sensitive oils. Young Living provides a warning on the label for such oils to avoid direct sunlight. Some Young Living blends such as Joy, Transformation, RutaVaLa and White Angelica may be phototoxic as well.
Make sure that you read the labels and do your research when using essential oils if you are going to be spending any time in the sun. Essential oils are amazing but certainly can cause harm if not used properly.