Do you know about photosensitizing agents?

When I first started researching about working with essential oils I came across the term photosensitizing agents. Photosensitizing agents are agents that react to cells triggered by light, such as UV ☀️ light. Citrus 🍊essential oils can create photosensitization, but not all oils. Here's a list of oils, but not limited to, that are not considered to trigger photosensitization. 

  • Bergamot oil (FCF)
  • Lemon oil (steam distilled)
  • Lemon leaf oil
  • Lemongrass
  • Lime oil (steam distilled)
  • Mandarin oil
  • Orange oil (sweet)
  • Orange leaf oil
  • Satsuma oil (expressed)
  • Tangelo oil
  • Tangerine oil
  • Yuzu oil (expressed or steam distilled)


“Skin should not be exposed to sunlight or UV lamp irradiation for 12–18 hours, if any of the following are used at levels higher than those indicated. However, there is no risk of phototoxicity if the maximum levels are observed: angelica root (0.8%), bergamot (0.4%), cumin (0.4%), grapefruit (expressed) (4.0%), laurel leaf absolute 2.0%, lemon (expressed) (2.0%), lime (expressed) (0.7%), mandarin leaf (0.17%), orange (bitter, expressed) (1.25%), rue (0.15%), taget oil or absolute (0.01%).” – Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals (2nd Edition) by Robert Tisserand & Rodney Young


We do have fragrance essential oils in our Qrema Body Balm Collection that can cause photosensitization ☀️, such as sweet orange essential oil. One them being one of my favorites - Qrema BLOSSOM Body Balm. Let me share with you a personal experience I had with Qrema BLOSSOM Body Balm. Even after doing the research about using oils that can cause photosensitization ☀️, once I took a good sniff of our Qrema BLOSSOM Body Balm I feel in love with the smell and completely omitted everything I just had learned. I was so excited about how soft and refreshing Qrema BLOSSOM Body Balm felt that I started using it on my face. After a couple of months or so, I started noticing my cheek had a darker spot 😮, nothing super dark but enough to stand out. It took me a good 2 days for the answer to come to me. I remembered 🤔 about photosensitization ☀️and the Qrema BLOSSOM Bod Balm is a blend of orange 🍊and vanilla 🤍. I immediately switched to Qrema UNSCENTED Face and Body Balm, then went back to Qrema CALM Face & Body Balm which is a coconut 🥥 lavender💜 combination. The darker spot went away in about a week. It confirmed it was the orange oil element in Qrema BLOSSOM Body Balm that caused it.


I decided 🧐 to write this blog to tell everyone photosensitization☀️to properly use any of our products that may contain elements that can cause this reaction such as orange essential oil. We recommend these products be used during your nigh time 🌛 regimen 🧖🏽‍♀️🧖🏽‍♂️.


However we do have a few Qrema Face and Body Balm that are ok to use on your face such as:

Qrema Soft Face & Body Balm

Qrema UNWIND Face & Body Balm

Qrema CALM Face & Body Balm

Qrema UNSCENTED Face & Body Balm