Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Peel Oil
The essential oil coming from the peel of the bergamot orange. It's a common top note in perfumes and contains (among others) fragrant compounds limonene (37%), linalyl acetate (30%) and linalool (8.8%).
Fragrant compounds smell nice but are common allergens and can be a problem for sensitive skin types. The bigger problem with bergamot oil though, is that it also contains furanocoumarins (more specifically, bergapten and bergamottin) that have well-documented phototoxic effects. A phototoxic reaction is a not nice one causing red, edematous lesions on the affected area. We think it is a good idea to avoid bergamot oil but if you have a product that you love, make sure to use it at night only.
Nowadays, furanocoumarin-free versions of bergamot oil are also available and more and more common, and they usually go by the INCI name Bergamot Fruit Oil.
Show me some proof
- Kaddu, Steven, Helmut Kerl, and Peter Wolf. "Accidental bullous phototoxic reactions to bergamot aromatherapy oil." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 45.3 (2001): 458-461.
- Dermatologica. 1979;158(4):229-43., Phototoxicity of Bergamot oil. Comparison between humans and guinea pigs
- Contact Dermatitis, Volume 3 (5) – May 1, 1977, A study of oil of bergamot and its importance as a phototoxic agent