Essential Oils for Sunburn
The Best Essential Oils For Sunburn Relief and Prevention
Let’s face it; the sun is the center of our solar system, and it’s effects are far-reaching. The powerful rays of the sun can be both beneficial and harmful. Some regular sun exposure is good for your health as it is a source of vitamin D, which helps our bodies absorb calcium and promotes bone growth. But, too much sun exposure can lead to sunburn that can increase the risk of skin cancer and cause early wrinkling of the skin, among other harmful side effects.
When dealing with the sun, it’s always best to attempt to prevent sunburn or overexposure through the use of protective clothing, shade, and a natural and safe sunscreen.
Many sunscreens on the market today may be more harmful to the body than they are helpful. Avoid the use of sunscreens that contain toxic chemicals like retinyl acetate (vitamin A acetate), oxybenzone, propylparaben, methylisothiazolinone and octinoxate. Some studies give evidence that they may even be a contributing factor to causing cancer. Mineral based sunscreens, like those containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are better choices, though they do contain nanoparticles which can be harmful. Perhaps even better, may be a homemade sunscreen made with natural organic oils and non-nano zinc oxide (check out some info on that at the bottom of this article).
Even taking all of the precautions we can with sunscreen, clothing, and the shade, sometimes sunburn can still happen, especially if sunblock is not applied thoroughly or if it is not reapplied properly.
A sunburn happens when the skin is exposed to too much ultraviolet light. Fair skinned people can sunburn much more quickly than darker skinned people, but the full effects of sunburn might not be noticed for up to 24 hours for anyone. If too much sun has gotten the best of you, essential oils can help bring relief and healing to your skin.
Top 6 Essential Oils for Sunburn
Some of the top essential oils to relieve the effects of a common sunburn are peppermint oil, lavender oil, frankincense oil, rose oil, helichrysum oil and chamomile oil.
1. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is a natural painkiller or analgesic. It helps with sunburn pain by cooling and soothing burnt skin. It contains menthol which helps to numb the skin as well. It is good for moisturizing the skin when used with a carrier oil and helps fight infection with its antiviral properties. When applying directly to the skin, make sure to dilute it as it can be an irritant to the skin if undiluted.
2. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil also helps relieve the pain of sunburn. It helps healing of burnt skin and reduces the pain of burns and redness. It is also calming and cooling. It is known as a remedy for many skin ailments including eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
3. Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil works to heal damaged skin. It is commonly used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and scars as well as to help moisturize skin. It, too, brings great relief to the pain associated with sunburn.
4. Rose Essential Oil
Rose essential oil is another great oil in aiding relief and healing of sunburn. It is gentle and soothing and helps make the skin more permeable so that it can better absorb the healing properties of the other aspects of your treatment. It is a great moisturizer for skin and helps to reduce inflammation.
5. Helichrysum Essential Oil
Helichrysum essential oil helps heal and regenerate skin. It is well known for healing wounds, reducing swelling, disinfecting wounds, and increasing tissue growth in the area of a wound. These properties are very helpful in healing the wounded skin of a sunburn. This essential oil is great to use on sensitive skin and has little to no side effects.
6. Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile essential oil has been used for centuries to bring relieve to skin. It can reduce the appearance of scars. It reduces swelling and inflammation as well as fever. Its cooling effect is a great relief to sunburnt skin. It also helps prevent infection with its antiseptic and antibiotic properties. It has a calming effect as well that helps even small children deal better with the pain of sunburn.
How to Use Essential Oils for Sunburn Relief
When using essential oils for sunburn relief, be sure to dilute them or add them to a carrier oil. Coconut oil is a wonderful carrier oil to add to a healing mixture of essential oils. Coconut oil helps to moisturize the skin. It also helps soothe the sting of sunburn. Let’s face it, everyone loves coconuts and the beach!
1. Spray Bottle
A common way to use essential oils to relieve sunburn is by filling up spray bottles with a diluted mixture. Add 8 to 14 drops of your oil(s) to a spray bottle and fill the rest with clean water. You can also use fractionated coconut oil or aloe vera juice instead of water. This method allows you to reapply the healing mixture frequently and with ease. Mix lavender essential oil, rose essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and chamomile essential oil together for a wonder-working remedy. Or you can try your own combination of favorite oils.
Taking a bath with added essential oils is another way to bring relief to burnt skin. Add 15-20 drops of helpful essential oils to a tub full of lukewarm water and soak away the pain of sunburn. Try lavender essential oil, rose essential oil, and helichrysum essential oil for a comforting experience.
Create your own lotion by adding essential oils to a carrier oil like coconut oil. Add about 80 drops of your favorite relieving oil to about one cup (8 ounces) of coconut oil. Fractionated coconut oil is more liquidy while extra virgin coconut oil is more creamy. Use lavender essential oil, rose essential oil and frankincense essential oil with coconut oil for a fantastic sunburn lotion.
Essential oils are a wonderful way to bring healing and relief to a sunburn. It’s always best to prevent sunburn with suncream and limited sun exposure, but if sunburn happens, count on these natural remedies to help. If your sunburn is severe, essential oils may still help but also seek the advice of a doctor.
Essential Oils and Sunscreen
Because most store-bought sunscreens contain harmful toxins, finding a safe sunscreen can be sometimes difficult. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) has some great information on the harmful effects of toxic chemicals found in sunscreens as well as lists of some of the safer sunscreens that are currently on the market in their 2017 Guide to Sunscreens.
Many essential oils have a natural occurring SPF (sun protection factor) and when combined with carrier oils with an SPF as well as non-nano zinc oxide, they can create a safe and effective sunscreen. Try Badger sunscreen products.
Finding sunscreens with these oils can be difficult, so some people choose to make their own using non-nano zinc oxide, carrot seed essential oil, myrrh essential oil, red raspberry oil, coconut oil, lavender essential oil, beeswax, and shea butter. There are so many recipes that you can find but be sure to know the possible side effects of each ingredient used as well as their effectiveness.