Essential oils are excellent for sunburn as they help to heal and soothe the burns.
The natural healing properties of organic oils heal the wounds and burns on the skin very quickly. Also, these oils make the skin soft, smoother, moisturized and beautiful. No wonder, why do most natural skincare products have a range of essential oils as ingredients in them.
According to a phototherapy research report, essential oils like lavender oil contains antibacterial, antifungal, carminative, and sedative properties effective for burns, skin diseases, wounds, and insect bites.
I have come across several natural remedies for all type of burns which have essential oils as major ingredients in them. Each of these oils has specific benefits in the total healing of the sun. For example, lavender oil heals and soothes the burns, frankincense oil can reduce scarring, tea tree oil prevents infection and peppermint oil reduces the pain.
The best essential oils for getting rid of sunburn are lavender, chamomile, peppermint, tea tree, and geranium. Other carrier oils such as coconut and olive oil are also great for soothing the burns.
Best Home Remedies With Essential Oils For Sunburn
Sunburns are reddish burns on the skin which sometimes painful and swollen. It is the direct exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun that cause sunburn on the skin.
You will find a wide verity of OTC lotions and creams for preventing and healing it. However, most of those creams and lotions can cause harm to the skin in the long run.
It is always safe and effective to use natural remedies like the essential oils for sunburn.
In this article let us explore 7 best essential oil treatments and few other popular natural remedies for burns.
1. Lavender And Aloe Vera Gel
One of the research studies published in the Journal of the Medical Association Of Thailand, when twenty-seven patients with burned wounds were treated with aloe vera gel compared with vaseline gauze, the aloe vera gel treated lesion healed faster than the vaseline gauze area.
A mixture of lavender oil and aloe vera gel is excellent for the tropical healing of sunburns and all other types of burns (1).
- shown teaspoons of aloe vera gel
- 10 drops of lavender oil
Take a glass or porcelain bowl and add the suggested amount of ingredients in it and mix them thoroughly. With a cotton ball apply the mixture gently on the sunburn surface of the skin. Repeat the application of this treatment twice a day until the burn is totally healed.
2. Cold Compress With Lavender Oil
Hydrotherapy is the external or internal use of water in any of its forms (water, ice, steam) which are an age-old treatment of various diseases with various temperatures, pressure, duration, and site (2).
Cold-water compressor immersion is the finest first-aid solution for burns (3).
A very useful essential oil remedy for sunburn is the cold compress with lavender oil. It helps to quickly soothe the burn and reduce the pain.
- a drop of lavender oil
- 2 cups of cold water
Take two cups of cold water and add 6 to 9 drops of lavender essential oil in it. Stir well the water for few minutes and make sure the oil is fully diluted in the water. Soak a clean cotton hand towel in the water; wring the excess water out of the towel and then gently massage the wet towel over the burnt surface of the skin. Repeat it the cold compress for 5 minutes and thrice a day.
3. Lavender And Vinegar Wash/Bath
White vinegar contains acetic acid, a component of aspirin that can help to relieve the pain, itching, and inflammation of sunburn and all other types of burn. The antiseptic and astringent elements in vinegar help to avoid infections from skin burns (4).
In the same way, lavender oil is self-protective known for its effectiveness in healing burns and several other diseases (5).
Having a body wash/ full-body bath in water treated with lavender oil and vinegar is excellent for curing sunburns.
- 3ml lavender oil (approximately 50 drops)
- 1 cup or 8 oz white vinegar (wine/apple cider vinegar)
Take one cup of white vinegar and add 3ml vinegar in it; blend them properly by stirring. Fill your bathtub with cold water and add the entire lavender oil and vinegar solution in the water. Allow the solution to dilute in the water evenly. Then immerse your body in the bathtub and stay in it for 30 minutes.
4. Soothing Bath Blend
Chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to humanity. Chamomile essential oil is commonly used for treating several ailments including burns and bruises (6).
Milk is an excellent compress of minor burns (7).
Washing your body in water mixed with chamomile oil, lavender oil and milk is an excellent home remedy for sunburn.
- 8 drops of chamomile oil
- 8 drops of lavender oil
- 15ml milk
Fill your bathtub with cold water and add the blended mixture of ingredients in the tub. Allow the ingredients to be thoroughly dispersed in the water. Then immerse your body in the bath and stay in it for 15 minutes or longer.
5. Oil Blend For Soothing Burn
A blend of aloe vera gel, lavender oil, and sea buckthorn oil is one best essential oil blend for sunburn.
- 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
- 1 teaspoon sea buckthorn oil
- 15 drops of lavender oil
Blend the 3 oils thoroughly in a glass bowl; apply this essential oil blend with a cotton ball over the sunburnt areas of the skin. You can wash off the applied oils after 20 minutes; it is better to leave it over the skin for a longer time. Repeat the treatment twice a day till the burn is fully healed.
6. Lavender Oil And Oatmeal Bath
‘Oat (Avena sativa) in colloidal form is a centuries-old topical treatment for a variety of skin conditions.’ Colloidal oat extracts exhibit direct anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities that can heal the skin of sunburn (10,11).
Oatmeal soaked water with few drops lavender has the potential to soothe the sunburn.
- Oatmeal – a handful
- Lavender – 10 drops
Fill the bathtub with lukewarm water and throw a handful of oatmeal and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. After 30 minutes, when the oatmeal is fully soaked in the water, stir the water and then immerse your body in the water 15 to 20 minutes.
Instead of oatmeal, you can also use baking soda with lavender oil to achieve a similar healing effect.
Ultimately, lavender oil is the best essential oil for sunburn which works well with different ingredients.
7. Other Popular Essential Oil Treatments For Sunburn
Without going into details, let me bring home to you some simpler essential oil treatments for burns.
- Apply few drops lavender oil with a cotton ball over the sunburnt skin (12)
- Tea tree oil (diluted in a carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil) could be applied on sunburn skin (13)
- Calendula lotion mixed with Neroli/rose oil and chamomile oil is effective for sunburn (14,15)
- Essential oil mixture of lavender, chamomile, geranium and bergamot with carrier oils almond and sesame works great. Add 2 -3 drops essential oils in 1 teaspoon each carrier oils, and apply the mixture oil solution on the skin immediately after the exposure to the sun
Practical Tips On How To Heal And Prevent Sunburn
Undoubtedly, essential oils for sunburn are the best skincare solution after a sunbath.
Here are a few other natural products and general tips that are useful in addition to the essential remedy for sunburn.
Drink a lot of water before and after being in the sunshine. Water hydrates the body from within and reduces the harshness of sunburn skin.
Sunburn can be prevented or minimized by applying coconut oil all over your skin before going out in the sun. Some of the studies have given SPF ratings for coconut oil ranging from 5-10 SPF. Even after the sunburn, it is beneficial to apply coconut oil and also included an extra amount of coconut oil in your diet (16).
White vinegar is excellent for preventing the pain and skin irritation arising out of sunburn. Dip a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and gently apply on the burnt areas of the skin for immediate relief (17,18).
Aloe vera is very effective in soothing and healing sunburn. You can simply apply the aloe vera gel on the burnt areas of the skin; repeat the application the gel twice or thrice a day till the sunburn is totally healed.
Carrot Seed Oil
Apply the carrot seed oil all over your skin before you venture out into the sun; it has SPF 35+ (19).
It is an antioxidant supplement that helps the skin to be protective against sunburn. It’s what makes salmon, shrimp, and flamingos pink. A study testing astaxanthin’s effects on human skin cells have shown its effectiveness in protecting the skin from UVA damage.
Make sure that you do not have Vitamin D deficiency. It is an important vitamin that aids the skin to self-protective against the UVA rays of the sun. Lack of Vitamins D is said to make the sunburn severe on skin.
Regular Exposure To Sun
Regular exposure to the sun make your skin immune to sunburn. This also helps to increase Vitamin D levels in the body and makes the skin healthy enough to ward off common skin diseases.
Eat Lycopene Rich Foods
Lycopene is a carotenoid found in tomatoes. Cooked tomatoes provide the most concentrated and bioavailable lycopene that helps to protect the skin from sunburn. Even applying the tomato paste over the skin is good protection against sunburn.
The Bottom Line
Sunburn is quite a common incident among people who stay a long time in the hot sun or long sunbath.
There are numerous skin lotions (chemical solutions) to prevent sunburn. However, natural products and treatments are always healthy and best for the skin.
As regards home remedies, essential oils blend for sunburn work the best. Among the many essential oils, lavender oil is the most effective and must-have essential oil for all types of skin problems including sunburn.