12 Citrus Essential Oil Benefits As Proven by Science

Citrus essential oils are so much more than just a tantalizing burst of fresh aroma for your nose. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using a diffuser blend of orange and grapefruit essential oils simply for their sweet and tangy aroma.

However, there are plenty of other citrus essential oil benefits you should know about as well. These oils are ideal for DIY cleaning products, body care, and more. Let’s check out the top proven citrus essential oil benefits so you can use your oils to the fullest.

Remember: Citrus fruit essential oils are photosensitive. Therefore, wait up to 12 hours before going in direct sunlight after using them topically.


An open bottle of citrus essential oil  surrounded by fresh limes and lime flowers and leaves.
The anti-inflammatory properties are one of the most impressive benefits of citrus essential oils.

The anti-inflammatory citrus essential oil benefits are pretty outstanding for both your mind and body care needs. In fact, lime essential oil is so high in anti-inflammatory properties that it may be capable of helping to combat Alzheimer’s disease, according to limited research.[1]

Other oils that greatly reduce inflammation are neroli and yuzu.[2] So, next time you’re fighting off some dermatitis, try adding a drop of lime oil into your moisturizer.


A top-down view of different natural cleaning products such as a bottle of essential oil, lemon, vinegar, and baking soda
If you’re looking for a natural way to clean your house, essential oils are one of the best choices.

Nearly all citrus essential oils contain some, if not an abundance, of antibacterial properties. In fact, the antibacterial nature of citrus essential oils is so strong that they’re often used as a replacement for chemical-based bactericides.[3]

This contributes to one of the more handy citrus essential oil uses — all-natural soaps and cleaning supplies!


A plate with small bottles of grapefruit essential oil next to cut up pieces of pink grapefruit
There are no shortage of citrus essential oils that offer anti-bacterial properties.

As with the antibacterial benefit, the antifungal benefit is widespread in many citrus essential oils. For example, grapefruit and kumquat essential oils are antifungal against Candida,[4] a specific fungus strain that often affects women in the form of yeast infections.

Other antifungal oils include bergamot, lemon, and mandarine.[5]


A table with bottles of lemon essential oil and cut up pieces of lemon
Did you know that some citrus essential oils contain antioxidants that can help you fight the signs of aging?

Grapefruit, orange, and lemon essential oils contain antioxidants, according to various research studies examining their uses.[6][7] However, lemon oil is widely studied and informally known as the best citrus essential oil for antioxidant purposes, as demonstrated by its free-radical fighting abilities.[8]

These oils work well in a face massage oil, where they can help fight signs of aging such as wrinkles and sagging skin.


A pile of fresh bergamot fruits on a wooden table next to a bottle of homemade bergamot essential oil
Did you know that citrus essential oils can be used as a powerful anti-anxiety product?

Citrus essential oils are fantastic tools to combat anxiety. In one study, bergamot essential oil reduced anxiety levels in rats, suggesting it may do the same for humans as well.[9]

Also, neroli essential oil reduced anxiety in post-menopausal women and patients going into minor operations.[10]

Getting the anti-anxiety citrus essential oil benefits is as easy as mixing up some oils in a spray bottle and misting your pillow before bed.

Mood Boosting

A woman inhaling a bottle of store-bought citrus essential oil in her home office
Looking to elevate your mood in a totally natural way? Studies have shown that citrus essential oils are excellent mood boosters.

One of the best citrus essential oil uses after a stressful day at work is their mood-boosting effects. According to research on the olfactory system (aka your sense of smell), lemon essential oil is a powerful mood booster and can even increase your mental and physical task performance.[11]

Additionally, orange essential oil improved the overall mood of patients waiting in a dentist’s office in another study.[12] To get these benefits on your own, try out an easy room spray.

Immune Boosting

Clear bottles filled with citrus essential oil with slices of orange and lemon on a table
Citrus essential oils are also immune fighting — is there anything they can’t do?

Essential oils that also contain antioxidant power, such as lemon and orange essential oils, can boost your immune system too.[13] Basically, by helping to strengthen your blood capillaries, your immune system grows stronger too.[14]

One study, using a blend of essential oils (including orange), noted that it produced immune-modulating effects.[15] This suggests that some oils can help regulate and stabilize your immune system.

Reduces Stretch Marks

A heavily pregnant woman sitting on her coach rubbing citrus oil on her belly to prevent stretch marks
Are you expecting? You may be surprised to learn that citrus essential oils can be used to prevent stretch marks.

If you’re less than enthusiastic about your stretch marks, you can use some essential oils to naturally reduce their appearance. Petitgrain mandarin essential oil increases circulation to your skin and can prevent stretch marks in the process.[16]

At the same time, you can use lemon essential oil to support in reducing the appearance of stretch marks. It works by evening out skin tone and acting as an astringent to tighten your skin.[17] For quick results, you can use these oils in a homemade spot treatment with a carrier oil twice daily.

Increases Sex Drive

Different sized amber bottles filled with neroli essential oil next to neroli flowers and leaves
One of the lesser-known benefits of citrus essential is that it can help to increase your sex drive.

Need your mojo back? Both neroli and sweet orange essential oil can potentially help. Neroli specifically is a great essential oil for women as it can help increase your sex drive even post-menopause.[18] While we’re at it, neroli oil can also relieve various premenstrual symptoms.[19]

You can use these in a coconut-citrus massage oil next time you want that extra boost.

Insect Repellent

A woman spraying homemade insect and bug repellent made from citrus essential oils
There are few things more annoying than being eaten alive by bugs! Protect yourself naturally using an essential oils bug spray.

With so many citrus essential oils available, there’s no reason to use store-bought insect repellants. Both lemon and lime essential oils contain insect-repellent properties.[20] They can be used as safer alternatives to chemical-based products.

For fast topical action, add one drop each of these cold-pressed oils into a palm-sized amount of carrier oil, then apply directly to your skin.


Bottles of sweet orange essential oil
Dealing with troublesome skin? Don’t reach for harsh anti-acne products try using citrus essential oils instead.

Some citrus essential oils work well to reduce oil on your skin and clear up bacteria, and, therefore, reduce acne. For example, lemon is beneficial for its astringent and clarifying properties.[21]

Plus, sweet orange essential oil reduced acne lesions by up to 75 percent in one study.[22] You can add in these oils to whatever toner you already use for an extra boost of acne-fighting support.

Natural Sedative

A wooden diffuser filled with citrus essential oils with natural sedative properties.
Who couldn’t use some stress relief? Next time tensions are high, apply some citrus oil to your wrist.

Linalool, a common component of many flowering plants, is responsible for having a sedative effect in some citrus essential oils. Bitter orange, bergamot, and neroli are all considered mild sedatives because of this.[23]

These essential oils can support in relieving stress and calming your mind, making them ideal partners for a diffuser blend before bed.

Citrus Essential Oil Benefits As Proven By Science


Scientific References: