Beware – These Essential Oils Could Be Irritating Your Skin

Written by Urvi DalalSep 16, 2023
Beware – These essential oils could be irritating your skin

In the recent years, essential oils have had a major claim to fame. Thanks to their innumerable benefits, they’re literally found everywhere. No good-quality skincare product’s ingredient list is complete without at least one essential oil. But as with everything in the skincare world, essential oils aren’t as fool-proof as we are made to believe.

Even though they seem to be like a one-stop solution to all skincare problems, they aren’t. Shocked? This is because essential oils are super concentrated essences that have the potential to irritate and damage the skin. Unfortunately, everything that mother nature has to offer is not always mild and gentle, and the essential oil is the best example of this. Read on to find out about which essentials oils you need to be wary of.


Tea tree oil

Lavender oil

This may be the single most commonly used ingredient in your anti-acne products, but it could be a major skin irritant, especially if used incorrectly. You need to really dilute this oil by mixing just a drop in water and then lightly dab it to the affected area. If used in this manner, this essential oil won’t be a problem. Since tea tree oil can make your skin really dry, itchy and irritated, always look for products that don’t mention tea tree oil as one of the first few ingredients to ensure lower concentrations. Always patch test a tea tree oil products behind your ear and near the jawline to ensure no allergic reaction.


Mint oil

Lavender oil

Since mint oils are extremely fragrant and potent, they have the potential to trigger major allergic reactions. It may look like the oil is initially working because mint oil takes time to aggravate and produce allergic reactions such as redness, itchiness and irritation to the surface of the skin.

Products with mint are usually labelled as cooling, refreshing and invigorating; hence they’re really easy to spot. It is best to avoid these products to prevent skin irritation.


Citrus oil

Lavender oil

Off late, citrus oils such as lemon and orange have gained a lot of popularity, especially in DIY skincare procedures. Although they may be able to lighten marks and dark spots, the truth is that they’re highly acidic in nature and end up causing major skin irritation. Citrus oils such as lemongrass, grapefruit, bergamot, etc also cause photoallergic reactions, which means that they react with sunlight to cause phototoxic burns. A face cream that contains a bit of lemon or grapefruit oil is fine, but be wary of higher concentration of citrus fruit oils as they can lead to an allergic reaction.


Lavender oil

Lavender oil

The mother of most essential oils, lavender oil is literally everywhere, thanks to the innumerable aromatherapy benefits it offers. But even so, lavender oil could also be a major skin irritant. If you are allergic to fragrances, the strong smell of this oil could irritate you, especially when used in skincare products.

Urvi Dalal

Written by

Writer, avid reader and hardcore beauty enthusiast is the best way to describe Urvi Dalal. With over 5 years of writing experience in the beauty industry, you can trust her to have the latest skin, hair and makeup tidbits on her fingertips. In her time working as a beauty writer, she has had the opportunity to interact and work closely with a string of dermatologists, makeup artists and hairstylists. All that knowledge exchange, coupled with her flair and love for writing make it possible for her to bring you some authentic yet fun beauty content. When Urvi isn’t working, you’d usually catch her curled up with a big, fat book, drinking a cup of tea or practising her makeup skills; there is no in-between!


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