As I finalize my new formulations, I wanted to start introducing some of the new ingredients I will be using. Starting with one of my favourites.
Steam Distilled Organic Lemon Essential Oil
I am a massive fan of all things citrus, to eat, apply or smell and lemon tops them all for me. There is something so clean and vibrant about this fruit, it gets me every time.
Lemon essential oil has wonderful properties for the skin, including oil balance, skin toning, acne fighting, and skin lightening. Reducing pigmentation in the skin is notoriously hard with natural products but I have seen lemon oil work great for this.
Using lemon essential oil can be tricky though as the most common way to produce it, and other citrus oils, is by cold-pressing. In this process the essential oil is literally squeezed out of the skin. This is a great way of extracting it, you end with a high-quality essential oil and the yield is great. However, if you are planning on using lemon essential oil for face care products you need to be aware that cold-pressed lemon oil contains a compound called bergapten which can cause extreme skin sensitization when exposed to the sun, this is known as phototoxicity. Something I don’t want to risk in any of my skin care products!
However, there is another way to produce essential oil. In fact, steam-distillation is the most common way to extract essential oils from their origins. If you steam distill citrus fruit, including lemons, the essential oil does not contain the compound bergapten, and therefore is safe to use on the skin, even with sun exposure. All the other properties of the essential oil remain intact, and it still has a wonderfully bright and refreshing scent, only a little milder than a cold-pressed oil.
I have included this wonderful oil in a few of my new products to help with lightening pigmentation, fighting acne and livening up dull skin.