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What is "Limonene" and what is its utility?

What is "Limonene" and what is its utility?

Used in various industries, Limonene is a common ingredient in the field of cosmetology. Praised for its fragrant properties, it is included in the composition of various skin and hair care products. Discover everything there is to know about Limonene and its usefulness.

Limonene: What is it?

Represented by the chemical formula C10H16, Limonene, also known as 1-methyl-4-prop-1-en-2-yl-cyclohexene, is a terpenic hydrocarbon. Obtained after distillation, it is present in numerous essential oils. Belonging to the group of terpenes, mainly limonoids, it is an aromatic ingredient found in various plant species and in some foods. Limonene can also have a synthetic origin. Its name comes from the lemon in which it is found in high quantities. It consists of two isomeric forms, namely:

  • D-limonene: This form is among the most common terpenes found in nature. It naturally occurs in many fruits, vegetables, and plants. D-limonene is particularly found in citrus fruits (lemon, mandarin, orange, grapefruit, etc.).

  • The l-limonene: this isomeric form is predominantly found in the oils of mint, pine, and turpentine.

At room temperature, Limonene appears as a colorless liquid. The scent varies depending on the isomeric form. D-limonene gives off a strong orange aroma, while l-limonene is characterized by a pine and turpentine scent.

What is the usefulness of Limonene?

Limonene is utilized in various fields: food, pharmaceutical, cleaning industry, and more. This ingredient is also employed in the realm of cosmetology. Limonene is particularly favored for its deodorizing functions, granting it the ability to reduce or mask body odors. This ingredient is also used as a masking agent, allowing it to diminish or conceal the base taste or smell of a skincare product. Moreover, Limonene is capable of dissolving other substances due to its solvent properties. It also serves as a fragrance agent used in the aromatic raw materials of a skincare product. Limonene contributes a scent to a skincare product.

The rules regarding the use of Limonene

Limonene is classified among the 26 regulated allergens in Europe. Its presence in the formulation of a skincare product sometimes needs to be mentioned in the list of ingredients referred to in Article 19, paragraph 1, point g. This is the case when Limonene is present at 0.0001% in leave-on products like creams and serums, and at 0.01% in rinse-off products like hair masks, it must be included. Furthermore, the peroxide value of this ingredient should not exceed 20 millimoles/L.

Limonene: In which skincare products?

Thanks to its refreshing scent, Limonene is used in the formulation of perfumes and deodorants. Its various properties also allow it to be incorporated into the composition of face creams, body care products, solid soaps, and hair care treatments, including hair masks.


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