Essential oils are pretty amazing. They can help you relax, soothe muscle pain, relieve your anxiety and help you sleep. Many can even be used to replace common products filled with chemicals, like bug spray. While essential oils can be extremely beneficial, it’s important to understand how each oil is intended for use, along with safety tips, do’s and don’ts. A woman from Wisconsin is sharing her story to warn others about the potential dangers of essential oils, when they aren’t used correctly.
Elise Nguyen uses DoTerra essential oils on a regular basis, as part of her skin care routine. She didn’t realize that the products she was using can cause an adverse reaction when exposed to sunlight or UV rays. After Elise applied essential oils to her skin then used a tanning bed, she shared her story on Facebook.
Elise wrote, “I applied DoTerra essential oils… to my wrists and my neck prior to a hot yoga class. After class (one hour later) I went tanning in a tanning bed… The next day, I noticed irritation where I applied the oil. Initially I thought it was an allergic reaction to a new laundry detergent. Well over the next couple of days I developed nasty blisters due to a chemical burn.”
Second and third degree burns developed on Elise’s skin. Elise still had painful, open wounds on her neck and wrists three weeks after using the tanning bed. She admitted that she had not noticed a caution on the DoTerra oil bottle. The caution warns users to avoid sunlight and UV rays for 12 hours after applying the oil to their skin.
A spokesperson from DoTerra commented, “As a reminder, we recommend that everyone use properly-diluted application techniques and, as Ms. Nguyen noted, DoTerra cautions users to avoid contact with the sun (or tanning beds) for up to 12 hours after applying cold pressed oils, including citrus oils.”
Elise warns others, “Please, please read the bottles of anything you put on your skin. I wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone else. It’s been hell.”
Photosensitive Essential Oils
According to DoTerra, “Photosensitization is the process in which ultraviolet (UV) radiation combines with a particular substance and causes chemical or biological changes. Some essential oils contain furocoumarins, a special class of constituent that can cause photosensitization of the skin.”
If you are using a photosensitive essential oil externally, avoid sunlight for up to 12 hours after use. The following essential oils may cause photosensitive reactions. To use them safely, avoid sun exposure for:
- 12 hours: Cumin, Tangerine, ImmuPower.
- 24 hours: Angelica, Citrus Hystrix (Combava or Limette), Ginger, Grapefruit, Lemon, Mandarin, Orange, Abundance, Christmas Spirit, Citrus Fresh, Di-Gize, Dragon Time, Envision, GLF, Grounding, Inner Child, Into the Future, Live with Passion, Longevity, Magnify Your Purpose, Peace & Calming, Raven, SARA, Surrender, Thieves, Transformation, Trauma Life.
- 48 hours: Bergamot, Awaken, Chivalry, Clarity, Dream Catcher, Forgiveness, Gentle Baby, Harmony, Joy, Legacy, White Angelica.
- 72 hours: Lime.