Author: Julie Le
Date: September 27, 2017
Common Name: Bergamot Oil
Botanical Name: Citrus bergamia
INCI: Citrus Bergamia Peel Oil
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is part of the Rutaceae family. It is defined as a hybrid between bitter orange and lemon. Like most citrus oils, it undergoes the manufacturing process called cold pressed where the rinds of the fruit are pierced and punctured in order to obtained this unique oil. Bergamot oil is described to be greenish or brownish-yellow in colour with a slight bitter aromatic taste. It is the refreshing bouquet aroma of citrus and floral notes that makes it a popular oil to work with in the cosmetic industry. At Plant’s Power, we offer both Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel oil that is furocoumarin-free (FCF) and CP with bergapten.
The chemical composition of Bergamot oil contains volatile (93-96%) and non-volatile (4-7%) components. The volatile components are comprised of monoterpene and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons including limonene (25-53%), linalool (2-20%), linalyl acetate (15-40%), γ-terpinene and β-pinene1. Whereas, the non-volatile components are comprised of pigments, waxes, and furocoumarins (ie. Bergapten)1. While furocoumarins make up only about 0.44% they account for the phototoxicity of Bergamot that can cause severe burns and darken skin upon exposure to the sun3. For this reason, furcoumarin-free Bergamot Oil is specifically designed for perfumery and cosmetic uses1,2. This is obtained through an additional process called molecular distillation that removes the furocoumarins from the cold-pressed bergamot oil3.
Bergamot oil with the presence of the furocoumarin component is often used in candles, teas, wash off products and for flavouring purposes in the culinary industry. Bergamot oil FCF is popular among topical products in skin care – as they are not photo-toxic nor damaging to the skin. Bergamot is a natural cleanser so with the addition of it in skin care formulations, it aids in the removal of dirt and impurities. It also has great skin-balancing properties that helps unclog pores and balance oily skin2.
Bergamot oil is also known for its cicatrisant properties, acting as an agent to diminish scars or any skin discolourations – allowing for even distribution of pigments and melanin to provide an attractive skin tone4. It also makes an excellent choice of ingredient for natural deodorants, with its distinctive bouquet of aroma and disinfectant properties through inhibiting bacterial growth that causes body odour4.
While bergamot oil alone has quite the robust but pleasant aroma it makes for a perfect blend with Clary Sage, Frankincense, Mandarin, Jasmine, Black Pepper, Cypress, Geranium, Nutmeg, Sandalwood, Orange, Rosemary, Vetiver and Ylang-Ylang Oil. It is particularly complementary with other citrus oils4. This makes it a popular choice of ingredient in various formulation, however it is important to keep in mind the final product to ensure that the oil is used safely. The recommended safety of use for expressed and rectified oils differ, 0.4% and 20% respectively3.
References: 1. Navarra, M., Mannucci, C., Delbò, M., & Calapai, G. (2015). Citrus bergamia essential oil: from basic research to clinical application. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 6. doi:10.3389/fphar.2015.00036 2.Bergamot Oil for Skin, the Problem-Solving Essential Oil. (2016, October 18). Retrieved September 08, 2017, from https://www.annmariegianni.com/ingredient-showcase-bergamot-oil-the-problem-solving-essential-oil/ 3. Lis-Balchin, M. (n.d.). Aromatherapy science. Place of publication not identified: Pharmaceutical Press 4. 11 Best Benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil. (2017, August 31). Retrieved September 08, 2017, from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-bergamot-essential-oil.html