Dermocaustic and photosensitizing essential oils

Essential oils are great, but use them with caution!

Essential oils are very useful ingredients in homemade care products. They confer benefits to your DIY cosmetics, while imparting their lovely scents. However, they can’t be used willy-nilly! It’s important to read up on the essential oils you want to use. Some are dermocaustic or photosensitizing, meaning that they can irritate your skin or make it sensitive to sunlight. 


You might be wondering why we use these essential oils in our recipes at all. Well, you can still use them as long as you take specific precautions and use them in the right products. As long as you stick to these guidelines, you won’t have to worry! Moreover, some dermocaustic or photosensitizing essential oils are ideal for other homemade products—like candles or household cleaners—and smell so lovely that it would be a shame to write them off completely! There’s nothing quite so cozy as a cinnamon-scented candle on a winter evening. 


The key is always using the right ingredients for the right recipe. With a little research you can safely enjoy the benefits of essential oils. To help you out, we’ve made a list of all of our dermocaustic and photosensitizing essential oils, along with safety precautions for using them. Please note that in this article, we only discuss the essential oils we offer. There are so many in the world that it would be impossible to list them all!

Dermocaustic essential oils

Dermocaustic essential oils can irritate, or even burn, your skin. So, you have to be very careful what products you use them in and how much you use! Otherwise, you may sensitize or damage your skin.


Dermocaustic essential oils must not be used in DIY products used on your face and they must make up no more than 0.5% of the total weight of your recipe, whether you’re using one or more. That is, the total weight of all dermocaustic essential oils combined must be 0.5% or less.


Here are the dermocaustic essential oils that we sell:

Other essential oils to use with care


These two essential oils are not dermocaustic; however, their maximum rate is the same as for dermocaustic essential oils. If they are not used correctly, they can make your skin more vulnerable, that is, more sensitive to allergens and more prone to blemishes.

Photosensitizing essential oils

Photosensitizing essential oils make your skin sensitive to sunlight. If your skin is exposed to sunlight after applying one, it can cause long-term damage to your skin or lead to the formation of pigment spots, which can be removed only through expensive treatments.


You can use photosensitizing essential oils in skincare products that you rinse off, such as soaps or cleansers. You can also use them in products that remain on your skin as long as it will not be exposed to sunlight in the eight hours that follow. For example, you can use a photosensitizing essential oil in a night cream. However, we do not recommend using them in a day cream or in a product such as a hand cream that you might use during the day.


Here are the photosensitizing essential oils we sell:


We hope this article helps you formulate your next recipes. Of course, every essential oil has its own specific qualities and restrictions, including the usage rates for how much of it you can safely include in different types of products. We provide the appropriate usage rates for the essential oils in each of our recipes, but if you’re developing your own recipes or altering one of ours, we encourage you to seek out that information before using any of them! The topic is vast as there are hundreds of essential oils, countless uses for each one and many sources of information. 


Keep in mind that you can always use one of our recipes! Our Research and Development team carefully develops each and every one of them, and they are tested out thoroughly by several members of our team before we share them with you. We take great care to develop high-quality recipes and ensure your safety, so you can follow them without worry. Last but not least, you should always test your own recipes by applying a small amount of your product to a patch of skin, to ensure your skin tolerates it and avoid larger-scale reactions. 

If you didn’t know before, we’re sure you do now: it’s important to always do your research when making homemade personal care and household products!

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