What Science Says About Citrus Sinensis Essential Oil (Sweet Orange)

Some essential oils are simply more comprehensive than others — sweet orange, also known as citrus sinensis essential oil, is one of them. This fragrant citrus essential oil is packed with plenty of science-backed health benefits like being antibacterial and anti-anxiety. The extensive benefits make it easy to find uses for this oil in your daily life too.

Not to mention, this cold-pressed oil smells like a basket of summer-fresh oranges, ready to be squeezed! Check out the benefits of this oil and some easy ways to use it for all your needs.

10 Benefits of Citrus Sinensis Essential Oil

candles orange slices and essential oil bottles on table


Orange essential oil can potentially provide great relief for anxiety symptoms. One study tracked 40 people’s anxiety before and after inhaling the oil. The results showed that the oil decreased the subjects’ anxiety levels.

While more research is needed to prove substantial evidence, this study suggests citrus sinensis essential oil can be a tranquilizing supplement for those who need it.[1]


bottles of orange essential oil with orange peels

You can never have too many antioxidants, whether internally or topically. One research study shared that the antioxidant activity of orange essential oil stems from primarily two sources: First, its d-limonene activity.[2] Second, the peel’s flavonoid activity.[3]

While the antioxidant activity ranges up to 30 percent in this study, it’s still significant enough to note and use as a source of antioxidants. Other great essential oils with antioxidant activity are lime (hystrix essential oil) and lemon oil (citrus limon).


Cold pressing orange peels to create orange and other citrus essential oils releases tons of antibacterial properties.[4]

According to one study tracking the essential oil’s antibacterial impact on fish bacteria, the limonene element is what gives the strong antibacterial aspect to citrus sinensis essential oil.[5]


citrus sinensis sweet oranges growing on tree

Sweet orange essential oil contains a wide spectrum of antimicrobial activities.[6] So much so that it was able to fight off e.coli, a common food microbe, in one study.[7]

Plus, the antimicrobial effect is beneficial for your skin too. Citrus sinensis essential oil reduced acne lesions by up to 75 percent in another study.[8] There were minor side effects in this study, such as redness. However, these signs disappeared a few minutes after application.[9]


Orange essential oil contains anti-inflammatory effects that come from the peel of the citrus fruit. One study with orange peel extracts showed that, when taken internally, it had as much anti-inflammatory impact as ibuprofen.[10] This does not suggest that you should take orange essential oil internally (please don’t!), but it does shed light on the powerful nature of the oil’s primary ingredient. Of course, more specific studies are needed.

Skin Lightening

woman using orange essential oil on hand scar

Orange essential oil is known as a natural skin lightener. Although, it’s been informally studied and lacks significant scientific research to back it up. Still, this benefit can be helpful if you’re trying to reduce the appearance of scars or even out your skin tone.

So far, lemon essential oil is the main skin lightening essential oil that studies have focused on, and they’ve come back with promising results.[11] However, you can add citrus sinensis essential oil to your blends if you desire a lightening effect, among other benefits.


Citrus sinensis essential oil shows high signs of improving mood.

One study monitored two groups of female patients in a dentist office’s waiting room. The first group received orange essential oil diffused air, while the second group just had regular air. The first group, with orange-scented air, reported lower levels of anxiety and overall improved moods.[12]

Increases Sex Drive

happy affectionate couple snuggling

If you need an extra boost in the bedroom, orange oil can help. While bitter orange essential oil has more evidence supporting its ability to increase female sex drive,[13] sweet orange essential oil has shown some promising evidence too.

In research using flies, exposure to orange essential oil increased male sex drive.[14] This suggests the potential for further studies with orange essential oil and increasing human sex drive as well.

Repels Insects

No matter what time of year it is, insects are attacking your skin outside or trying to break into your house to get inside. Luckily, sweet orange essential oil can repel insects and protect your home. One study even tracked the repellent activity of orange oil for flies, cockroaches, and mosquitoes. It noted that the oil was beneficial to repel them and was most effective 60 minutes after spraying.

Additionally, cockroaches were the most deterred by the oil.[15]

Boosts your immune system

happy woman holding oranges near her face

Thanks to the chaos of daily life, it can be difficult to stay on routine and keep healthy. Therefore, your immune system may flux quite a bit. However, orange essential oil can help boost your immune system via its antioxidant component.[16] In short, by helping to strengthen your blood capillaries, this oil encourages your immune system to grow stronger too.[17]

Also, one study suggested that this oil can help regulate and stabilize your immune system directly. It tested a blend of oils, including orange, and noted their immune-modulating effects.[18]

8 Uses for Sweet Orange Essential Oil

essential oil bottle with dropper inside an orange
  1. Acne: Reduce acne by using citrus sinensis peel oil in your face cleansers and toners.
  2. Colds: Diffuse this oil when you feel a cold coming on and want to give your immune system a boost.
  3. Candida: Apply sweet orange oil topically to combat a candida outbreak.
  4. Low sex drive: Inhale citrus senesis essential oil or use in a massage oil if you want a lift in sex drive.
  5. Dermatitis: Combine a few drops with a carrier oil to reduce symptoms of dermatitis and ease inflammation.
  6. Scars: Lighten your scars by making a spot treatment with citrus sinensis essential oil and apply it daily.
  7. Signs of aging: Include sweet orange essential oil in your nightly face and neck moisturizer to gain all the antioxidant health benefits.
  8. Anxiety: Inhale or diffuse citrus sinensis essential oil to reduce anxiety and stress throughout the day. You can make a great citrus blossom essential oil blend by incorporating lavender and neroli into the mix as well.
  9. Cleaners: To make some DIY all-natural cleaners, you can add orange essential oil into a spray bottle with some water and vinegar. Use this to clean your counters.


Scientific References: