Phototoxic Essential Oils

Those with a formal education in the safe use of essential oils are knowledgeable about the ‘phototoxicity‘ of some essential oils, especially those in the Rutaceae plant family.

safety protocols citrus eos May 2018
Phototoxic Essential Oils • (c) LJ Turtle Aromatherapy

With the warmer weather and as we are spending more time outside, check to see which essential oils are in your skincare products.  Tisserand & Young (2014, Essential Oil Safety, second edition) and the relevant scientific literature discuss these 5 essential oils.  Check your skincare product ingredient lists for these essential oils:

• Grapefruit
Lemon (expressed) 
Bitter Orange

Tisserand & Young’s safety protocols refer to expressed fruit peels and not distilled (lime can now be found distilled) or rectified (you can find bergaptene-free bergamot).  These safety guidelines also apply to anyone using a tanning bed. Avoid the sun and tanning beds for 12 hours after application of phototoxic essential oils over the recommended safe concentration level.

Maximum dermal use level to avoid phototoxic reactivity (Tisserand & Young, 2014):
• Grapefruit: blend at 4% or less
• Lemon: blend at 2% or less
• Lime: blend at 0.7% or less
• Bitter Orange: blend at 1.25% or less
• Bergamot: blend at 0.5% or less (Butje’s recommendation only)

According to Andrea Butje, sweet orange, tangerine, and green mandarin are not phototoxic.      Butje goes on to provide blending concentration levels that according to her, are safe to use.  But you need to do your research and know how to blend by calculating concentration levels.

The general safety guideline is avoid sunlight and tanning beds for a minimum of 12 hours after topical application of phototoxic essential oils (Canadian Federation of Aromatherapy).  Personally, to stay absolutely safe, I avoid using these essential oils in my skincare products during the summer and am cautious during the colder months.

Happy blending.

Get educated. Get certified.




Essential Oils – Month of April

In their book Daily Aromatherapy, Transforming the Seasons of Your Life with Essential Oils, Joni Keim and Ruah Bull discuss the month of April:

‘April is the second Spring month — a time to open your heart to the joy of being alive. It is the time to embrace optimism and hope for the present and the future. The essential oils for this month are Orange for joy, Mandarin for optimism, Petitgrain for harmonious relationships, and Bergamot for hope.’ (p. 27)

Orange – Joy. Uplifts. Eases minor depression. (p. 27)

Mandarin – Optimism. Relieves anxiety, tension, and stress. (p. 32)

Petitgrain – Harmonious relationships. Eases anger. Promotes mental clarity. (p. 37)

Bergamot – Hope. Brings in positive energy — light into dark times. (p. 42)

Suggested Uses

• Add a drop of each to your Nebulizer

• Add a drop of each to a spray bottle with distilled water – for a personalized spritz

• In a separate bottle, blend these 4 essential oils until your nose is pleased; now add 1 drop of this DIY blend to a piece of our diffuser jewelry:
Terra Cotta Pendant
Lava Rock Bracelets, Pendants & Earrings • Handcrafted by Lisa
DewDrop Glass Pendant
Stainless Steel Pendant

We have all four of these citrus essential oils available in 5 ml sizes at the Guelph Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 7 am – noon.


Balance Purple Blend

balance purple monograph feb 2018

Click for our full collection of Turtle Original Blends • Undiluted.  

Find me and my blends at the Guelph Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.

If you have retail space and wish to stock my blends, please don’t hesitate to contact me at: ljturtlearomatherapy at

‘Flower of Flowers’ Infused Perfume Oil

‘Flower of Flowers’ is a handcrafted infused perfume oil; a simple blend of ylang ylang and bergamot that is heavenly with a sweet delicate aroma.

Each perfume is carefully blended to not only smell lovely but to also be aromatherapeutic.

Our perfume oils are an affordable & healthy alternative to synthetic fragrances. Available weekly at the Guelph Farmers’ Market.

LJ Turtle’s infused perfume oils are blended using plant-based ingredients • essential oils & carrier oils.

Click here for our complete list & prices of Infused Perfume Oils. 


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