Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot Essential Oil is harvested from the rinds of the Bergamot Orange fruit (Citrus bergamia).

Bergamot is widely used for cooking, perfume making and Naturopathic skin treatments. Bergamot Essential Oil is occasionally included in topical Naturopathic acne treatments.

Bergamot Essential Oil is purported to help improve acne symptoms and skin tone when used topically. Unfortunately, there is virtually no clinical research into the use of Bergamot Essential Oil as an acne treatment. Laboratory testing indicates that Bergamot Essential Oil is mildly toxic to some types of gram-positive bacteria, such as the acne-causing P. acnes bacterium. However, these laboratory test results found that many other types of essential oil (eg. Rosemary) had significantly more antibacterial activity than Bergamot Essential Oil.

Bergamot Essential Oil is a complex mixture of many types of molecules. Bergamot Essential Oil contains significant concentrations of Limonene, Linalyl Acetate and Linalool. These, and other compounds found in Bergamot Essential Oil are known to have biological activity. Bergamot Essential Oil can also contains a molecules (eg. Psoralen) that act as photosensitizers. Topical use of Bergamot Essential Oil can increase the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight and UV radiation.


The effect of lemon, orange and bergamot essential oils and their components on the survival of Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus in vitro and in food systems. Fisher, et al. 2006.
Effects of Rootstock on the Composition of Bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso et Poiteau) Essential Oil. Verzera, et al. 2003.
Activities of Ten Essential Oils towards Propionibacterium acnes and PC-3, A-549 and MCF-7 Cancer Cells. Zu, et al. 2010.
Antimicrobial activity of flavonoids extracted from bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso) peel, a byproduct of the essential oil industry. Mandalari, et al. 2007.
In vitro antimicrobial effects and mechanism of action of selected plant essential oil combinations against four food-related microorganisms. Lv, et al, 2011.