written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Some of you prefer 100% pure aromatherapy essential oils to fragrance skincare for the bath products whenever possible.  We understand, especially if you’ve experienced a sensitivity to some synthetic fragrances.

Our essential oils are ALWAYS 100% pure, authentic and genuine.  They are NEVER diluted with carrier oils that can negatively effect the quality and shelf-life of your essential oils.

Sometimes to give you a more beautifully unique and complex fragrance blend that’s not available with only fragrant essential oils, we blend our 100% pure essential oils with high quality synthetic (phthalate-free) fragrances to create the most elegant, refreshing, and playful fragrances we all adore.

Just one sec here:  Before we jump into talking about an important issue inherent with the use of essential oils in skincare products, an issue which most people don’t think about when touting the benefits of essential oils and citing the potential negatives associated with synthetic anything, including fragrances (e.g. sensitivities, allergies, irritation, etc.), let me tell you that very often, the primary culprit associated with synthetic fragrances is PHTHALATES.  Phthalates are the chemical compounds which can, in some individuals, cause headaches, respiratory irritation, and other temporary sensitivities.  Our highest quality synthetic fragrances are phthalate-free, for just that very good reason.

Want to know more about phthalates?  Several of you have asked me about this, so I’ll include a new post on the topic.  If you can’t wait to know more, shoot me an email, and I’ll share with you the scoop on phthalates, and why you can expect to see more and more quality beauty products listed as phthalate-free.

But, for right now, here’s a very important reason for using phthalate-free fragrances (rather than essential oils) when you’re out in the summer sun: PHOTOSENSITIVITY.

It’s important for you to know that just because we use 100% pure essential oils (not adulterated or blended with carrier oils which risk reducing their fragrant potency, therapeutic effectiveness and natural shelf-life), this does not mean that these essential oils are free of potential cosmetic issues when we expose our skin to the sun.

As with many things in life, it’s not simply: Essential oils – good, synthetic fragrances – bad.  We think it’s very important to share with you more of the whole picture.

Citrus essential oils (lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, grapefruit and lemongrass) are to be used with caution when you expose your skin to the sun, due to their inherent PHOTOSENSITIVITY.  Notice I say “with caution”, not “stop using them unless you never leave your house”.

When you apply products formulated with citrus essential oils and expose your skin to the sun, skin discolorations including but not limited to blotchiness, uneven pigmentation, brown spots or freckles may occur.  And, this hyper-pigmentation may be permanent.

Experience tells us that many of us want to wear fragrances with citrus essential oils during the day, so we think it’s a good idea to make sure to consistently apply a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB protective) sunscreen to all areas of exposed skin and/or cover up skin wherever you’ve applied your skincare products containing citrus essential oils.  Not only broad spectrum sunscreen, but protective clothing including hats, dark fabrics and sunglasses will add up to superior protection from these two types of potentially harmful ultraviolet rays.

Another excellent choice is to opt for phthalate-free synthetic fragrance (not essential oils) in your skincare products when in the sun.  These fragrances are not inherently photosensitive, however, we still very strongly recommend that you apply sunscreen whenever outdoors, to protect your skin, particularly during the hours of 10h00 and 4h00.

I like mineral sunscreens rather than chemical-based ones.  They offer effective protection upon application, rather than having to wait 30 minutes for chemical sunscreens to take effect.  How often have you experienced a burn even with a chemical sunscreen because you couldn’t wait 30 min before dashing out?

Moreover, mineral sunscreens seem to be less potentially irritating to your skin, especially the delicate area around the eyes, which we all know really needs protection from the sun.

The trick is to find one that you like to apply and doesn’t leave a ghost-like residue on your skin.  I completely understand.  Even as pale as I am, it’s been a challenge to find one which doesn’t leave this milky cast after application, but I finally succeeded, and you will too.  It’s trial and error until you succeed!

Claire at Arboretum - FB -YogaOne last thing to remember, even if you’re not planning on heading to the beach, sun exposure is cumulative.  This means that 5 minutes from parking lot to office, an hour of patio dining with a friend for lunch, or even yoga in the park will add up over time, perhaps to greater sun exposure than a beach holiday.  Suddenly your arms have a slight burn – yes, this happened to me!

Hey, it’s summer and life is meant to be enjoyed.

Smell gorgeous, delight your spirit with the joy of fragrance, and make simple choices to keep your skin safe from photosensitive reactions.

Prevent photosensitive reactions before they have a chance to develop by protecting your skin.  Easy-peasy!

Now, get out there and enjoy the beautiful days and nights of summer cheries!

Bises xo