There’s a reason that summer is a lot of people’s favorite season. The long, lazy days, the warm weather, and the countless hours spent outside are a major mood elevator for many of us.
But whether you’re a hiker, a festival goer, or a beach bum, at some point during your summer fun, sunburn is probably going to infringe upon your good time. While doing things like donning a sun hat, picnicking or playing in the shade, and slathering on the sunscreen are all great ways to prevent sunburn, nobody’s perfect, and sometimes we accidentally leave our hat at home or realize that the bottle of sunscreen in the bottom of our beach bag is empty.
When sunburn comes calling, there are several essential oils that can relieve pain and hasten healing. These oils also have the added benefit of calming the mind, relaxing the body, and generally recharging you for another round of summer merrymaking.
Here are some essential oils to try the next time you get a little too crispy in the sun:
- Chamomile: Just like a cup of chamomile tea can soothe an upset stomach, chamomile essential oil can soothe sunburnt skin. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and microbial properties, Chamomile restores inflamed and irritated skin while also reducing redness.
Lavender: Lavender is a well-documented pain reliever. Like chamomile, lavender essential oil also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to treat sunburn, and as one of the mildest essential oils, it’s generally a safe pick if you have sensitive skin. As an added bonus, it’s fragrance is calming, and it repels some insects as well.
Peppermint: The menthol in peppermint essential oil is a recognized cooling agent, and can reduce the pain of sunburn almost immediately. It does this by stimulating cold receptors on your skin and dilating blood vessels. It also increases blood flow, meaning that your skin may repair itself more quickly. It can also reduce the headaches that often come from too much sun exposure.
- Tea Tree: Tea tree essential oil is protective to the skin and soothes sunburn, again thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Research published in the International Journal of Dermatology also notes that tea tree oil speeds up wound healing and may even help protect against skin cancer.
Geranium: Like lavender, geranium is a great essential oil for people who have sensitive skin. Geranium essential oil may speed up wound healing, and it also has some antibacterial benefits. It’s used to treat dermatitis, eczema, and aging skin, so treating sunburn is right up its alley. There is evidence that also suggests that geranium essential oil might protect the skin from sun damage. It also smells like a lushly floral summer day, which can be nice if you’re spending the day inside to recover from sunburn.
You can use essential oils to soothe sunburn either by adding a few drops to a bath, or by mixing them with carrier oils and applying them directly to your sunburned skin. Good carrier oils are unscented and include rosehip, avocado, almond, fractionated coconut oil, and jojoba oil. Before using both the essential oil and the carrier oil, it's a good idea to test a small patch of unaffected skin to make sure that your skin handles both oils well. Never apply oils to eyes or mucus membranes, and never take oil internally.
For added relief, you can mix essential oils with aloe vera or oatmeal. Whatever your combo, don’t overdo it on the essential oils. You really only need a drop or two, and more than that can have negative results.
Essential oils should only be used to treat minor sunburns. If you have blistering skin, a prolonged fever or headache, excessive pain, persistent weakness and chills, or a sunburn that does not go away after several days, you should seek medical attention.
As stated above, always test out a new essential oil on a small patch of skin to make sure that you don’t have a reaction to it. If a rash or burning sensation develops, discontinue use immediately and wash the affected area. Also note that several essential oils, particularly citrus ones, can actually make your skin more sensitive to UV light. If used, these oils should be washed off before prolonged sun exposure.
Many essential oils should not be used by infants, children, and people who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding. If you are unsure about whether an essential oil is right for you, consult your doctor.
If you spend a little too much time in the sun this summer, Pureomeo essential oils can prime you for your next summer adventure in no time! PureomEO™ sources the highest-quality ingredients available from eco-friendly and small-scale farms, distilleries, and producers. Working with environmentally-sustainable and certified organic growers is a priority for us, as is employing small batch craftsmanship in the making of all our products.
At PureomEO™, we use all-natural, high-quality, plant-based ingredients with no animal products, preservatives, synthetics, or artificial ingredients. Each batch of PureomEO™ Essential Oil is 100% pure, and is lab tested and analyzed for quality assurance.
Order online or stop by our North Loop shop today and pick up the health and wellness products you need to keep you enjoying the sun all summer long! We also have a selection of stunning antiques, local pottery, jewelry, and unique gifts.
Here’s to your best summer yet!