There’s something about the sweet scent of citrus on a sweltering summer day that’s so refreshing. Orange, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, lime – they’re the scents and tastes we crave all summer long.

With temperatures rising and the sun baking down, it can be tempting to toss a few drops of those beloved citrus oils into any blend you create.

But before you do, be sure to understand the potential dangers of incorrect citrus oil use in the summer and how to safely use them for your family during the hottest, sunniest days of the year.

The Dangers of Citrus Oil in the Summer

Our beloved citrus oils are photosensitive, meaning they contain compounds that increase our skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet rays.

So, while it may be tempting to put a few drops of your favorite citrus oil into your summertime lotions, sunscreens or body sprays before going outside, doing so may actually harm your skin and cause a reaction if you remain in the sun for an extended period of time.

Best Ways to Use Citrus Oil in the Summer

  • Use at night. If you want to lather up with your favorite homemade citrus oil lotion, be sure to do so at night. Avoid skin application during the day, when you’re going back and forth between indoors and outdoors regularly.
  • Use in a safe product, like our Citrus-Infused Eucalyptus Shower Mist! This is a perfect way to get your daily splash of citrus without compromising your skin. Simply run a warm shower and spray the product into the steam – enjoy the energizing and refreshing scent of summertime citrus while staying safe and healthy!
  • Use in a diffuser. Diffuse the oils in your home rather than applying on your skin. This is a great way to enjoy the fresh, sweet scent of citrus without compromising your skin health if spending time outdoors during the day!
  • Cover up! If you do apply citrus oil to your skin before going outside, be sure to cover up. Wear longer sleeves, a hat and/or a light jacket.
  • Wash and dilute if affected. If you or a family member do develop a reaction caused by sun exposure and citrus oils, be sure to wash the affected area with cool water and a mild soap. Pat the area dry and rub a small amount of coconut or vegetable oil on the area to further dilute any remaining essential oil.

What are some of your favorite oils to use in the summer? Be sure to always check the labels to check the oil photosensitivity and make sure it’s safe for use in the sun!