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What Essential Oils Are Good For Sunburns? Soothe Those Painful Burns!


The summer season is all about fun road trips, outings, beach vacations with friends, and so much more. The warm days last for long and allow us to sit out and grab our essential dose of Vitamin D. But these summer outings and overexposure to the sun often result in those problematic sunburns that we all loathe. We all end up missing a spot while lathering sunscreen on our bodies or tend to forget to reapply whenever required. 

Apart from being mild to extremely painful, these sunburns can also leave a long-term effect on the structure of your skin and cause harmful diseases as well. The good news is that essential oils can help heal your sun-damaged skin and provide relief from all that constant pain. Read on to find out more about how to restore and repair your skin from all the damage caused by the sun. 

Table Of Contents

1. Safety tips for Sunburnt skin
2. Best Essential Oils for Sunburns
 2.1   Lavender Essential Oil
 2.2  Peppermint Essential Oil
 2.3  Tea Tree Essential Oil
 2.4   Geranium Essential Oil
 2.5  Frankincense Essential oil

1. Safety Tips For Sunburnt Skin

  • Stay Hydrated: Natural moisturization and healing of the body take place much more quickly if your body is hydrated. Drink lots of fluids and increase your water intake to restore your healthy skin and minimize the damage caused by the harsh sunlight to your skin. 
  • Dilute the essential oils: Applying essential oils without diluting them could aggravate your skin's condition and lead to more severe damage. Make sure to use the oils sparingly and properly diluted.
  • Avoid cold showers: Though the idea of taking a cool shower might be tempting to relieve your body from that itchiness and pain, never take cold showers or baths when fighting sunburns. Cold showers can cause damage to your already sensitive skin tissues damaged by the UV rays. 
  • Goodbye to harsh chemicals: Make a habit of using all-natural and organic products on your skin, such as aloe vera gel or premium-quality essential oils. Avoid using synthesized chemical products that can harm your skin and cause side effects as well. 
  • Give it time: Sun-damaged skin needs its own time to heal and is sensitive to all products being applied to it. Several over-the-counter treatments and medications might aggravate your problems and could do more damage to your skin. Please resist the urge to continuously touch those blisters and to scratch the area where it burns. Take care of your skin by just spraying any medicine rather than rubbing it. 

2. Best Essential Oils for Sunburns

Essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe your sunburned and inflamed skin. According to Ava Shamban, MD, board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills, “Essential oils provide anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial treatment to the skin."

Here’s a list of essential oils that are good for sun-damaged skin and can help you get rid of redness, inflammation, and swelling and get back your naturally healthy, soft, and glowing skin:

2.1 Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender Essential Oil

Enriched with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, this essential oil helps calm your sore, red, blistered skin. It has an effective cooling effect on sunburned skin and helps in the regeneration of your skin cells. 

As per a renowned study published in 2004, lavender has been referred to as "one of the mildest of known plant essential oils,” making it a safe and reliable choice for sensitive skin. Nevertheless, you should still dilute it properly before applying it to your skin.

2.2 Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is one of the best essential oils for sunburns, acting as a numbing agent, calming your burning skin and providing a cooling relief. It also works well against headaches. As explained by a published study in  Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, peppermint oil stimulates the cold receptors of our skin and dilates the blood vessels to create an immediate pain-relieving effect. 

2.3 Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea Tree Essential Oil is very versatile and has a medicinal and earthy aroma. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of this essential oil make it an effective not just against sunburns, but also against acne and blemishes.
Research published in the International Journal of Dermatology has noted that tea tree oil effectively works not just against healing of your wounds but may also be beneficial in protecting against skin cancer. 

The tea tree oil relieves your skin from swelling, irritation, redness, blisters, and peeling as well. 

2.4 Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium Essential Oil

Known for its rose-like scent and proven beneficial as a sedative and nerve tonic, Geranium Essential Oil has anti-bacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a very effective essential oil for sunburns. Actually, it has been recommended for sunburn relief by a well-known board-certified dermatologist from New York, Michele Green, MD. 

Also, research conducted by the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine states that geranium oil can promptly treat skin conditions such as wounds, eczema, and sunburns.

2.5  Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense Essential Oil

One of the most potent skin tonics, Frankincense Essential Oil helps heal the skin by boosting the regeneration of skin cells. This product has several other benefits, such as helping reduce stretch marks and scars, helping treat acne and blemishes, offering relief from swelling and sunburns, and protection against rashes. 

Frankincense oil works exceptionally well on dry skin, as it provides dull skin with an essential dose of moisture that replenishes it and keeps it hydrated and glowing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can Coconut Oil Treat Sunburn?

Coconut oil is a rich source of antioxidants and may help moisturize your sunburned skin. It can also diminish itching and swelling caused by sunburns. So if you want to naturally treat a sunburn, yes, coconut oil may prove to be a great choice.

2. How to use essential oils for sunburns?

Dilute them in carrier oils and apply them on the affected areas. 

3. How to Make a Cooling Compress with Lavender Oil?

To make a cooling compress with lavender oil, add 4 to 5 drops of the essential oil (diluted in a tablespoon of a carrier oil of your choice) to ice-cold water and dip a small-sized towel into the bowl. Squeeze the extra water from the towel and apply it to the painful area of your skin. 

Geetika Kapoor

Deeply passionate about writing, I’m a freelancer and have been working on several writing projects for several domains across the globe since last three years. I love reviewing different products ranging from skin care products, perfumes, body lotions, feminine products, hygiene items and several others. An English teacher by profession, I love interacting with kids and discovering different personalities as well. When I’m not writing I spend most of time reading novels, listening to songs, solving tricky puzzles and travelling around the world to my favourite destinations. Collen Hoover and Nicholas Sparks are my all time favourite authors. Their writing leaves a deep impact and stays with me for long.

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