Tangerine Essential Oil Uses and Benefits

Tangerine Essential Oil

There is nothing like citrus essential oils. Grapefruit is the story of youth. Lime is a way to even out psychological instability. Tangerine gives a sense of well-being and happiness. It’s completely unforgettable with its robust fruity tanginess. 

What is a tangerine?

t is a tangerine?

Tangerine isn’t a botanical term but a variety of mandarin orange, distinguished from various sorts of oranges based on the slightly elongated shape of the fruit, a bright red-orange color, with a plump, easy to separate peel.

The fruit is native to China. Currently cultivated in tropical Asia, India, Japan, the Mediterranean, and the U.S. (Florida).

It takes its name from the Moroccan port of Tangier, from where it spread to Europe and America by sea route. Among tangerines, as among other citrus fruits, there are several varieties. 

Dancy, for example, is a variety of tangerines named after Colonel George L. Dancy, who planted the first tree in Florida in 1871.

The crossing of this variety of tangerine with grapefruit resulted in the “birth” of the Minneola.

Honey tangerine has a thin, smooth peel, higher sugar content, and particular richness, while the Encore, with its large seed size and sour-sweet flavor, is associated with Christmas in the U.S.A. Nadorcott is a seedless variety.

The fruit is noted for its low caloric value, 53 kcal per 100 gr. It contains 5% of protein and fat, 9% of carbohydrates, 7% of cellulose, 85.2 g of water, 10.6 g of sugar (per 100 gr. of fruit weight). It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C and potassium. 

Tangerine peel is one of the popular medicinal raw materials of Chinese medicine and is part of the well-known remedy Chen Pi.

In China, tangerine oil is called “the oil of happiness.”

In the food industry, tangerine is used to flavor teas, white wines, juices, and cooking.

Major constituents

  • monoterpenes limonene, γ-terpene, p-cymene, α-pinene, β-pinene, camphene, sabinene, myrcene, α-terpene, terpinolene, α-phellandrene;
  • sesquiterpenes: β-caryophyllene, α-ylangene, longifolene, γ-selinene,
  • monoterpenols (monoterpene alcohols): linalool, citronellol, nerol, geraniol, cis-carveol, benzyl alcohol, heptanol, octanol, nonanol, dodecanol, decanol, undecanol, α-terpineol, sabinenhydrate.
  • aldehydes: peryll aldehyde, α -synesal, octanal, nonanal, decanal, dodecanal, undecanal, neral, geranial, citronellal.
  • esters: methyl anthranilate, benzyl acetate, dimethyl anthranilate, geranyl acetate, neryl acetate, decyl acetate, benzyl acetate.
  • ketones: carvone.
  • oxides: cineol
  1. the oil components are susceptible to oxidation into hydroperoxides; optimal storage conditions for citrus oils are in the refrigerator, without access to direct sunlight or air. 
  2. there is an opinion that a small amount of hydroperoxides, products of oxidation of practically all monoterpenes, has an immunostimulant effect on the granulocytic part of the immune system, thus stimulating and potentiating the immune antimicrobial response.
  3. Limonene – a monoterpene – the leading component of all citrus oils – is an enhancer, a substance that accelerates and increases penetration through the skin of other components.
  4. The anti-carcinogenic activity of limonene metabolite and perillyl alcohol has been confirmed by numerous laboratory studies and in vivo tests on animals.
  5. The antioxidant activity of all citrus oils is in direct correlation to the concentrations of Limonene and γ-terpinenes and other monoterpenes. Limonene has a lower antioxidant potential compared to the Trolox standard, while γ-terpinene, on the contrary, has an antioxidant activity 3.5 higher than that of Trolox.
  6. The presence of cationic surfactants in the formulations accelerates the oxidation of limonene. 

How it’s made

How tangerine essential oil made?

Tangerine essential oil, which has a golden and sometimes greenish-orange color, has been known for a huge period of time. Today it can be found in a wide range of products, from colognes and cosmetics to traditional medicines. The oil imparts a delicately sweet, citrusy flavor to sweets, fizzy drinks, liqueurs, chewing gum, and ice cream, acting as a flavoring agent.

Tangerine oil is extracted from the peel of the fruit, where its content is around 1-2%. The essential oil contained in the large glands is extracted by cold pressing.

The benefits of tangerine essential oil

Vitamin E in tangerine oil enriches the body with antioxidants and helps win the battle for youthful appearance and skin tone. Vitamin C prevents excessive skin pigmentation. Thanks to vitamin A, the skin won’t be unnecessarily dry or cracked. B vitamins are responsible for the health of hair, nails, and the overall condition of the skin. All these vitamins derived from the essential oil of tangerine, help to maintain youthfulness and have a positive effect on all aspects of appearance.

In terms of aromatherapy, the citrusy, bright aroma of tangerine helps level out your mood and lower your stress threshold, relaxing and harmonizing.

Cosmetic properties

  • Improves lymph flow and blood circulation.
  • Helps the skin to regain its beauty and healthy appearance.
  • Effective against cellulite.
  • Helps the skin to regain its softness, moisturizes it.
  • It has antiseptic properties.
  • Immunostimulant.
  • Has refreshing, toning properties.
  • It copes well with acne scars or other kinds of fine scarring.
  • The active component in acne treatment.
  • It’s a mild relaxant.

Healing properties

  • Antispasmodic.
  • Improves digestion.

Psycho-emotional effect

  • Invigorating. Tangerine oil is most suitable when a restorative effect is required. It’s soothing, softening, and beneficial to the nervous system, and relieves tension.
  • Tangerine oil is said to have an almost hypnotic effect. In any case, it’s effective in a state of stress, nervous tension, because it calms the nervous system.

How to use tangerine essential oil

As is the case with other oils, tangerine can be used in a number of ways and methods that allow unlocking the full potential of its invigorating aroma.

On the skin

From a chemical point of view, the basis of cold-pressed tangerine oil is limonene, as is the case for all citruses. When applied externally, this component shows its antibacterial properties, activates lymph flow, increases blood circulation, has a restorative effect, relieves puffiness and cramps, promotes skin elasticity, and combats stretch marks.

Adding a few drops of tangerine oil to the palm of your hand with cream will make your skin healthier and more youthful by enhancing its regenerative properties. People often mix tangerine oil with evening creams and add a few drops to skin toners in the morning.

In an aroma lamp

7 drops of tangerine oil added to the water in an aroma lamp creates an atmosphere of happiness and serenity in the room. Despite the optimistic aroma, this oil doesn’t excite like lemon and orange but instead has a calming effect. This sour-sweet scent relieves anxiety and increases feelings of contentment and well-being.

When using an aroma lamp, be very careful when combining tangerine with coniferous fragrances. While it would blend nicely with fir, it feels completely unnatural in combination with pine, cedar, and juniper.

Other uses

  • Add 1 drop to water, tea, smoothies, or cocktails along with an emulsifier (such as honey) to support overall health.
  • Use the oil in a diffuser to elevate your mood and energy levels and to freshen the air.
  • Apply the oil pure or diluted to pulse points to gain a sense of comfort and joy.
  • In case of indigestion, massage the abdominal area with tangerine oil diluted with base oil.
  • Use oil in closets to eliminate unpleasant odors and to avoid the appearance of mold, mildew, or moths.

Blending with other oils

More often than other essential oils, the scent of tangerine breaks the usual limits of perfume canons. If you look at the tables of compatibility, it conflicts with most of the aromas of its citrus relatives – orange, lemon, lemongrass.

The tangerine is complemented by basil, cloves, rose, cinnamon, mint, neroli, and patchouli. But it’s better not to mix it with rosemary, tea tree, fennel, and eucalyptus.

Tangerine blends well with many floral scents, including rose, jasmine, chamomile, and geranium. 

Caution, safety, and side effects

100% natural tangerine oil is mild and non-toxic. However, it should be avoided by pregnant women, those who suffer from epilepsy, have problems with normal liver function, or other medical problems. The information presented in this article is advisory, consult your physician before use. 

It would be prudent to use common sense when using the essential oil for children (or the deeply elderly). The oil is phototoxic, capable of greatly increasing the exposure to direct sunlight, up to and including skin burns. Try to avoid sun exposure to areas treated with this oil.


  • Consult a healthcare professional if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or under treatment.
  • A sensitivity test should be performed before first use.
  • Avoid sunlight for 12 hours after applying the oil to your skin.
  • Avoid getting the substance on the area around the eyes, in the ear canals, and on sensitive skin areas.
  • Store the essential oil in a cool, dark place out of the reach of children.


Tangerine oil is a unique essential oil that might be hard to find. If you don’t have any on hand, try substituting it with the orange for some similar effects.

When it comes to skincare, tangerine is a great component to use. It moisturizes and promotes skin rejuvenation, increases blood circulation, and even protects you from harmful bacteria. However, if you don’t have tangerine available for use, substitute with Frankincense, Geranium, Helichrysum, or Hyssop oils instead.

Your diet is important for overall health, and you can help maintain your weight goals by eating the right foods. Tangerine has been shown to have a positive effect on both digestion and metabolism. But whenever you can’t grab a tangerine, use Peppermint, Lemon, or Grapefruit.

Recipes using tangerine essential oil

Recipes using tangerine essential oil

This oil can also be a component of multiple DIY recipes. Here are a few of them.

Serum for stretch marks, acne marks, and scars removal 

The oils you’ll need:

  • 10 drops Tangerine
  • 6 drops Frankincense
  • 6 drops of Tea Tree
  • 3 drops Bergamot 
  • 30 ml Rosehip base oil
  • 50 ml of Jojoba
  • Small bottle with a dispenser cap (3 oz. or larger)
  1. Mix the ingredients (except jojoba and rosehip) in a bottle and shake well.
  2. Allow the oils to bond on a molecular level for 1-2 hours.
  3. Add Rosehip and Jojoba.
  4. Shake until thoroughly mixed. 
  5. Squeeze the mixture into the palm of your hand several times and massage it into the desired area twice a day for a week. 
  6. Store in a cool dry place, avoid direct sunlight. 

NB! Since the mixture is 100% natural, you may need to continue the course for 1 week, due to the fact that the natural products work gently, without destroying the epidermis with aggressive components, creating a false impression of instant improvement. 

Skin toner

  • 10 drops Orange 
  • 5 drops Lemon
  • 10 drops Tangerine
  • 5 drops Grapefruit 
  • 2 teaspoons Vodka
  • 4 oz. wine vinegar
  • 2 cups mineral water.

Dilute the oils in the vodka and add the vinegar. After thoroughly mixing, add mineral water. Strain the resulting tonic through filter paper (coffee filter).

Massage lymphatic drainage mixture for cellulite treatment

  • 4 drops Orange
  • 4 drops Tangerine
  • 6 drops Grapefruit
  • 5 drops Rosemary cineole
  • 3 drops Cypress essence 
  • 2 oz. vegetable oil
  • 1 oz. aloe gel

Massage the problem areas with a stiff brush after warming procedures. If possible, daily.

Is tangerine essential oil safe during pregnancy? 

If there are no recommendations to the contrary, this oil is pretty safe to use during pregnancy. However, tangerine oil has been shown to cause uterine stimulation. This means it is best to avoid this essential oil during pregnancy unless you have been specifically instructed to use it. 

There isn’t any research done on the safety of tangerine oil during breastfeeding, so stay cautious and speak with your doctor before using the oil.

Does tangerine oil stain? 

Yes. tangerine oil is known to stain clothing, so avoid using it if you are wearing anything that isn’t disposable or easy to wash after use. Additionally, tangerine oil has been shown to cause dermatitis in some people with sensitive skin, so be sure to do a patch test before applying it to the skin. 

Is tangerine toxic to cats and dogs? 

No one has been able to find research on this topic or any proof that tangerine essential oil is toxic to cats and dogs, but researchers generally recommend avoiding using it around pets because it’s possible they could become sick from exposure. Always use caution when applying topically or diffusing it into the air near your pet.

What to look for when choosing tangerine essential oil?

Look for tangerine oil that is 100% pure and steam-distilled to ensure a quality product. Many of the essential oils on the market are diluted, which means they’ve been blended with other ingredients to make them cheaper or more appealing to consumers. If you don’t look closely at what you’re buying, the oil you end up with may not actually be the real thing at all.


Tangerine essential oil is known as the most soothing oil with the sweetest aroma. 

It has a proven effect in eliminating scars, stretch marks, and post-acne, relieving pain, symptoms of overstimulation and nausea, and protecting food from bacteria. It even has the potential in treating cancer! Tangerine essential oil brightens the skin, combats insomnia, regulates skin sebum, minimizes stress, regulates bowel function, has an antiflatulent effect, and stimulates the lymphatic system. 

It blends well with many other essential oils, making it an indispensable addition to your essential oil collection for blending experiments.

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