5 Best Essential Oils for Sunburn

by Jinal Gangar last updated -

Sunburn can be very painful. Fortunately, there are a number of remedies available for sunburn relief and, of all, essential oils work the best on sun-damaged skin. Use of essential oils for sunburn helps to treat them naturally while keeping your skin flawless, glowing, and supple. Therapeutic essential oils help to improve the skin quality as they contain anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. [1]

In an attempt to get relief from sunburn quickly, people don’t hesitate to use cosmetics like creams, salves, and lotions, as well as undergo certain medical and chemical procedures, but these can have many side effects. Therefore, one of the natural and safest cure is to use essential oils for sunburn. As many of these oils contain cooling properties, they offer you immediate relief from sunburn. These essential oils hydrate your skin and make it look healthy and glowing. [2]

List of Best Essential Oils for Sunburn

Essential oils are the secret weapon for sunburn relief. The most effective essential oils for sunburn include lavender, sandalwood, frankincense, peppermint, and eucalyptus essential oil. [3]

Lavender Essential Oil

The antifungal, antibacterial, and carminative properties of the lavender essential oil are extremely useful in healing sunburn and treating other skin problems. This essential oil for sunburn relief should be sourced from a trusted place and should not contain any additive because synthetic components can make the sunburn worse. [4]

A man applying cream on the sunburn-affected skin on his chest

Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera to help soothe sunburned skin. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How to use – Mix a drop of lavender essential oil into aloe vera gel and apply the mixture to the affected area of the skin. This will give an immediate relief from sunburn. Also, if sunburn is spread over a large area of the skin, all you need to do is to mix a handful of oatmeal and 7-8 drops of lavender oil in a tub of warm water. Stir the bath gently with your hand and immerse yourself in it. The soothing properties of the bath will effectively alleviate the discomfort caused by sunburn.

Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood essential oil contains cooling properties and can be used to calm sunburn inflammation, soothe and cool burns, get rid of uneven tans, and remove germs that can cause infection. [5]

How to use – Mix 1- 2 drops of sandalwood essential oil, 1 drop of turmeric essential oil (since it has good antiseptic properties), and approximately 30 gms of coconut oil together. Apply the mixture gently to the affected skin for immediate relief.

Frankincense Essential Oil

For sunburn, use therapeutic frankincense essential oil which has been tested for purity. Sunburnt skin is painful to touch and using frankincense essential oil will help to nourish the sun damaged skin and bring back its original luster. This is the ideal solution for relieving the pain following sunburns. Frankincense essential oil works wonders on the dry plus sun-damaged skin as it helps to rejuvenate it by hydrating and providing the necessary moisture. [6] [7]

How to use – Frankincense essential oil is a powerful skin tonic. Mix 1-2 drops of the oil to aloe vera gel and apply it gently on the affected area of the skin.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is also known as a natural cooling agent and the menthol contained in it helps to numb the pain caused due to sunburn. Peppermint essential oil helps to hydrate and cools down your sunburnt skin immediately. This extremely potent essential oil should always be used in a diluted form. [8]

How to use – Mix 1- 2 drops of peppermint essential oil and 1-2 tsp of aloe vera gel together. Apply the paste gently over your sun-damaged skin for soothing the burns.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil helps to quickly relieve sunburn. This oil has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties that alleviate sunburn in no time. Its application on sunburnt skin numbs the pain, thereby providing soothing effect with its mentholated goodness. Its antibacterial properties also protect the sensitive, sunburned skin from infection. [9]

How to use – Just add 2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil and 1 tsp of pure aloe vera gel to a cup of water and pour the mixture into a clean bottle. Spray on the affected area before you go to your bed. Make sure to shake the solution properly before using it. The other way to use it is to soak a towel in water containing 4-5 drops of cool eucalyptus oil and gently dab the affected area with the towel for immediate relief.

Word of Caution: The use of essential oils to treat sunburn is an effective and a reliable way. Sun-damaged skin becomes extremely sensitive, therefore, it takes its own time to heal as treating sunburn with essential oils is a natural healing process. Therefore, resist the urge of over application of essential oils, on the sunburned skin as this might aggravate the condition. You should also speak with your doctor before using essential oils to treat sunburns. [10]

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About the Author
 Jinal, an ex-banker who has completed her MBA in finance from Mumbai University, is passionate about health and wellness. She is a social media enthusiast. She has completed an online program on “Introduction to Food and Health” from Stanford University, US. On weekends you can find her in cafes or movie theaters. Positivity drives her and she finds peace in cooking, reading, and coffee!
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