With the raging popularity of essential oils, some retailers lead customers to believe that “more” is better, in an attempt to drive sales.  For those of us professionally practicing aromatherapy, we attempt to educate consumers on the safe use of Essential Oils and what that means in total. In addition, we are respect and adhere to guidance from IFRA.  IFRA stands for the International Fragrance Association. Aromatherapists should know IFRA guidelines before beginning any formulation for personal use.

With the Head Office in Switzerland and Operations in Belgium,the mission of IFRA is to represent the collective interests of the industry and promote the safe use and enjoyment of fragrances (including Essential Oils) around the world.  The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) brings together eight multinational companies and 21 national associations in 23 countries across four regions.

As a consumer, you can learn more about IFRA by visiting ifrafragrance.org.

For today’s blog, we introduce you to IFRA Restrictions because they provide a list of Essential Oils & absolutes that are have restrictions due to the potential for sensitization, allergic reaction or overall toxicity.

I share this listing because I have run into several consumers who purchased these oils and are not aware of the cautions associated with them. This list does not mean you cannot buy or should not use these oils.  It is a guide to oils that are sensitizing (can cause sensitivity up to and including an allergic reaction) or be phototoxic (reactions occur in and to sunlight exposure). Some are well known and common, but that does not mean they are safe in all situations.  If you use any of the oils on the IFRA Restrictions list routinely and have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

IFRA Restricted List

NAME COMMON NAME BOTANICAL NAME CONCERN
Angelica root oil angelica archangelica Phototoxic
Bergamot oil Bergamot orange Citrus aurantium Phototoxic
Bitter orange oil Seville orange Citrus aurantium Phototoxic
Cassia oil Cassia bark, Chinese cinnamon Cinnamomum cassia Sensitizer
Cinnamon Bark Cinnamon, ceylon cinnamon Cinnamonmum zeylanicum Sensitizer
Cumin Oil Comino, jeera Cuminum cyminum Phototoxic
Grapefruit Oil Citrus paradise Phototoxic
Lemon Oil Citrus limon Phototoxic
Lime Oil Citrus aurantifolia Phototoxic
Tagetes oil & absolute Muster, John Henry, khaki weed, stinking roger Tagetes minuta Phototoxic
Oak moss, absolute & resin Evernia prunastri Sensitizer
Rue Oil Herb of grace, herbygrass Ruta graveolens Sensitizer
Verbena absolute Lippia citriodora Sensitizer
Tree moss absolute Evernia furfuracea Sensitizer