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Posted in Essential Oil Basics by Rocky Mountain Oils

Exploring Lime Substitutes: Citrus Essential Oils You Can Use

Have you ever found yourself so excited to try a new essential oil recipe, only to be disappointed when you discover that you don't have all of the oils you need? Or, maybe you just don't want to use a certain oil because you don't like its smell. It's likely we've all been there, but what do you do when you don't want to simply forego the missing or disliked oil? 

Why, you simply substitute it for a different one! 

One of the great things about essential oils is that many of their benefits and even aromas overlap. That means that you can often substitute one oil for another. So, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you're out of your go-to oil, missing an oil for a recipe, or wanting to simply switch out an oil for a different one, don't fret. 

Over the next few weeks, we will share tips about which oils you can use as substitutes for those you many not have or enjoy. And we're starting off with bright, crisp citrus oils! 

Easy Citrus Essential Oil Substitutions

If you find yourself missing or wanting to replace a citrus oil, try using one of these substitutions instead. 


Sweet, tangy scent; high in antioxidants; eases mental fatigue.

Grapefruit Aromatic Substitute If you want to enjoy the fresh, citrusy aroma of Grapefruit but don't have a bottle in your collection, try switching it out for a fellow citrus oil. Both Lemon and Bergamot oil have similar aromas that can be just as refreshing.

Cravings and Weight Control When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight and fighting those mid-day cravings, Grapefruit is the #1 go-to. For an easy substitute, try using Peppermint, Ginger, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark. These oils can help you feel full faster, say 'no' to cravings, and keep your weight goals. 

Mood Booster Grapefruit, along with most other citrus oils, is great at uplifting you mood. It works to both calm feelings of stress and anxiety while boosting feelings of joy and peace. If you need to replace Grapefruit but still need an emotional boost, Mandarin, Bergamot, and Vetiver are excellent substitutes. 

Skin Care and Blemishes This classic pink fruit is high in natural antibacterial and anti-aging properties, making it great for your skincare routine. If you need an easy substitute, try using Thyme, Tea Tree, or Bergamot oil to help fight acne-causing bacteria and reduce the appearances of blemishes. 


Fresh citrus scent; fights sadness & supports immunity.

Beragmot Aromatic Substitutes Bergamot offers a classic citrus aroma with just a hint of flowers. If you need an oil an oil that has a similar smell to Bergamot, try using Grapefruit, Lemon, or Lime essential oil

Astringent Bergamot is a natural astingent, helping to remove excess oil and unleash your skin's natural glow. If you need a substitute for Bergamot in your skincare routine, try using Jasmine, Helichrysum, Lavender, or Vetiver oil. 

Anxiousness If you experience frequent bouts of anxious or nervous feelings, or if you can't quite seem to find the joy you want each day, Bergamot is a great oil to promote feelings of calmness and joy. For those times when you don't have Bergamot on hand, try replacing it with Neroli, Lavender, Chamomile, Melissa, or Rose to boost your mood. 


Bright, zesty citrus aroma invigorates and uplifts; tones skin.

Lime Aromatic Substitutes Don't have Lime essential oil? No problem! If you need an oil that offers a similar smell to this sharp, fruit oil, try replacing it with its cousin, Lemon! If you want to mix things up a bit, you can also use Bergamot or Lemongrass oil

Seasonal Illness Does the changing of the seasons have you coughing and sneezing more than normal? Lime essential oil is great for easing spasms, helping you to more fully enjoy the season. When you don't have Lime with you, try using Lavender, Eucalyptus, or Tea Tree oil instead. 

If you're seeking a way to enhance mental stimulation, Lime oil can be a fantastic choice. But don't worry if you don't have Lime in your collection for mental focus and emotional uplift; you can always turn to Grapefruit or Bergamot as excellent Lime substitutes that offer similar effects.

Healthy Digestion Lime oil is great for easing uncomfortable tummy issues and supporting proper digestion. If you don't have Lime on hand, though, some simple substitutions include Peppermint, Fennel, and Coriander oil. 


Lemony-fresh energy; may help treat chronic pain & arthritis.

Lemon Aromatic Substitute Want to experience that invigorating, crisp aroma of a freshly squeezed lemon, but you just ran out of your Lemon oil? No worries! You can use Lemongrass or Citronella oil for that familiar lemony scent. 

Clear Skin One of Lemon's top uses is as a natural cleaner with its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. If you don't have Lemon on hand but want a natural way to clean around your home, you can always substitute Lemon for Lavender, Tea Tree, or Cinnamon Bark. 

Anxious Nerves For those times when you experience severe anxiousness or overactive nerves, Lemon can help soothe your emotions. If you need to experience some peace and happiness but don't have Lemon, some simple substitutes include Lavender, Bergamot, Frankincense, and Vetiver.

Concentration Need some more brainpower? Lemon is a great oil to help boost your concentration and increase your focus and energy. For those times when you need to focus but don't have Lemon, try using Black Pepper, Peppermint, or Rosemary. 


Sweet, citrusy; clears dead skin cells for a glowing complexion.

Tangerine Aromatic Substitute Tangerine has a fresh and sweet aroma, but when you don't have a bottle of this oil in your collection, you can always substitute it with its close relative, Orange. 

Skin Rejuvenation Tangerine is an excellent oil to have in your skincare routine, as it naturally helps promote the growth of healthy, new skin cells while reducing the appearance of blemishes. If you don't have Tangerine, however, you can always substitute it with Frankincense, Geranium, Helichrysum, or Hyssop. 

Digestion and Metabolism Digestion plays a key role in your overall health, and maintaining a healthy metabolism can help you keep your weight goals. Tangerine can help with both of these, but for those times when Tangerine isn't available, try replacing it with Peppermint, Lemon, or Grapefruit


Gentle, mild; non-phototoxic; helps w/ brain fog & fatigue.

Mandarin Aromatic Substitute Mandarin is very similar to Tangerine and Orange, which makes both an excellent substitute for when you don't have any Mandarin oil. If you want something other than the traditional orange-like aromas, you can also try Lemongrass or Bergamot. 

Skin Rejuvenation Mandarin is excellent at promoting the growth of healthy skin cells, helping you maintain a more youthful appearance. For simple Mandarin oil substitutes, try using Clary Sage, Carrot Seed, or Frankincense to keep your skin clean and clear. 

Sleep If you struggle to fall or stay asleep, Mandarin can help you relax and drift off to dreamland. For those times when you don't have Mandarin, however, you can still get some good-quality sleep. Just try using Lavender, Chamomile, Orange, or Marjoram instead! 

Anxiousness If overactive nerves or feelings of anxiousness or stress are keeping you from functioning at your best, Mandarin can help put those feelings to ease. However, if you don't have Mandarin oil available, try replacing it with Ylang Ylang, Vetiver, or Rose. 

Remove Toxins Mandarin is one of many essential oils that can help your body's natural process of getting rid of toxins to improve your overall health. For those times when you are looking to aid your body in a natural detox, try replacing Mandarin oil with Lemon, Rosemary, Grapefruit, or Ginger. 


Sweet, mellow citrus aroma promotes calm & boosts immunity.

Orange Aromatic Substitute Out of Orange? No problem! Tangerine and Mandarin both have similar aromas to Orange for a simple substitute. 

Health Booster Orange oil is great at supporting your overall health and helping you maintain a healthy weight. If you don't have Orange oil, though, you can experience similar benefits with Lemon, Grapefruit, or Oregano. 

Digestion Support healthy and proper digestion with the help of Orange oil. In those times when Orange isn't available, you can always substitute it with Turmeric, Ginger, Dill, or Coriander. 

Sleep Orange oil is great for calming the mind and body before sleep, especially for children. If you need some help falling asleep, or help getting your kids to sleep, and don't have Orange, try using Lavender or Chamomile instead. 

Choosing Alternative Essential Oils: Exploring Lime Substitutes

If you are looking for additional essential oil substitutes, you can always pick your own oil. When choosing an essential oil to replace another, it is important to note that no two oils are exactly the same. While we can't expect to experience the same effects when replacing an oil, we sure can get close! 

When choosing your own essential oil substitute, remember that there are two main types of essential oil substitutions: aromatic and therapeutic. An aromatic substitution is simply when you wish to switch one oil for another that has a similar aroma. This can be the case for diffuser blends, perfumes, body or room sprays, or scented lotion. If you are looking to substitute an oil for aromatic purposes, you will want to replace it with one that has a smell in the same aromatic category. For example, substitute a floral oil with another floral, or a spicy oil with another spicy one, and so on. 

A therapeutic essential oil substitution focuses on replacing on oil for another that has similar benefits. No two oils are alike, and while many offer the same benefits, there will be some tradeoffs. Some substituted oils may be closer to the one you are replacing than others, but oftentimes there are many that offer the same benefit, in addition to others. When choosing to substitute an oil for therapeutic purposes, we recommend replacing it with an oil whose dominating benefits are similar to the one you're replacing. For example, substitute an oil known to help with skin with another that has dominating skin benefits. 

You don't have to have a bottle of every single essential oil in order to experience the many benefits that they offer. Whether your collection is large or small, you can still follow essential oil recipes by substituting oils and experimenting with what you have. And be sure to share with us your favorite citrus oil substitutes! 

Missing an Oil? Citrus Essential Oil Substitutes