Photosensitive Oils Safety Alert

Photosensitive Oils Safety Alert
How beautiful Mother Nature is in June, with wildflowers blooming, sunny skies, and the magic sparkle of fireflies after the sun goes down. One of my favorite songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein is “June is bustin’ out all over!”   Listening to it makes me feel happy and excited, just like sunshine in June!  

Summer and citrus fruits are synonymous, so naturally you’ll want to use citrus oils this time of year. We want everyone healthy and safe, so we advise delaying exposure to sunlight after topically applying citrus oils as compounds found in citrus oils - known as furanocoumarins - react with sunlight causing UV sensitivity to the skin.  As a general rule, avoid direct UV exposure of an area where you applied citrus oils for a minimum of 12 hours, up to 48 hours for sensitive skin.

That doesn’t mean you have to put your beloved Bergamot, Grapefruit and Lemon EOs away for the summer.  Just apply EOs to skin that’s covered by clothing, or use when your skin won’t be exposed to the sun for at least 24 hours.  

The following single essential oils require a Sun/UV warning:
Blends containing these oils may include a warning as well depending on the oil's concentration in the blend.  The Vitality™ counterparts of these oils will also include a warning in case of skin contact.  Please refer to the individual product labels for most current usage directions and cautions.  Please note, that this may not include recently released products. Always refer to your product label. 

Cinnamon Bark
Clary Sage 
Jade Lemon

Although most photosensitive oils are citrus, there are other essential oils that can contain compounds, or mixes of compounds, that have the same effect as furanocoumarins, meaning they would not be sun-safe either. Always check the label before application to determine the oil’s photosensitivity.

The following Young Living essential oils blends are considered photosensitive:

Build Your Dream™
Citrus Fresh™
Gentle Baby™
Inner Harmony™
Peace & Calming®

Slique Essence™
Stres Away™
White Angelica™
The amount of time in which direct sunlight and UV rays will vary from 12-24-48 hours with each product. To ensure your safety, we implore you to refer to the individual label directions before application for usage and safety guidelines.



What’s the best way to reduce the risks of a negative reaction?

Use Photosensitive Oils at Nighttime
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.
Cover Application Area
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.
Follow Label Instructions
The best way to avoid a negative reaction is to follow the label instructions. Most undiluted photosensitive oils require 12 hours before sun exposure but some can take up to 48 hours. Be aware that the amount you use and whether you dilute both affect the concentration of photosensitive compounds—and always remember that sunscreen helps you stay safe in the sun, even after the recommended wait time.

What should I do if I have a reaction? 

If you or someone you know is having a reaction, get away from UV exposure immediately and follow one of the following procedures:
After skin reaction:
1. Immediately wash with cold water and soap. Rinse thoroughly.
2. Dilute and rinse the skin with vegetable oil to dilute the essential oil.
After eye reaction:
1. Rinse opened eye for several minutes under running water.
2. Apply vegetable oil with a sterile cloth around the eye to dilute any excess essential oil.
Always obtain medical advice if the skin is painful or the reaction covers a substantial portion of the body.

We love essential oils and know that you do too. That’s why we want to provide you with general information to help you increase your understanding of proper essential oil use. To best care for yourself and your family, always read and heed label instructions. The best news is that there are plenty of oils that are free of photosensitive compounds, so they’re ready for your summer adventures. It’s the perfect opportunity to try something new and find a new favorite!

Now that you know how to use essential oils safely during sunlight exposure, bring on all the summer activities like baseball games, fishing at the lake, backyard BBQ’s, and spending time at the beach or lounging by the pool!  Let's experience the magic and joy of summertime with Young Living essential oils!

Peace, Love and Joy,