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Citrus Reticulata Peel Oil

What is "Citrus Reticulata Peel Oil" and what is its utility?

In I.N.C.I. lists, "Citrus Reticulata Peel Oil" refers to the essential oil or essence of mandarin, whether it is green, yellow, or red. This oil has relaxing and soothing properties, and adds a subtle fresh scent to skin and hair care products.

A brief overview of the mandarin tree and its essential oil.

The Citrus reticulata Blanco , or mandarin tree, is a tree belonging to the Rutaceae family. It is a non-hybrid variety originating from China, cultivated for millennia for its fruits. The mandarin owes its name to its color, reminiscent of the silk robes of the mandarins, the high officials of the Chinese Empire. The mandarin tree did not arrive in Europe, particularly in Provence, until around 1800, four hundred years after the orange, thanks to the Portuguese. It is now widely cultivated in the warm and sunny areas of the planet, especially around the Mediterranean (Algeria, Morocco, Spain, etc...).

Unlike many essential oils that are obtained through hydrodistillation, mandarin essence is extracted by first cold pressing of the pericarps of fresh fruits (zests). This process allows the preservation of the fruit's constituents, namely terpenes, such as limonene, the gamma-terpinene, and linalool, aldehydes, including citronellal, citral, and decanal, flavonoids, and esters.

There are different essential oils of mandarin: green, yellow, or red. Contrary to what we might think, these are not three different species of mandarin. There is only one, the Citrus reticulata Blanco. The difference lies in the degree of fruit maturity at the time of essential oil extraction and therefore the harvest period. Indeed, during the fall, the mandarin is rich in chlorophyll, its pericarp is then green. As winter approaches, the chlorophyll gradually disappears and the mandarin takes on an orange color, passing through yellow. They all have the same properties and uses ; the difference is in their color, but also in their scent : the yellow mandarin has a softer, sweeter smell, while the green mandarin is more tart.

Mandarin Essential Oil: Its Benefits for Skin and Hair.

When applied topically, mandarin essential oil is recognized for its properties purifying. By balancing sebum production, it prevents the appearance of skin imperfections, including blackheads and acne pimples. The presence of monoterpenes also makes it an active ingredient against inflammation, which helps to soothe redness and tightness.

When applied to hair, "Citrus Reticulata Peel Oil" is used to "detoxify" the hair. Once purified, the hair fibers regain their flexibility and shine. It also soothes irritated scalps prone to itching.

Furthermore, mandarin essential oil serves as a fragrance agent in numerous formulations. It is particularly used to mask the odors of certain unpleasant active ingredients, or simply, to provide a touch of freshness to the formulas.

Mandarin Essential Oil, what are the contraindications?

While beneficial in many ways, mandarin essence has some contraindications. It contains allergenic molecules (limonene and, to a lesser extent, linalool) that can cause irritations and itching. Moreover, it is not recommended for children under six years old. Topical use in a diluted form is possible for pregnant women over 4 months, with medical advice. Being photosensitizing, its use in the sun and/or before exposure should be avoided.

Note : It is advisable to test the essential oil before using it (two drops in the crook of the elbow for at least 24 hours to ensure that there is no reaction).

In which Typology products can one find "Citrus Reticulata Peel Oil"?

This plant extract is present in two treatments from the Racines range: the shampoo nutrition with a biolipid complex and camellia oil, and the hair repair mask with biomimetic ceramides and avocado oil. These two treatments repair and deeply nourish the hair fiber, smooth and fill the hair scales.


  • PALAZZOL E. & al. Current and potential use of citrus essential oils. Current Organic Chemistry (2013).


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