Photosensitive Essential Oils

Known for their bright, summery scents, 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. While most photosensitive oils are citrus that have the same harmful effects with sun exposure. 


When we use certain oils topically where the sun is exposed to our skin, our skin can get a bit red and tender. However, for some people the effect are much worse.

Almost all citrus oils are photosensitive. Meaning they should be avoided topically before direct sunlight or artificial UV rays (think tanning beds or booths).

If you will be heading out in the sun, be sure any rollers or sprays you apply that contain citrus oils are applied “where the sun don’t shine” (AKA the bottoms of your feet, under your clothes, etc).

The following oils and blends have been labeled as photosensitive by doTERRA:

  • AromaTouch®
  • Bergamot
  • doTERRA Breathe®
  • doTERRA Cheer®
  • Citrus Bliss®
  • Clementine
  • Cumin
  • doTERRA Forgive®
  • Grapefruit
  • InTune®
  • Kumquat
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • doTERRA Motivate®
  • doTERRA On Guard®
  • Purify
  • Slim & Sassy®
  • Sunny Citrus
  • Tangerine
  • Wild Orangw
  • Zendocrine.

To learn the basics of using pure essential oils, grab this free ebook!

Leave a Reply