10 Essential Oils to Avoid Wearing in the Sun

All Posts, Essential Oils

Words: Jana Holstein
Photo Credit: Pete Bellis

Essential oils are in many skincare products these days. And it makes sense why; the healing powers they hold are endless. From healing cuts and scars, to treating acne and eczema, there’s an essential oil for just about everything. While they are extremely beneficial, it is very important to note which ones to avoid when you’re about to enjoy a day in the hot sun.

Certain essential oils are phototoxic, which means they can cause your skin to be more prone to sunburns and other forms of skin damage when exposed to direct sunlight. Research has shown that phototoxic essential oils can still be used topically on the skin, even with exposure to UV light, as long as they are safely diluted; however, the easiest way to prevent this type of sun-sensitivity is to avoid them completely before soaking up some rays of sunshine.

This time of year it’s fun to create your own summery scented lotions and spritzers, but be careful! There are 10 essential oils that have been known to cause sun sensitivity and sunburn.

Oils to avoid in the sun:

  • Angelica
  • Bergamot
  • Bitter Orange (cold pressed)
  • Lemon (cold pressed)
  • Lime (cold pressed)
  • Fig Leaf Absolute
  • Mandarin Leaf
  • Tagetes
  • Cumin
  • Rue

There’s nothing better than heading to the beach on a hot summer day with a favorite book in hand. But remember: You definitely don’t want to spend some quality time in the sun just to end up burned because you didn’t heed these precautions. It’s always better to be sun safe than sorry!

So next time you go to the beach, be sure to pay attention to the products you are putting on your skin beforehand, it’s not worth the damage!




Don’t miss any fun skin care recipes that will help nourish your skin after a long day in the sun, in Willow and Sage Summer 2017. 


Photo Credit: Mary Helen Leonard


If you’re interested in learning more about the basics, please explore our Guide to Essential Oils for further reading, infographics, and more.


NOTE: Always test a small area of your skin first, to check for sensitivity. Please avoid contact with eyes and approach all oils with extreme caution if you have any skin allergies. Please seek professional advice prior to using essential oils while pregnant.

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By reading flourish, you’re not just taking care of your skin. You’re discovering the importance of loving your skin, and everything in-between. flourish is more than just a blog. It’s our way of encouraging everyone to thrive in a healthy and vigorous way – to empower wellness in all aspects of your day-to-day life.

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2 thoughts on “10 Essential Oils to Avoid Wearing in the Sun”

  1. For those seeking to protect their skin in the sun, this article provides a wealth of information on essential oil precautions. Thanks for the informative article.

  2. Hi,thank you for this information about oils.I would like to know if common essential oils like jojoba,sweet almond, carrot seed,rosehip and vitamin E oil, are those oils safe to apply on the face before stepping out in the sun.?