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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

Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Foundation Botanics Organic Facial Oil | 100% Organic With Rosehip Lush Tea Tree Water Toner Lovely Day Botanicals Skin Rescue - Problem Skin Oil The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Dominique Cosmetics Lemonade Lip Gloss Elemis Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil 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 Clarins Blue Orchid Facial Treatment Oil Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Replenishing Cleansing Oil Emma Hardie Brilliance Facial Oil Environ Sebuprep Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel Votary Cleansing Oil – Rose Geranium And Apricot Weleda One Step Cleanser & Toner 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 Nip+Fab Vitamin C Fix Essence Mist Omorovicza Cleansing Foam Rodin Luxury Hair Oil Sister & Co Raw Coconut Drink For Hair So...? Watermelon Body Mist The Body Shop Olive Soap The Body Shop Vanilla Body Mist The Jojoba Company Oily Skin Balancer Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream Aesop Colour Protection Conditioner Australian Gold Moisture Lock Tan Extender COLAB Paradise Fragrance Dry Shampoo Emma Hardie Moringa Balm Garnier Hautklar Tägliches Anti-Pickel Waschgel Lush Breath Of Fresh Air Toner Origins Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Micellar Cleanser Origins Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion Patyka Huile Absolue Skin Booster Serum