Linalool in Skin Care

Not all natural ingredients are good for your skin. Just think about poison ivy. It’s natural, but we wouldn’t ever want to rub that all over our face. Linalool is a great example of this. This ingredient is sourced from plants but it can lead to allergies and irritation to the skin. But isn’t that worth it for a nice flowery fragrance? Nope.

What Is Linalool?

Linalool is a terpene alcohol, which is a type of fragrant hydrocarbon. This alcohol is found in a wide variety of flowers and spice plants. It’s mostly known for its fragrant, flowery, slightly spicy scent. Over 200 different plants produce linalool, but it’s primarily sourced from plants in the mint family, as well as from cinnamon, rosewood, citrus fruits, lavender, chamomile, and even some types of birch trees and fungi.

Linalool is often found as a component of various essential oils, but it can also be processed and extracted into its pure form. Linalool can be found in skincare products, cosmetics, shampoo, soap, and more.

Linalool in skin care

Linalool Uses & Benefits In Skincare

The main reason lanalool is often used in skincare for its fresh, floral scent. Aside from repelling bugs, this ingredient doesn’t have any other direct benefits to the skin.

  • Fresh scent – About 60-80% of soaps, detergents, shampoos, lotions, and other scented or perfumed hygiene products use linalool for its fresh, flowery scent. When combined with other fragrances and essential oils, linalool helps provide a pleasing, fresh smell in skin care products.
  • Repels insects – Many terpenes have been shown to have anti-insect properties, and repel insects like mosquitoes, flies, and more. Linalool has been shown to have these properties, and is often used in insect repellents along with other terpenes like camphene and citronellol to repel a wide variety of insects while outdoors.
  • Stress relief & relaxation – Terpenes from lavender have been shown to help with relaxation and stress relief. While this is less practical for skincare products this is why this is a popular ingredient in essential oils.

Is Linalool Vegan?

Yes. Linalool is sourced exclusively from plants, so it’s not derived from any animals or animal products. However, since so many products contain linalool, it’s always a good idea to do your own research on the brand and look closely at the product label if you want to make sure you only support vegan skincare brands.

Is Linalool Safe To Use In Skincare?

Linalool may irritate and sensitize the skin but it is considered safe in terms of toxicity and cancer. The risk of skin irritation is reduced with lower concentrations but it still poses a risk. Since the only benefit of this ingredient is fragrance, it should be avoided at all times.

It is also on the European Commission’s list of 26 known allergens. Some of the other ingredients on this fragrance allergen list include GeraniolCoumarinBenzyl Salicylate, and Limonene.


In a study done in Europe, around 7% of people were allergic to linalool in its oxidized form. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re allergic to linalool, you may want to test the product on a small patch of your skin to ensure that you avoid any potential irritation or other side effects.

Also Known As

The term “linalool” is the most common for this compound, and this is what you will find listed on most skin care products, However, linalool is also sometimes called linalyl alcohol, linalyl alcohol, or allo-ocimenol, and it’s also known as 3,7-Dimethyl-1,6-octadien-3-ol or 3,7-Dimethylocta-1,6-dien-3-ol.