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Citrus Limon (Lemon) Leaf Extract

Used with care
Citrus Limon (Lemon) Leaf Extract

Citrus Limon (Lemon) Leaf Extract

Citrus limon leaf extract is a botanical ingredient with a fresh citrus aroma, derived from the leaves of the lemon (Citrus limon). This ingredient can be used as a fragrance or antioxidant in personal care products.

Citrus limon is a species of small evergreen citrus tree native to South Asia and cultivated around the world for its tangy fruit. Trees come in several varieties and grow to around 3 meters tall, with thorny branches and sparse foliage. The flesh, juice and rind of the yellow fruit (botanists refer to it as a berry) can all be used for their fragrance and flavour. Lemons are rich in vitamin C and citric acid, as well as numerous other phytochemicals. The flowers, twigs and fruit can be cold-pressed or steam-distilled to produce lemon essential oil, which is used to add flavour and/or fragrance to foods and products such as toothpastes, shampoos and detergents.

Regarding its safety profile, this ingredient contains natural constituents that may be skin sensitisers for some people, and it's best used with care in topical applications. Lemon oil, along with a group of citrus fruit-derived ingredients, were assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel in 2021. They reviewed their safety for dermal exposure in cosmetics and concluded they are “safe for use in both rinse-off and leave-on cosmetic products when formulated to be non-sensitizing and non-irritating, provided that leave-on products do not contain more than 0.0015% (15 ppm) 5-methoxypsoralen (5-MOP).” Lemon oil is also listed by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) as being readily biodegradable, with low potential for bioaccumulation but some aquatic toxicity when introduced to the environment above PNEC (Predicted No-Effect Concentration) levels.

Botanical name: Citrus x limon

Other names: Citrus Limon Leaf Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum Leaf Extract, Lemon Leaf Extract, Petitgrain Lemon Extract

Chemical class: Botanical Products and Botanical Derivatives

Main constituents: (Leaf Oil) Limonene, Sabinene, Citronellal, Linalool, Neral, Geranial, (E)-beta-Ocimene, Myrcene, Citronellol, beta-Caryophyllene, Terpne-4-ol, Geraniol, alpha-Pinene


Yang Shan. (2016). Comprehensive Utilization of Citrus By-Products. Academic Press, 2016, Pages 31-58, ISBN 9780128097854,

Klimek-Szczykutowicz, M., Szopa, A., & Ekiert, H. (2020). Citrus limon (Lemon) Phenomenon-A Review of the Chemistry, Pharmacological Properties, Applications in the Modern Pharmaceutical, Food, and Cosmetics Industries, and Biotechnological Studies. Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1), 119.

Burnett, C. L., Bergfeld, W. F., Belsito, D. V., Hill, R. A., Klaassen, C. D., Liebler, D. C., Marks, J. G., Shank, R. C., Slaga, T. J., Snyder, P. W., Gill, L. J., & Heldreth, B. (2021). Safety Assessment of Citrus Fruit-Derived Ingredients as Used in Cosmetics. International Journal of Toxicology, 40(3_suppl), 5S-38S.

European Chemicals Agency (2022). Lemon, ext. EC number: 284-515-8 | CAS number: 84929-31-7.

Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. 2022-03-02.

INCI Name:
Citrus Limon (Lemon) Leaf Extract
Ingredient origins:
Fragrance, Antioxidant
Common name:
Lemon Leaf Extract
EWG score: The EWG score is a hazard score ranging from 1-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard) and 7-10 (high hazard) published by the Environmental Working Group. Their data is sourced from the Skin Deep® database and studies published in open scientific literature.