Bergamot Essential Oil Safety And Precautions

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Bergamot oilUsing essential oils safely and responsibly is the number one rule to follow if you are starting your essential oil journey or you have a little more experience than that of a beginner.

Unfortunately, we don’t always have the time or the mood to spend time learning more about the potential risks that essential oils can have to our skin and health.

One of the essential oils that you need to be super careful when it comes to using it on the skin is Cold Pressed Bergamot Oil.

Bergamot Oil belongs to the citrus oil family and as such, it is energizing and uplifting to the senses with a complex aroma that combines both sour and sweet notes.

It is this sparkling seductive aroma that makes you want to use it on the skin as a refreshing body spritz or in other homemade skin care creations, but here is where you need to be cautious.

Cold Pressed Bergamot Oil Is Phototoxic

Cold Pressed Bergamot Oil contains furocoumarins, natural chemicals that are found in specific essential oils.

These constituents react when they get exposed to UV light, which means that if you apply cold-pressed bergamot oil to your skin and go out in the sun, you run the risk of getting your skin reddened, burnt, inflamed and blistered.

There are many studies published in the US National Library Of Medicine presenting the phototoxic effect of cold pressed Bergamot Oil.

In their book ‘Essential Oil Safety’ Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, explain that furocoumarins are found in cold-pressed citrus oils and not citrus fruit essential oils that are distilled.

How To Prevent Skin Photosensitivity From Bergamot Oil

  • Use Furocoumarin free bergamot oil. This type of bergamot oils is steam distilled, so you are free of the phototoxicity and skin sensitization risk.
  • Avoid using high concentrations of cold-pressed bergamot oil topically due to the risk of skin sensitization. The recommended maximum percentage of dilution is 0.4%. You can use a higher concentration of bergamot oil that is free of furocoumarins, up to 16.5%.
  • Citrus oils are prone to oxidizing when they are exposed to light, oxygen and high temperatures, which increases the risk of skin sensitization.
  • Store your oil in dark amber bottles and keep it in the fridge if necessary to prolong its shelf life.
  • If you want to use cold pressed bergamot oil to the skin, avoid direct exposure to the sun for at least 12 hours after you have applied it to your skin.
  • It is generally recommended that the use of bergamot oil should be avoided during the first sixteen weeks of pregnancy.


Bergamot is a lovely essential oil with many benefits for the skin. It has been historically used for bug bites, mild skin itching, eczema, psoriasis, and acne. It feels soothing to the skin and reduces inflammation.

For preventing negative skin reactions, it is recommended to follow the bergamot oil safety and precautions described above.