Essentials oils can be very helpful when you get a sunburn. Use these natural remedies for sunburnt skin to reduce redness, provide pain relief and promote healing. The essential oils mixtures are all incredibly simple and will nourish and feed damaged skin with nutrients.
Of course, the best way to treat sunburn is to prevent it in the first place. Please, always use adequate sun protection. Too much exposure to UV rays can lead to burns and skin cancer, as well as aggravate other skin conditions. The sun can harm all skin types, don’t take it lightly and protect yourself and your family from risk of skin cancer.
Essential Oils for Sunburn
When you get even a mild sunburn, you run the risk of lasting skin damage. Those with fair skin can get a bad sunburn surprisingly quickly. Topical application of essential oils can soothe and inhibit infection of damaged skin.
Be careful and only use good quality pure essential oils to care for your homemade natural skin care products, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Additives will lessen their effectiveness and skin health benefits.
These are the best essential oils for sunburn relief. You already know you want to use oils, but it can get confusing picking the right ones. No worries, I've kept the list short, with just my top picks.
One note: I am not a doctor. These are just things that worked for my family and me. They are meant for treating mild sunburns. If you think you have a severe sunburn, or have open wounds please seek medical attention from a licensed dermatologist.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil extract from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree.
It is a really powerful oil with antimicrobial properties. It is very anti-inflammatory, so it will reduce redness and help your skin to bounce back quicker after a burn.
It is also known for being somewhat harsh and the scent is strong and medicinal. So only use a few drops and make sure it has plenty of carrier oil to go with it.
Just look at all the amazing healing properties of Tea Tree Oil:
- immune boosting
Peppermint essential oil has a cooling effect on the skin. The sensation occurs due to the oil stimulating cold receptors in the dermis.
This cooling sensation is perfect for soothing a skin irritation or burns. Peppermint helps reduce redness helps return overall skin health by encouraging healing.
The most powerful ingredient in peppermint oil is menthol. You can smell it!
This menthol makes the oil have these amazing benefits:
- anti-inflammatory properties
- antiseptic (able to kill or discourage the growth of infectious agents)
- vasoconstrictor, narrowing inflamed blood vessels
Lavender is a calming oil, but not just for your mind. It works on your skin too. Lavender is known to soothe your skin and help with wound healing. It also helps reduce the pain and lowers your risk of infection.
Lavender oil has these powerful properties:
Chamomile Essential Oil
Another soothing choice is Roman chamomile oil - it isn’t just for tea. In fact, it has been used for centuries to treat a whole range of skin issues including sunburns and psoriasis.
It has both anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. So it should be a part of your sunburn-healing regime.
Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium oil has sedative and pain relieving properties making it useful in the treatment of painful burns of any kind. It can also help the area heal, since it wards off infections with it's anti-bacterial/fungal abilities.
This essential oil (as well as calendula) has been shown to provide some SPF protection too. [study] I would absolutely not rely on it without effective UV rays blocking agents as well though.
Best Carrier Oils for Sunburns
Whenever you use essential oils you will generally need to use a carrier oil. Most are not advised to be used straight, especially on delicate sunburned skin.
What is a carrier oil?
A carrier is a fatty oil that will dilute the essential oils and carry them into the skin.
Lots of essential oils are so pure and so strong that they could lead to skin irritation. Diluted oil helps prevent bad allergic reaction.
Here are 3 popular oils used for this purpose (plus a few bonus options).
The most popular carrier oil is coconut oil. It has a huge list of amazing benefits for your skin. It is made up of medium chain fatty acids or triglycerides. That means it will help retain the moisture content in the skin.
The fatty oils also replenish the moisture that you lose when you get sunburned. If you are going to use just one carrier, coconut oil is probably your best option.
It’s easy to find. You can buy it in the baking section of your grocery store.
Sweet Almond Oil
Another very popular carrier oil for your skin is almond oil. Almond is another plant really high in fatty acids.
Almonds are high in both vitamin A and E. They are also really high in antioxidants. When you have a sunburn, ridding skin of free radicals will help it repair itself faster.
Vitamin E Oil
Finally, it is possible to purchase vitamin E oil. It is fantastic for your skin, particularly after too much sun exposure. It encourages the growth of new skin. It also helps fight free radicals with its powerful antioxidant properties.
Lots of people use it to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and even scars. If your sunburn starts to peel, use this oil to encourage new growth.
Argan and Jojoba oil are also fine choices and even olive oil can be used in a pinch. I use avocado oil for most of my cooking, so use that occasionally as well.
Precautions: Always test out any mixture containing ingredients you have not previously used on a small part of your skin first, A common side effect if you are sensitive to a particular oil is redness and itching. Also, take care in which essential oils you apply to your skin without sunscreen. Some essential oils will make your skin more sensitive to the sun (not the ones listed in this article).
DIY Sunburn Relief Spray with Printable Labels
Aloe Vera gel can also be used in lieu of oil for application to the affected area. It is a known sunburn soother. Witch hazel and apple cider vinegar are also good choices.
Below is one of my favorite recipes for calming sunburned skin. An aloe vera and with hazel based after sun spray, that quickly provides cooling relief to a sunburn and helps nourish the skin under the burn.
Another great option is a soothing oatmeal bath. My oatmeal bath recipe contains lavender essential oil as well, so it is well suited for easing the discomfort of sunburns. I hope you enjoyed this discussion of essential oils for sunburns. If you liked it, be sure to check out some of my other natural skincare articles.
So remember avoid excessive sun exposure and wear full spectrum sun block on all exposed areas of the body when you will be in the sun for any extended period of time. If you still get a sunburn, natural treatment with this essential oil mixture can help soothe the discomfort and aid in recovery.Print