While many synthetic cosmetic ingredients cause allergic reaction and skin irritation, not all natural ingredients are exempt either. Many people are sensitive to essential oils, and though they are used for therapeutic reasons, essential oils are potent ingredients and care must be taken when using them.

Essential oils should not be applied directly to skin, but added to a carrier (or base) oil, like Jojoba or Sweet Almond. Fifteen drops of essential oil per fluid ounce is recommended.

Another concern when using essential oils, and products that contain them, is phototoxicity. Phototoxicity is a toxic reaction brought on by exposure to sunlight, often linked with the use of a phototoxic substance. Certain essential oils contain components that are phototoxic. A photosensitivity usually appears as a very deep sunburn.

Citrus oils that are expressed rather than distilled are recognized as containing these phototoxic components, though lemon is still believed to remain phototoxic after distillation. To avoid phototoxic reactions The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has set safety limits on the amount of phototoxic essential oils a cosmetic product should contain.

IFRA recommends that products applied to areas of skin exposed to sunlight, excluding products which are rinsed off (body wash, soaps, etc.) should contain levels of cold-pressed lemon oil not exceeding 2%. Levels for orange oil should not exceed 0.5%.

NOTE: True Natural SPF 50 sunscreens do not contain lemon or orange oils

At True Natural we are currently using lemon and orange oils at levels of 0.4% in our sunscreen formulations, well below the IFRA recommendations. And remember, even though our essential oil content is well below the safety limit, we use mineral sunscreen zinc oxide which forms a physical barrier on the skin. This barrier prevents UV rays from penetrating to skin’s lower layers.

So, why use lemon and orange essential oils at all? True Natural utilizes a unique essential oil blend, including lemon and orange oils, for their aromatherapeautic properties. Only trace amounts of these oils are used to make True Natural Sunscreens.

True Natural is dedicated to providing you and your family with the safest and most effective sunscreen on the market. Truly natural skin care for a truly natural way of life.