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How to use bergamot oil

Bergamot (bur-guh-mot) essential oil is derived from the cold-pressed essence of a tropical orange hybrid rind. Bergamot essential oil smells like sweet, fresh citrus fruit with subtle floral notes and strong spicy undertones. 

Bergamot is loved for its mood-boosting, focus-enhancing properties as well as its topical skincare applications. It’s most commonly diffused in aromatherapy to create a pleasant mood or mixed into self-care products like facial scrubs, bath salts and body wash.  Bergamot is also largely used as one of the best essential oils for stress relief. 

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Its pleasant smell makes it a staple scent in many perfumes, and you can also apply bergamot mixed with a carrier oil directly to your skin as a fragrance. 

What is bergamot essential oil?

Bergamot essential oil is extracted from the fruit rinds of a tropical citrus fruit, Citrus bergamia, a plant widely grown in Italy and around the world. Bergamot fruit resembles miniature oranges and ranges in color from green to yellow. 

Bergamot oil is sought out for its distinctive, uplifting yet soothing scent, which smells like sweet citrus and spice. It’s often used in combination with other essential oils like sweet orange and lavender to create aromatherapeutic blends. 

Bergamot is one of the main ingredients in Earl Grey, which means many people are already familiar with its distinctive flavor, possibly without knowing they were consuming it at all. 

What are the benefits of bergamot essential oil?

While clinical studies in the therapeutic uses of bergamot are mainly limited to its use in aromatherapy for anxiety, bergamot is believed to have a number of benefits that have been pre-clinically studied, such as analgesic and antiseptic properties, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, deodorizing properties, hair growth properties, osteoporosis relief and anti-infection properties. 

Bergamot is used to treat mild respiratory problems during cold and flu season and to treat muscle pain and spasms as an additive to massage oil. It’s also diffused to help with moods, promote good sleep cycles and introduce calm. 

  • In clinical research, bergamot has been shown to be effective in relieving pain caused by injury and nervous system damage.
  • Bergamot has been clinically shown to be an effective acne treatment
  • Bergamot has been successfully employed in improving skin health and treating cellulitis and ringworm. It has also been successfully used to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis.
  • There are preliminary indications that bergamot has the potential to work alongside traditional methods to provide clinical pain treatment. This is due to its apparent analgesic-like pain relief effects. 
  • Bergamot has been clinically shown to effectively sooth symptoms of agitation and other psychological symptoms in patients with Alzheimer’s, providing relief without the sedative effects of anti-agitation medications.  
  • Bergamot has been shown in clinical research to be effective in increasing positive feelings and elevating mood, relieving anxiety and providing relief from stress. 
  • Preliminary research indicates that bergamot may be useful for lowering blood sugar

What are the side effects of bergamot essential oil? 


Bergamot essential oil contains bergapten, which is a phototoxic chemical compound produced in some citrus plants. The bergapten content of bergamot essential oil means that applying bergamot essential oil to your skin can lead to increased sensitivity to sunlight. 

Applying bergamot to your skin and then going outside can result in a painful red rash. Diluting bergamot in a carrier oil and staying out of direct sunlight when bergamot essential oil is in use will lower your risk of experiencing this side effect.  

Allergic reactions may occur 

As is the case with any topical essential oil, there is a risk of allergic reactions and contact dermatitis when using bergamot. To avoid an allergic reaction you should always conduct a small patch test on your skin. 

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To conduct a patch test, dilute bergamot in a carrier oil and apply a dime-sized amount to a small section of skin on your forearm. If irritation occurs, remove with vegetable oil and discontinue use. If irritation persists, consult a healthcare professional. 

Bergamot essential oil side effects are more likely to occur in users who are sensitive to citrus like oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit. 

Other advice for safe use of bergamot 

You should always consult with your doctor before you introduce a new treatment into your routine, including essential oil treatments.

Pregnant women, small children and dogs shouldn’t be exposed to diffused essential oils without direct approval from a healthcare professional or veterinarian as negative effects can occur.  

Don’t ingest bergamot essential oil. It is not safe to consume essential oils except those explicitly indicated for use in food. Consuming bergamot essential oil could cause you to become sick. 

Best bergamot essential oil 

Top bergamot essential oil

Aura Cacia 100% Pure Bergamot Essential Oil 

Aura Cacia 100% Pure Bergamot Essential Oil 

What you need to know: A top choice for bergamot essential oil, well-suited for diffusion or topical application, from a trusted source for high quality essential oils. 

What you’ll love: A bright, citrusy and clean scent with uplifting and soothing effects. 

What you should consider: Not as budget-friendly as some other options, though its high quality makes it worth the price. 

Where to buy: Sold by iHerb. 

Top bergamot essential oil for the money

Artnaturals Bergamot Oil

Artnaturals Bergamot Oil

What you need to know: Steam-distilled bergamot essential oil for Italian bergamot fruit. 

What you’ll love: Refreshing, uplifting and well-suited for creating aromatherapeutic essential oil blends. 

What you should consider: Some users have expressed concern about the potency of this essential oil. 

Where to buy: Sold by iHerb. 

Worth considering 

Majestic Pure Bergamot Essential Oil

Majestic Pure Bergamot Essential Oil

What you need to know: Therapeutic-grade bergamot essential oil with a highly citrusy smell. 

What you’ll love: Blends well with a variety of other spicy and sweet essential oils to create invigorating or relaxing essential oil blends. 

What you should consider: Some users have questioned the quality of this essential oil and reported uncharacteristic smells, but most users have reported high quality. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Evelyn Waugh writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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