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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 Weleda 2En1 Démaquillant Tonique Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser Electric Ink Defining Tattoo Body Oil Elemis Cellutox Active Body Oil Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Foundation LACURA Healthy Glow Vitamin C Toner Monu Refining Capri Facial Oil Nivea Lotion Extra Rich Moisturizing Tarte Maracuja Oil (New) Aussie Shine On Hair Serum With Australian Jojoba Seed Oil Botanics Nourishing Facial Oil With Rosehip Calvin Klein Euphoria Body Lotion ESPA Pink Pomelo Lip Balm Ho Karan The High Oil L'Oreal Paris Total Repair 5 Serum Lush Tea Tree Water Toner Phyto Polléine 100% Botanical Scalp Treatment alya skin Australian Pink Clay Mask Bakel Mint Body Scrub Bybi Lip Plumper Bybi beauty C-Caf Cream Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil Blend Elemis Musclease Active Body Oil Kruidvat Behandelingsolie Tea Tree La Prairie Cellular Energizing Mist Lovely Day Botanicals Skin Rescue - Problem Skin Oil Neom Great Day Glow Face Oil The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil The Wild Curl Kinky Castor Hair Oil Typology Stimulating Shampoo Activated With Ginger Essential Oil Weleda Lavender Relaxing Body Oil Amika Blockade Heat Protectant Serum Aromatica Orange Cleansing Sherbet Avon Aromatherapy Calm Body Mist Spray - Eucalyptus & Peppermint Botanics All Bright Bi-Phase Oil DECLÉOR Green Mandarin Scrub Mask Dominique Cosmetics Lemonade Lip Gloss Dr Organic Aloe Vera Soap Dr. C. Tuna Tea Tree Serum ESPA Balancing Foam Cleanser Elemis Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil Ilcsi Sulphuric Toner L'Oreal Smooth Intense Frizz Taming Serum L'Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil Original Oil Lush Eau Roma Water Lush Lip Scrub Mint Julips Matrix Biolage 6-In-1 Smooth Proof Deep Smoothing Hair Serum