The Benefits of Steam Distilled Citrus Essential Oils

There are several methods that can be used for producing essential oils. The most common method are of course steam distillation, where the steam is passed through the plant material/botanical to isolate the essential oils.  Another common method is cold-pressed, which is usually used in citrus type essential oils like lime, lemon, orange, bergamot, grapefruit etc.

While the scent of cold-pressed citrus essential oils usually stays true to the scent of the peel/fruit used, the oils produced via this method is also tend to contain more of the phototoxic constituents. Phototoxicity causes the skin to be extra sensitive to sunlight, thus resulting cases of inflammation, blistering, reddening and pigmentation of the skin. In severe cases, the effect on the skin can last for months! That is why cold-pressed essential oils are not to be used on skin at all, and instead to be used for inhalation and in wash-off products only.

When topical use are necessary, the best choice would be steam-distilled citrus essential oils. While the scent are higher note and not as citrusy/sweet compared to its cold-pressed counterpart, it is not phototoxic and thus safe to be used on skin. Here at Soap Cart, most of our citrus essential oils are actually steam-distilled, thus making it a better option should you wish to use it topically. Another added advantage is that it has longer shelf life too, as cold-pressed essential oils tend to oxidize faster. Listed below are the citrus type essential oils that are steam-distilled available in our store:

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