When dealing with a terrible sunburn, there are plenty of things you can use to try to get relief (including using essential oils for sunburn!). Because the pain of sunburn comes in part from the inflammation of the damaged skin, soothing that inflammation is one of the best ways to take the sting away. One of the best ways to so that is with essential oils, a natural way to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Here are the five best essential oils for coping with a sunburn.
1. Chamomile Oil
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties as well as antioxidants which means it’s great at soothing and healing the skin.
Aviano Botanicals offers pure and undiluted chamomile oil that not only provides the healing benefits you’re looking for, it also has one of the best scents of any chamomile oil on the market. Because they don’t combine their oils with carriers or lower quality oils, you can trust that each and every drop is pure, potent chamomile oil.
The extraction method Aviano Botanicals uses is steam distillation. They carefully carry out and monitor the entire process to make sure the end result is pure, therapeutic grade essential oil. It’s also worth noting that this is Roman chamomile, which is superior to the German variety and has a sweet, floral smell.
2. Peppermint Oil
Another great choice for treating sunburn is peppermint oil. If you’re looking for something that will make your skin feel better fast, you’ll love the cooling and numbing effects of peppermint. It works by stimulating cold receptors on your skin. This causes blood vessels to dilate which helps alleviate pain and creates the cooling effect.
A great choice for an all-natural, pure peppermint essential oil is this one from Majestic Pure. It’s safe, non-toxic, undiluted, and unfiltered. This therapeutic grade oil is quickly absorbed into the skin when mixed with a carrier oil.
Peppermint oil naturally has a fresh, clean, menthol smell and contains numerous nutrients and minerals, including omega fatty acids as well as vitamins A and C. So, after the cooling sensation makes your skin feel better, peppermint oil will continue benefiting your skin as it heals from sun damage.
3. Tea Tree Oil
You might already know that tea tree oil is a great choice for treating skin ailments like acne but these properties also go a long way when it comes to soothing the inflammation and pain of a sunburn. Tea tree oil is a potent anti-inflammatory that quickly calms and begins to heal your damaged skin.
Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the tea tree, a small tree native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. It should not be confused with tea plants used to make oolong, green, and other teas.
Eve Hansen Tea Tree Oil is steam distilled and therapeutic grade. The large 2-ounce bottles include a dropper and are used to treat dry, itchy skin, reduce inflammation, and promote healing, all the things you need to take care of your sunburn.
4. Helichrysum Oil
Helichrysum is a natural, medicinal plant that has a lot of benefits. What makes it so good for sunburns it the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This plant is native to the Mediterranean and has been used by various cultures around the world for thousands of years.
Earth Shield makes a great helichrysum oil that’s 100% pure therapeutic grade. The smell is a little hard to describe. It’s been described as sweet, earthy, rich, and even fruity. Earth Shield uses helichrysum cultivated in Madagascar and distills and bottles it in California. They keep a close eye on the process, from distillation to bottling, to make sure they only put out the finest oils you can buy.
5. Eucalyptus Oil
Last but not least is eucalyptus oil. It’s derived from the leaves of certain species of eucalyptus trees found in Australia and Tasmania. Eucalyptus oil has anti-inflammatory properties and also acts as an analgesic. Not only will it help soothe the inflammation caused by a sunburn, it will provide relief quickly when applied to the surface of the skin.
Rhada Beauty uses steam distillation to produce this 100% pure eucalyptus oil. The smell is woody and sweet and the colorless oil blends nicely into carrier oils or lotions. Since you only need a few drops at a time, this 4-ounce bottle will last a long time.
How to Use Essential Oils with Sunburn
Now that you know what oils to use, here are some ideas on how to get the most out of their application.
- First and foremost, essential oil should never be applied directly to your skin. This is especially true if you have a sunburn. Any damage caused would be worse because your skin is already damaged. Mix a few drops of essential oil with a carrier oil and massage into your skin. Repeat twice a day or as needed.
- Make a soothing spray. Simply add 3 drops of essential oil, a tablespoon of Aloe vera (here’s my favorite), and 1 cup of water to a spray bottle (a good one from Amazon). Shake to mix and spray on your skin as needed. If you want something that will help calm even the worst sunburn, keep the spray bottle in the refrigerator. The cooling effect of the spray will provide instant relief while you wait for the effects of the essential oils to kick in.
- Make a salve or cream. If you prefer a thick ointment, add a few drops of essential oil to coconut oil and apply liberally to any sunburned areas. Rub in until absorbed by your skin and reapply as necessary.
- Take a soothing bath. The easiest way to do get the benefits of essential oils while soaking in the tub is to simply add a few drops of essential oils to the water. Because you’re coping with a sunburn, water temperature is key. Lukewarm water is best. If you want to make it even more soothing, add a cup of oatmeal. This is especially comforting if your sunburn has started to peel and your skin is itchy and raw.