Mandarin Essential Oil Improves Skin + Even Helps Combat Cancer - Dr. Axe

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Mandarin Essential Oil Improves Skin + Even Helps Combat Cancer


Mandarin essential oil - Dr. Axe

With quite a history dating back thousands of years to traditional Chinese medicine, mandarin is known to be the sweetest and the most calming of all citrus essential oils. Why? Mandarin essential oil is very mild and known for many healing properties. For instance, mandarin essential oil is useful in helping to reduce acne, brighten the skin, alleviate insomnia, reduce oily skin, diminish the appearance of scars and age spots and minimize stress and wrinkles. And that’s not all.

It holds even more more healing properties, such as helping with gut issues like leaky gut syndrome, acting an antiseptic, stimulating the lymphatic system and even relieving gas. Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? How is mandarin oil able to do this? I’m glad you asked.

Benefits of Mandarin Essential Oil

1. Diminishes Acne, Stretch Marks and Scars

Mandarin oil may be able to help with acne, stretch marks and scars. Because it’s gentle, mandarin typically does not irritate your skin. It has the ability to help prevent infection of irritated skin by preventing bacteria and fungal development. If you’re looking for how to reduce the appearance of scars, you can apply the oil combined with a carrier oil directly onto the scar and can try a blend, such as one drop lavender, one drop mandarin and one drop neroli with a little almond oil. (1)

2. Reduces Pain, Anxiety and Nausea through Aromatherapy

Mandarin essential oil may be one of the best essential oils for anxiety and nausea. A study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine examined the use and effectiveness of essential oil therapeutic interventions on pain, nausea and anxiety when provided by nurses to patients in acute hospital settings across a large health system. Ten Allina Health hospitals located in Minnesota and western Wisconsin did a study using the delivery of aromatherapy within their facilities.

The outcome was great, showing a change in patient-reported pain, anxiety and nausea. There were 10,262 hospital admissions during the study time frame in which nurses provided aromatherapy as a part of their patient care. There were several oils used, and while each had its strengths, the overall outcome was positive showing that mandarin essential oil provided improvements to the patients. (2) So if you’re looking to relieve nausea through aromatherapy treatment, try mandarin oil.

3. Relieves Pain

Studies have been conducted showing that the oils from natural plants, such as mandarin essential oil, are sources of molecules that may develop new analgesics and provide benefits when used to fight or reduce pain. There were noticeable characteristics, such as a pungent effect and tingling due to their possible role in the central nervous system.

In this study, mandarin essential oil was obtained and then purified. The purified mandarin was found to be similar to another type of known molecule that is capable of blocking pain. The terpenes, which are compounds found in mandarin essential oil, may be used to create analgesics in human therapy against pain. (3)

4. Protects Food from Bacteria

Mandarin essential oil contains antimicrobial activity. Studies were conducted to evaluate the effects against Listeria innocua and the impact on color and texture of green bean samples. In this study, a “bioactive coating formulation based on modified chitosan containing 0.05% nanoemulsion of mandarin essential oil was tested in combination with γ-irradiation, UV-C and ozonated water treatments, and the results in terms of antimicrobial activity, color and texture changes, were evaluated during 14 days storage.” (4)

The treatment showed positive results in microbial reduction. It also helped prevent the loss of firmness and color changes of foods during storage, which may give way to a healthier alternative for food preservation, according to the findings published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology.

5. Helps Combat Cancer

The effects of the essential oil of mandarin peel and limonene were studied on two human tumor cell growth lines. Both mandarin essential oil and limonene, a chemical found in the peels of citrus fruits and in other plants, were tested showing the inhibition of tumor growth of these cell lines. This could lead to the development of anti-tumor agents and the treatment of cancer through alternative medicine. (5)


All about mandarin essential oil - Dr. Axe

Mandarin Essential Oil vs. Tangerine Essential Oil

While people often refer to mandarin and tangerine essential oil interchangeably, they are a bit different. However, they do have many of the same qualities, which makes a ton of sense once you read the following: (6)

  • Mandarin and tangerine are citrus fruits originating in Southeast China.
  • Tangerine is actually a type of mandarin.
  • They taste very similar.
  • Mandarin oil is often referred to as tangerine oil.
  • They grow on trees that look very similar.
  • Tangerine fruit is darker in skin color, being reddish orange.
  • Mandarins have a lighter orange color.
  • Tangerine has a thicker skin with bumps.
  • Mandarin has thin skin that is smooth and thinner and is easier to peel.
  • Both are members of citrus fruit family, Rutaceae.
  • Mandarin, though it refers to a Chinese language, is not a Chinese word.
  • Tangerine comes from the port of Tangiers in Morocco.

Mandarin Essential Oil History and Interesting Facts

Golden and greenish-orange in color, mandarin essential oil has been around for a very long time and is found in lots of products — from colognes and cosmetics to alternatives remedies. It delivers a lovely citrus flavor to sweets, carbonated beverages, liquor, gum and ice cream, acting as a flavoring agent.

Mandarin oil comes from the outer rind of the fruit. The oil is extracted through a cold-pressed process, though one exception is the mandarin petitgrain oil, which is is extracted from the leaves and twigs through steam distillation.

Mandarin can be effective when blended with lots of other floral scents, including rose, jasmine, chamomile and geranium. Additionally, it’s great when blended with other citrus oils, such as bergamot, grapefruit and lemon, and creates a unique aroma when combined with spicy scents, such as clove and black pepper.

The mandarin tree may reach a height of up to 25 feet with and larger width. The tree contains thorns and has slender twigs. The leaves are narrow and oval-shaped, tapering to a point at each end, and have tiny, rounded teeth and narrowly winged stalks. The mandarin orange is native to Southeastern Asia and the Philippines and is most abundantly grown in Japan, southern China, India and the East Indies.

It made way to the western world through two varieties from Canton that were taken to England in 1805. They were eventually cultivated around the Mediterranean and well-established in Italy by 1850. Around that time, mandarins were planted in New Orleans, then Florida and later in California.

Commercially, mandarin oranges have been mostly developed in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, which have the biggest yields, while Texas, Georgia and California are smaller producers. However, the mandarin fruit is still way more popular in in the Orient, Coorg and India, with India being the most famous for its mandarin oranges. Though mandarin oranges can tolerate the cold better than the sweet orange, they still struggle to grow well in colder climates. (7)

How to Pair Mandarin Essential Oil with Other Oils

We now know that mandarin essential oil is great for acne, scars and stretch marks. Before we jump into the recipe I have created for you, let’s learn a little about where mandarin oil stands in the world of essential oils.

Oils, by themselves, are categorized as a top, middle or base note. While each oil typically has components of each, it can be categorized as particular note in which it is more dominant. Bergamot oil is known as a top note while mandarin is known as a middle note; frankincense is a base note, not to be confused with a base carrier oil. When blending, it’s best to choose oils from each category so you have a perfect aroma.

Also, as a middle note oil, it does not evaporate as quickly as top notes and puts it at the center focus of a blend. In addition to mandarin, marjoram, rosemary, neroli and ginger are considered middle note essential oils. Not all oils works well together, however. There is an art to pairing the right oils. (8)

Related: What Are Clementines? Top 6 Reasons to Eat This Citrus Fruit

Mandarin Essential Oil Recipes

DIY Mandarin and Rosehip Oil Stretch Mark, Acne and Scar Serum


  • 10 drops mandarin essential oil
  • 6 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 6 drops tea tree oil
  • 3 drops bergamot oil
  • 1 ounce rosehip oil
  • 2 ounces jojoba oil
  • A small glass pump bottle (4- to 6-ounce bottle)


  1. Mix all essential oils except rosehip and jojoba straight into the bottle.
  2. Add the rosehip and jojoba oils.
  3. Shake well until blended.
  4. Massage a few pumps into the skin in the affected area twice daily.
  5. Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

Here are a couple more mandarin essential oil recipes to try:

Mandarin Essential Oil Precautions

Mandarin essential oil is mild and appears safe and nontoxic. However, if you’re pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, cancer or any other medical problem, make sure you use oils under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner and check with your doctor.

It’s always best to exercise caution when using with children or the elderly. Be careful if you are going to be in the sun. Mandarin oil can increase the risk of sun damage to the skin.

Final Thoughts on Mandarin Essential Oil

Mandarin is known as the sweetest and most calming citrus essential oil.

It’s proven to help diminish of acne, stretch marks and scars; reduce pain, anxiety and nausea; relieve pain; protect food from bacteria; and even support cellular health. Mandarin essential oil also is shown to brighten the skin, reduce insomnia, improve oily skin, minimize stress, help with cuts, relieve gas and stimulate the lymphatic system.

Mandarin essential oil blends well with a plethora of other essential oils, which makes it both convenient and wise to incorporate to your routine. I highly recommend using mandarin oil and getting all these wonderful health benefits.

Read Next: 12 Amazing Neroli Essential Oil Uses (#2 Is Dreamy!)

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