Sunshine and Safe use of essential oils

An important part of empowered Health and Wellness is an understanding of the Safety and proper use of what we are introducing to our systems.

Plant medicine and Herbal use can contribute to a sensitivity and physical response in our system just as much as a concentrated oil can. And of course we can support and strengthen our immune response to protect us from an accelerated reaction, but the purity and concentrated potency of CTPG oils can not be ignored. These are very effective and very safe to use, but care must be considered when applying them topically and some oils are particularly sensitive to light and exposure to the sun and UV light.


Photosensitization is the process in which ultraviolet (UV) radiation combines with a particular substance and causes chemical or biological changes. Some essential oils contain furocoumarins, a special class of constituent that can cause photosensitization of the skin.

The most commonly found furocoumarins in essential oils are bergapten and oxypeucedanin. The chemical structure of these molecules (and their metabolites) allows them to form cross-links with skin cell DNA, in turn making the skin especially susceptible to UV radiation.

During the process, free radicals and singlet oxygen are also formed and can inflict damage on cellular membranes, organelles, and proteins.

If exposed to sunlight (which gives off UV radiation) after topical application of a photosensitive oil, the skin may become temporarily darkly pigmented, red, or irritated. 

Photosensitivity and phototoxicity apply to topical use of essential oils only and do not pose the same risks when used internally. When using a photosensitive essential oil topically, avoidance of sunlight is recommended for up to 12 hours after use.

Always use a carrier oil when applying an essential oil topically to your skin and always apply these oils WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE to avoid a Phototoxic or Photosensitive reaction!

Essential Oils that May Cause Phototoxic or Photosensitive Reactions:


Jennie Knourek

Herbalist, Phyto/Aromatherapist & Wellness Advocate. Trained Massage Therapist


Owner/Admin of and Crunchy Biker Clubhouse and Healthy Happy Strong Tribe on Facebook

Join my FREE Online Class to Learn More about Essential Oils