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What-it-does: perfuming, solvent, deodorant


A super common and cheap fragrance ingredient. It's in many plants, e.g. rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint and it's the main component (about 50-90%) of the peel oil of citrus fruits.

It does smell nice but the problem is that it oxidizes on air exposure and the resulting stuff is not good for the skin. Oxidized limonene can cause allergic contact dermatitis and counts as a frequent skin sensitizer

Limonene's nr1 function is definitely being a fragrance component, but there are several studies showing that it's also a penetration enhancer, mainly for oil-loving components.

All in all, limonene has some pros and cons, but - especially if your skin is sensitive - the cons probably outweigh the pros.  

Show me some proof

  • Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Volume 9 (3)–Sep 1, 2010, Original Contribution: Top 10 botanical ingredients in 2010 anti‐aging creams
  • Matura, Mihály, et al. "Oxidized citrus oil (R-limonene): a frequent skin sensitizer in Europe." Journal of the American academy of dermatology 47.5 (2002): 709-714.
  • Ahmad, Muhammad Mushtaq, et al. "Genetic variability to essential oil composition in four citrus fruit species." Pakistan Journal of Botany 38.2 (2006): 319.
  • Takayama, Kozo, and Tsuneji Nagai. "Limonene and related compounds as potential skin penetration promoters." Drug Development and industrial pharmacy 20.4 (1994): 677-684.
  • Koyama, Yasuo, et al. "Comparative analysis of percutaneous absorption enhancement by d-limonene and oleic acid based on a skin diffusion model." Pharmaceutical research 11.3 (1994): 377-383.

Products with Limonene

Clearasil Daily Clear Deep Cleansing Pads Aveda Tangerine Essential Oil + Base Weleda 2En1 Démaquillant Tonique Aveda Bergamot Essential Oil + Base Aveda Peppermint Essential Oil + Base Bobbi Brown Extra Balm Rinse Bobbi Brown Extra Cleansing Balm Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser Diaderma Pimple-Break Electric Ink Defining Tattoo Body Oil Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Foundation LACURA Healthy Glow Vitamin C Toner Lush Each Peach (And Two'S A Pair) Massage Bar Monu Skin Refining Capri Facial Oil Nivea Lotion Extra Rich Moisturizing Noche y Dia Pure Vitamin C Revitalizing Concentrate Tarte Maracuja Oil (New) Alterra Badesalz Naturfreude Aussie Shine On Hair Serum With Australian Jojoba Seed Oil Australian bodycare Nail Repair Aveda Chakra 2 Balancing Pure-Fume Mist Nourished Aveda Chakra 3 Balancing Pure-Fume Mist Intention Aveda Chakra 6 Balancing Pure-Fume Mist Insight Aveda Eucalyptus Essential Oil + Base Botanics Nourishing Facial Oil With Rosehip Calduch Laboratorios Suavina Dermo Original Calvin Klein Euphoria Body Lotion ESPA Pink Pomelo Lip Balm ESPA Pulse Point Positivity Guerlain Shalimar Eau De Parfum Ho Karan The High Oil Kneipp Bath Oil Eucalyptus - Refreshing L'Oreal Paris Total Repair 5 Serum L'Oreal Professionnel Kerastase Huile Cicaextreme Lush Tea Tree Water Lush Tea Tree Water Toner Léa Nature Natessance Ricin MELVITA Nigella Oil Manna Szépítő Arcpakolás NATURE SPELL Rosemary Oil Nuxe Rêve De Miel Delectable Fragrant Water POM POM Sheavaj Jojobaolajjal Phyto Polléine 100% Botanical Scalp Treatment PuroBIO Balmy Pink Grapefruit Lip Balm RITUALS Victoire D 'ambre Eau De Parfum Skin Chemists Vitamin C Brightening Orange Day Serum Weleda Citrus Deodorant alya skin Australian Pink Clay Mask renovality Massage Body Oil With Lavender