In case you hadn’t heard, oranges don’t just taste amazing, they also have some pretty great skincare benefits when extracted into an essential oil. For those that don’t know, essential oils are concentrated oils sourced from all types of plants, citrus fruit being one of them. You can find everything from lemon essential oil to grapefruit essential oil, but we’re partial to orange (you’ll understand why shortly!). So how exactly is orange essential oil made, how does it impact your skin, and is it safe to use? We answer these questions and more below!
Orange essential oil doesn’t just come from any old orange. In order to get the fantastic-smelling aroma, the oil is derived from the rind of the sweet orange, also known as citrus sinensis. This species of orange includes popular types like the navel or blood orange. How the oil is extracted is through cold pressure, a method whereby pressure is used to squeeze the oil out of the rind. Sometimes, the leaves and flowers from the plant are squeezed for oil as well, but the majority comes from the rind. Once extracted, the sweet-smelling elixir can be bottled and sold. From there, consumers can use it in many ways, from putting it in their favourite aromatherapy diffuser to using it as a spray. It also happens to be a great skincare ingredient, thanks to its appealing aroma, as well as its antiseptic and antioxidant properties.
First, like many other essential oils, orange essential oil contains antimicrobial properties, which make it ideally suited to fighting acne-causing bacteria. Its antibacterial properties also help heal the skin after a breakout has occurred. In addition, the oil’s antiseptic powers prevent the bacteria from spreading further and causing other acne breakouts on your face.
Beyond being an acne saviour, orange essential oil also acts as an astringent. This means it works wonders for shrinking pores and firming skin. However, when using an astringent like this, you should always make sure you are moisturizing appropriately because if you don’t, it can leave you with dry skin. Finally, orange essential oil is chock full of antioxidants, and antioxidants happen to be pretty great at fighting free radicals. This means that with a healthy dose of orange essential oil on your skin, you’ll be able to fight off damage caused by pollution or sun exposure, which is necessary if you wish to have plump, youthful-looking skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Orange essential oil is generally considered safe as an ingredient in a skincare product that is applied topically. However, it should not be ingested, nor should it be applied to the skin on its own. At full strength, orange essential oil can cause irritation, stinging, and photosensitivity, so it should only be applied if it has been diluted, such as mixed with another non-essential oil, or if it is one ingredient of many in a skincare product you’re using. In addition, you always want to keep essential oils away from your eyes and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, be sure to speak to your doctor in advance before usage.