If you’re a tea lover, you’ve probably seen bergamot listed in your favorite Earl Grey blend. Have you seen it pop up in bath soaks, body washes, and cleansers, too? As skin care experts are learning more about this unique citrus fruit, more are including it in their skin care and beauty products – that’s thanks to a wealth of benefits bergamot offers for the skin!
For those wondering what is bergamot, and how should you use it – here’s everything you need to know!
What Is Bergamot?
Bergamot is a small, lumpy green citrus fruit grown from the citrus bergamia plant. The rind of this fruit is commonly known for giving Earl Grey tea its distinctly elegant, citrusy flavor.
Earl Grey is named after the Earl Charles Grey, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 1830s, though it’s unknown why exactly this fragrant tea is associated with him. Some historians believe that the combination happened by accident, when a shipment of black tea on a Chinese cargo ship absorbed the flavors of a crate of bergamots stored nearby.
Bergamot holds an especially heady aroma and flavor, which is why most people deem it an ingredient more suitable for aromatic purposes. Many utilize this extra sour fruit for perfumes and potpourri, preferring the common lemon or lime for food and drink.
Benefits of Bergamot
Bergamot has shown to act as a highly medicinal plant, largely in part due to two special components: linalool and carvacrol. Linalool is a terpene: a highly aromatherapeutic organic compound known for giving plants like oregano, rosemary, and citrus fruits their fragrance. Carvacrol, meanwhile, acts as a gentle antibacterial and antimicrobial agent.
Though bergamot fruits are seldom eaten whole, they’re packed with beneficial vitamins and antioxidants, which allow it to perform a variety of functions for your body and mind.
Eases Anxiety and Stress
A 2015 study conducted in Japan involving a group of women demonstrated that inhaling bergamot essential oil mixed with water vapors reduced feelings of stress and fatigue. Additionally, bergamot essential oil helps regulate cortisol in the body, making it the perfect de-stressing pick-me-up.
Reduces Pain and Inflammation
Some studies have shown that bergamot essential oil offers anti-inflammatory properties for the body. This occurs by stimulating hormones in the brain, which lessen pain sensitivity, making it a natural painkiller. That being said, it can also work transdermally, and soothe tired and/or irritable skin.
Balances and Clears Skin
Since bergamot is antimicrobial, it’s an excellent treatment for acne. Bergamot can prevent acne-causing bacteria from gathering in the pores, and can regulate and balance hyperpigmented skin.
How to Use Bergamot for Your Skin
Do It Yourself Treatments
You can incorporate bergamot into homemade masks, DIY deodorants, toners, and a wide variety of other at-home skin care recipes.
DIY Bergamot Whipped Body Butter
4 oz jojoba oil
4 oz shea butter
15 drops pure bergamot essential oil
Combine jojoba oil and shea butter by melting them together in a saucepan over low heat until the mixture becomes homogeneous. Carefully pour into a chilled container, mix in the essential oil, and chill until it reaches a butter-like consistency. Finally, whip with an electric mixer to achieve a fluffy, airy consistency and pour into individual jars.
Important: Stick with Bergaptene-Free Bergamot Oil
When searching for the right bergamot essential oil, it’s crucial that you avoid products containing bergaptene.
Bergaptene is a chemical that interacts with the sun’s UV rays to cause skin discoloration, photosensitivity, and chemical burns. Furthermore, prolonged exposure can lead your skin to phytophotodermatitis, which often requires extensive treatments to have the effects removed.
You can learn more about the importance of bergaptene-free bergamot, especially if you plan on using a bergamot-infused product on your face or body.
Choose Quality Products Made With Bergamot
While DIY methods are certainly a viable means of incorporating bergamot into your beauty regimen, the most efficient way is by looking for high-quality products that include it as an ingredient.
Our Restorative Facial Oil, Nopal Cactus Cleanser, and Flower Water Toner utilize organic, bergaptene-free bergamot essential oil along with botanical ingredients such antioxidant-rich rosehip oil, anti-inflammatory calendula and hydrating aloe, which help make our products especially soothing and rejuvenating.
For tea aficionados and skin care enthusiasts alike, organic bergamot is an exceptional ingredient thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and soothing properties.
Whether you purchase your bergamot as an essential oil or a commercial product, always make sure that the bergamot oil is organic and bergaptene-free; this ensures the gentle touch your skin deserves.