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Limonene

icky
What-it-does: perfuming, solvent, deodorant

Details

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

Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Foundation Botanics Nourishing Facial Oil With Rosehip ESPA Pink Pomelo Lip Balm Lush Tea Tree Water Toner Bybi Lip Plumper Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil Blend Elemis Musclease Active Body Oil Lovely Day Botanicals Skin Rescue - Problem Skin Oil The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Weleda Lavender Relaxing Body Oil Aromatica Orange Cleansing Sherbet Dominique Cosmetics Lemonade Lip Gloss ESPA Balancing Foam Cleanser Elemis Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil Neal's Yard Remedies Organic Baby Barrier Cream Revolution Skincare Rosehip Seed Oil - Gold Elixir EVA NYC Mane Magic 10-In-1 Primer Lancôme Tonique Radiance NOAH Natural Shampoo For Fine And Oily Hair So...? Fresh Floral Body Mist Weleda Refining Toner alverde Face Oil Gesichts-Öl Bio Wildrose Blue Beautifly Organic Rosehip Oil Serum Clarins Blue Orchid Facial Treatment Oil Cosmedix Restore Moisture-Rich Mask Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Replenishing Cleansing Oil Emma Hardie Brilliance Facial Oil Environ Sebuprep Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate L'Oreal Professionnel Serioxyl Fuller & Stronger Tonic MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel Revolution Skincare Rosehip Seed Oil Essence Spray Votary Cleansing Oil – Rose Geranium And Apricot Weleda One Step Cleanser & Toner Darphin Jasmine Aromatic Care Darphin Jasmine Aromatic Care Dr Hauschka Facial Toner Elemis Superfood Aha Glow Booster Fresh Sugar Face Polish Garnier Hidra Rizos Grown Alchemist Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser: Geranium Leaf, Bergamot & Rose-Bud Kerastase Elixir Ultime Oil Serum Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash Lush Like A Virgin Naked Cold Cream Nip+Fab Vitamin C Fix Essence Mist Omorovicza Cleansing Foam Origins Ginzing™ Energy-Boosting Treatment Lotion Mist Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum