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Fun in the sun and phototoxic oils–safety needs repeating

Most essential oils are safe in the sun, but some are photo toxic.  Well–what does that mean?  It means that if you are in the house, in the winter and use a lotion that has certain oils in it, you have no worries.   On the other hand, if you use that same type of lotion in the summer–let’s say after a shower. You decide to go out and weed the flower beds later—forgetting about the lotion. You could have a reaction to that lotion from being out in the sun.

What kind of reaction? How do I prevent it?

Redness, burns, itching, blisters, permanent skin discoloration are some of the reactions that you can have by not diluting the oils you use enough. Some oils are phototoxic with the maximum dermal level.  If you are using product with levels over these amounts, it is best to avoid sun exposure for at least 12 to 18 hours after applying, unless you can cover your skin.

Bergamot (Citrus aurantium var. bergamia)max @ .04%2 drops per 30 ml.
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)max @ 4%24 drops per 30 ml.
Lemon (Citrus limon)max @ 2%12 drops per 30 ml.
Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)max @ 0.7%4 drops per 30 ml.
Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium)max @ 1.25%7 drops per 30 ml.
Laurel leaf (Laurus nobilis)max @ 2%12 drops per 30 ml.

Maximum levels for essential oils in skincare products in the sun.

The good news is not all citrus essential oils are phototoxic!

Those are:
Bergamot (FCF) Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) cold pressed Lemon (Citrus limon) distilled
Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) distilled
If you are going to use a lotion that has a citrus oil in it, make sure that you safely dilute that oil. There is no risk in using a product that has not been applied to the body or washed off the skin such as shampoo, soap or body wash.

if you need a more in-depth blog, go to either of the previous blogs posted on this important subject.

So enjoy your backyard, your staycation and have fun in the sun!

Happy blending,


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Essential oils for fungus that gets between my toes.

Dermatophytes cause athlete’s foot or pedia tinea. Let’s see what oils help our toes.

Image by Nicole Miranda from Pixabay

What causes athlete’s foot?

The major dermaphyte to cause athlete’s foot is Trichophyton mentagrophytes. There are many oils that have antifungal properties most high in phenols. Familiar oils such as tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), oregano (Orianum vulgare), thyme ct. thymol (Thymus vulgarus ct. thymol), and lavender (Lavendula angustifolia). Other oils essential oil enthusiasts would recognize for these properties would be lemongrass (Cybopogon flexuosus), melissa (Melissa officinalis), and clove bud (Eugenia caryophyllata). Clove bud has a very distinct aroma, maybe you do not want to smell like a clove.

What chemical components that are anti-fungal?

Tea tree oil has the chemical component terpinene-4-ol. Tea tree is used by many people for fungal issues, with a tell-tale aroma that is very medicinal. The easiest way to mask the smell is to synergize the blend with something that smells better; like lavender, spike lavender, melissa, lemongrass, patchouli…and the list goes on.
Melissa and lemongrass, both with citral, are good for candida, but that’s another blog for another day.

Here are some solutions….

I made a blend with frankincense hydrosol, Solubol for dispersant, patchouli, palmerosa, lavender and bergamot for a spray application. The application was messy. In this blend, frankincense is good for the skin, Solubol in a 4:1 ratio disperses the oils in the hydrosol. Patchouli and palmarosa work well together. Lavender and bergamot are both antifungal and work synergistically. I did not think that the product was quite as effective as I wanted it to be, so I switched to a fractionated coconut oil base.

Patchouli inhibits 12 types of fungi as noted in case studies.

With fungi infections like athlete’s foot comes itching, adding 4 drops of sweet marjoram essential oil and 2 drops of lavender helped with that. Other blends might include myrrh, patchouli and vetiver or an aloe base with lavender.

If you are into herbal remedies, a herbal based salve of Calendula works for rashes (along with cuts, and burns).

A simple recipe is ½ cup dried calendula flowers in 1 cup olive oil.
A quick infusion in a double boiler or oven on lowest setting. Cool to room temperature, and strain through a cheesecloth. Place ½ cup of herbal oil in pan. Add 1/8 cup beeswax and heat gently until melted. Pour into tins.

Keeps 1yr.

I have another recipe for a cooling foot mist.

Peppermint foot mist
3 drops tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
9 drops peppermint oil (Mentha x peperita)
14 ml aloe vera – not gel.
14 ml witch hazel.

Mix together in a 1 oz. spray bottle. Gently shake before using.

Disclaimer note: Please note that I am not a medical doctor. The use of essential oils is to promote health and wellness. If you have medical issues, seek professional advice.

Happy Blending,