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HomeNews & MediaIngredient Focus: Petitgrain

Ingredient Focus: Petitgrain

Posted by Botany,

Origin: Leaf
Odour: Citrus
INCI name: Citrus Aurantium Amara
Found in: Botany Native Flora Silk & Smooth Exfoliant

The bitter orange tree has held significant botanical importance throughout history. Originating in Southern China it spread into the Middle East as early as 700 C.E. Because of its abundant reach it has been used as an ingredient in food and medicine for centuries, with several essential oils being derived from it. Petitgrain is one of these, the term “petit” in French translates to “little” thus, “petitgrain” signifies “little grain,” as the leaf emits its sharpest scent when the tree begins to fruit, appearing the size of a grain. These leaves and twigs are then steam distilled to create a superior oil that exudes a leafy, refreshing, crisp aroma reminiscent of crushing lemon or orange leaves between your fingers on a spring day. This citrusy scent is precisely why we include petitgrain in our exfoliating scrub, ensuring a refreshing and invigorating clean fragrance and why it is so often found in mens cologne, aftershaves and grooming products.

Prized in aromatherapy for its ability to alleviate stress and anxiety1, petitgrain is a popular choice for diffusing in the home and adding to bath or massage blends for a serine, calming experience. Renowned for its soothing, rejuvenating properties its aroma offers a revitalising scent that uplifts the mood and holds the potential to improve performance in the workplace through the combination of enhancing mental clarity and boosting attentiveness and alertness.2

In skincare, petitgrain offers a plethora of benefits. Renowned for its anti-inflammatory3 and toning effects, it aids in diminishing the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. Its antioxidant-rich4 profile makes it a valuable ingredient for combating free radical damage and achieving a luminous complexion. With natural antibacterial5 attributes, petitgrain effectively cleanses and purifies the skin, while its balancing properties regulate sebum production6 and reduce excess oiliness, making it an excellent choice for those with acne-prone skin. Additionally, petitgrain’s antifungal5 and antimicrobial7 traits help maintain a healthy skin microbiome, preventing various infections and promoting clearer, more radiant skin.

Key actives and benefits* of Petitgrain include:8, 9, 10

  • LINALYL ACETATE – Reduces inflammation and fosters a sense of calm and relaxation, reducing stress11, 12
  • LINALOOL – A compound known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties, as well as its antimicrobial effects13, 14
  • PINENE – A collection of potent monoterpenes that display antibiotic, antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects15
  • TERPINEOL – An antiseptic and disinfectant, it is effective against acne and reduces irritation16
  • GERANYL ACETATE – Helps to protect the skin from environmental damage and reduces the signs of aging

Whether used in aromatherapy or incorporated into skincare formulations, petitgrain emerges as a versatile botanical with a spectrum of advantages, enhancing both mental and physical wellness. Its aromatic essence fosters a sense of relaxation, while its skincare benefits encompass a wide array of benefits so explore our range of skincare products or grab the pure form in our essential oil range.

1 Clinical Pharmacology of Citrus aurantium and Citrus sinensis for the Treatment of Anxiety
2 Aromatherapy Improves Work Performance Through Balancing the Autonomic Nervous System
3 Anti-inflammatory Effect of Essential Oil from Citrus aurantium L. var. amara Engl
4 Antioxidant and Anticancer Activities of Citrus reticulate
5 Biological Activities and Safety of Citrus spp. Essential Oils
7 Chemical compounds and antimicrobial activity of petitgrain
8 Season’s Variation Impact on Citrus aurantium Leaves Essential Oil: Chemical Composition and Biological Activities
9 Volatile Constituents and Antioxidant Activity of Peel, Flowers and Leaf Oils of Citrus aurantium L. Growing in Greece
10 Petitgrain, Wikipedia
11 Bioactive compounds of nutrigenomic importance
12 Anti-inflammatory activity of linalool and linalyl acetate constituents of essential oils
13 What Is Linalool? Benefits, Sources + How to Use It
14 Linalool, Wikipedia
15 Therapeutic Potential of α- and β-Pinene: A Miracle Gift of Nature
16 α-Terpineol, a natural monoterpene: A review of its biological properties


*It’s important to note that everyone’s skin is different and for any serious skin concerns a dermatologist should be consulted.

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