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Mandarin Essential Oil Uses And Benefits Explained

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Most of us have a wide variety of skin care products in our bathrooms. They play a vital role in the everyday facial routine we follow to keep our skin healthy and clean. In fact, the global skin care industry is estimated to be worth over $155 billion annually, with new innovations and products being added on a regular basis. So it would be logical for one to assume that these companies have our best intentions at heart and that they would be formulated with the utmost care.

The truth of the matter is that most of these products contain a wide variety of chemical additives to make the products more effective. In reality, though, the chemical additives generally strip our skin of the natural oils that keep it moisturized. This leaves it dry and irritable. So one could argue that perhaps they are too effective. But what are we to do? Not treating your skin is often worse than using the chemical-based products we’re used to.

This is where natural products and essential oils can really come in handy- especially mandarin essential oil. In recent times, there has been growing concern about what we buy as consumers. A reaction to the harmful chemicals in most of our products has been to buy natural and herbal products instead. Mandarin oil is a mild yet effective non-toxic and non-irritant solution. You can use it to treat your skin and other health-related issues. So if you want to make the switch to a healthier, cleaner and more affordable lifestyle, I highly recommend reading further.

What is Mandarin Essential Oil?

Essential oils with flower and orange.

The healing benefits of mandarin essential oil go back thousands of years.

The mandarin fruit has been cultivated in China for thousands of years. It was an integral part of ancient Chinese healing techniques and medicine. The fruit is very similar to the tangerine. Although there are differences between the fruits in terms of color and taste, you can often use them to replace or complement one another.

Mandarin essential oil is commonly used as an active ingredient in cosmetics products, as well as in soaps, fragrances and cleaning products for its antiseptic qualities and its light, citrusy and floral scent.

The oil of the mandarin fruit is rich in natural phytochemicals and bioactive compounds such as pinenes, terpenes, sesquiterpenes, camphene, linalool, geraniol, limonene and sabinene.

Pharmaceutical medicines and hair or skin treatment products typically include these chemical compounds. They have immense healing, restorative and nourishing qualities. So finding them in their natural form is a great way to maximize their healing effects, reduce your chemical intake and even save money.

How is Mandarin Essential Oil Made?

Like most oils produced from citrus fruits, mandarin essential oil is extracted from the skin or rind of the fruit through a process known as steam distillation. Steam distillation is one of the oldest methods of distillation. It involves gathering and pressing (or drying) the rinds of the fruit to help enable the evaporation process. You then add the rinds to a large vat of boiling water. The mixture cooks/brews for 5-6 hours at very high temperatures. During this time, the heat helps to break down the protective layer of the cells in the organic matter. And the steam that results from the hot water extracts the phytochemicals, nutrients and minerals in the rind.

The steam then passes onto a separate cooling chamber. As the steam gathers, it cools and condenses to form droplets that gather at the base of the chamber. This then forms the liquid that we know as essential oil. We call it ‘essential’ because it shares the same ‘essence’ as the organic matter it came from. It’s a concentrated form of the various phytochemicals and bioactive compounds contained within the organic matter, and it’s therefore quite potent.

Red Mandarin Essential Oil vs. Green Mandarin Essential Oil Explained

Woman holding flower and smelling pleasant scent.

Try red mandarin essential oil the next time you do aromatherapy.

The difference between red mandarin essential oil and green mandarin essential oil has to do with the length of time that the fruits grow on the tree. The green mandarin fruits are the first to appear on the tree and therefore contain less natural sugar. The higher levels of acidity in this fruit make the scent sharper and more distinctly citrusy. Because of this, we often use it in fragrances and cleaning products. And it’s usually cold-pressed rather than steam distilled.

Red mandarin essential oil is the more popular essential oil. It’s known to have one of the sweetest and most soothing or calming scents out of all the essential oils. It has a more mild scent and is therefore more suitable for medicinal use both topically and when ingested. The fruit comes some months after the tree has produced the green fruit. And the oil can be made with either steam distillation or cold-pressing. The oil is often used in aromatherapy, physical therapy and for general home-based application or traditional healing. It’s also often included in a variety of skin and hair products or fragrances.

In general, I would recommend sourcing the oil of the red mandarin fruit. It’s more readily available and more accessible. However, the choice is really up to you, as green mandarin fruit is better for specific treatments or recipes. Just be sure that you know that there is a difference between the two before you do your shopping.

Mandarin Essential Oil for Skin and Stretch Marks

Pregnant woman with hands forming a heart.

Mandarin essential oil can help lessen the appearance of stretch marks.

One of the best parts of mandarin oil is that it’s light and mild. It therefore won’t harm or irritate your skin. Which is great if you’re trying to stay away from parabens and sulfates!

The oil is a powerful, natural antiseptic. You can apply it directly to minor wounds. This will help keep them free from germs and bacteria. It’s a safe and non-toxic alternative to the conventional disinfectants that can stain or dry out our skin. The oil also helps stimulate blood flow. So it can help you heal by getting more nutrients to the affected area.

The oil also has natural cytophylactic properties, which means it encourages cell and tissue growth when applied regularly. This can even help scars disappear over time. Which makes the oil well-suited for treating stretch marks. When massaged into the skin around the affected area over time, the new tissue that starts growing will replace the old tissue. This will cause the scarring to heal or fade.

The oil can also detoxify the bloodstream. It can therefore help maintain your body’s overall health as well as treat infections such as the flu. But it can also help with more serious illnesses like gout and other ailments such as acne.

The oil will help your skin cells retain moisture. It will also remove the excess sebum oil and skin cells that clog your pores. So by wiping your face with the oil daily, you can keep your skin smoother and softer for longer. You can also prevent the formation of blemishes by sealing your pores and healing your acne scars. And the oil’s wonderful scent will keep you smelling fresh all day long.

Mandarin Essential Oil For Hair Use

Woman with curly hair.

Using mandarin essential oil can help make your hair stronger and shinier.

Mandarin essential oil is also great for treating your hair and scalp. Two of the main active chemical compounds in it are linalool and limonene.

These are useful for treating hair loss. We lose an average of 50-100 hairs a day. That’s a high number, but it’s even more noticeable for those who suffer from hair loss or thin hair.

Male-pattern hair loss is caused by the buildup of the chemical 5-alpha-reductase. It forms when excess testosterone builds up under the surface of the scalp over time. The reductase blocks the pores in your scalp, preventing nutrients and minerals from reaching your hair follicles. Eventually, the hair follicles are starved and become damaged or simply die.

By massaging the mandarin oil into your scalp, you can remove the 5-alpha-reductase and prevent it from forming. The oil also helps stimulate blood circulation, which means that more nutrients and minerals reach your scalp. This will nourish your hair from within, making it stronger. The oil also works as a natural conditioner and can help to balance the oils in your hair and soothe scalp inflammation. It thus treats the formation of dandruff.

The oil is safe and non-toxic, so it won’t strip your hair of the essential oils and proteins it needs to remain strong and healthy. In fact, it will enable you to restore your hair’s natural sheen.

I almost forgot to mention that the oil has strong natural antiseptic properties. This can help keep bacteria and germs off the surface of your scalp and prevent infection from lice and other parasites. It’s an affordable and wonderfully scented treatment that can really make a big difference in the quality of your hair.

Mandarin Essential Oil Scent Review

Red mandarin oil, the type you’re most likely to encounter, is widely held as one of the sweetest and most pleasantly scented essential oils available. The oil is light and floral, yet has lasting (or fixative) citrusy undertones. This makes it very useful in fragrances, soaps, cosmetic products and even cleaning products, as the scent doesn’t tend to disappear as quickly as other essential oils do.

The oil is highly suitable for use in a diffuser. It can help restore peace and calm to your home, as well as reduce your own levels of stress and anxiety after a long and busy day. The oil can also be inhaled directly from the carrier or utilized in a steam treatment to help induce sleep and treat insomnia. Some of the recommended oils that I would suggest you use with mandarin oil are cinnamon leaf, tangerine, orange, almond, ylang ylang, grapefruit, neroli, clove, and bergamot essential oils.

Potential Side Effects of Mandarin Essential Oil

Girl smiling with sun in the background.

Make sure to wait a while after you’ve used mandarin essential oil before going out into the sun.

As with most oils produced from citrus fruits, mandarin essential oil may increase your skin’s levels of photosensitivity and therefore should not be used in direct sunlight. In fact, you should avoid contact with direct sunlight (or artificial UV rays for that matter) for at least 1-2 hours after using the oil topically. That’s because it may cause your skin to burn more easily or lead to pigment discoloration.

Pregnant women or children under the age of 8 shouldn’t use the oil without prior consent from a doctor or medical professional. Even though the oil is considered safe and non-toxic, it’s still a highly concentrated product and may have adverse affects on your child’s health or could even affect the birthing process. This is a general rule of thumb that applies to all essential oils. And it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes your child’s health. Otherwise, using the oil in regulated periods of time and not in excessive amounts shouldn’t cause you any problems or side effects.


Ultimately, the differences between mandarin and tangerine oil are very subtle. There are more similarities than there are differences, so using one or the other shouldn’t make a world of difference. I generally recommend having both in your home, as you can use them to complement each other in terms of scent and medicinal properties.

Essential oils have always been a crucial part of the alternative and traditional healing methods that formed the basis of modern medicine as we know it. They’ve existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Their growing popularity in the modern era is largely because of the adverse affects of most modern medicinal treatments. They can be used as complete alternatives to these, as well as to help supplement your health and lifestyle whilst using them. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people already agree that essential oils are the better option in many cases or illnesses. So if you aren’t already one of them, there’s no better time than now to join the movement.