Essential Oils For Sunburn Treatment – Mild To Severe
Using essential oils for natural sunburn treatment, be it mild or severe, is an excellent way to aid your own innate healing ability and get back to good healthy skin in a relatively quick time period. There are of course a variety of oils which can be beneficial, and each of them brings additional properties and manners which alter how the sunburn treatment works. Tea tree oil (Melaleuca) and Lavender oil are two that spring to mind for many when considering home remedies for this condition, though there are others and some of them bring incredibly good effects.
Oils To AVOID
First up a word of warning on which essential oils to AVOID if you have sunburn or are considering going out in the sun for any period of time.
Basically anything citrus should be avoided when you are planning to be out in the sun, especially if you are planning on being out for a prolonged period of time. Why?
Citrus oils induce a higher degree of photosensitivity.
Whilst this may be ok in winter or at times when the sun is week, the increased degree of photosensitivity can cause your skin to burn faster than usual and thus quicker than you would realise normally you have a very uncomfortable and unpleasant condition, potentially severe sunburn, to deal with. Prevention is always better, and easier, than treatment.
There are of course times when whatever you do, even if you have applied what you believe to be plenty of sun protection, that whatever you have done has fallen short of being enough and you end up burning your skin. When that happens the following oils and their home remedies for sunburn treatment have been noted as being effective.
Top 5 Essential Oils Noted As Good For Natural Sunburn Treatment
Tea Tree (Melaleuca)
Tea Tree Oil The Go To Essential Oil For Many People
Tea Tree Oil has been proven time after time as being very effective for a great many people around the world for a variety of conditions and sunburn is one of those. Tea Tree (Melaleuca) is blessed with a number of constituents that are valuable when treating skin that has had prolonged or excessive exposure to the sun, these include the following properties:
As an anti-inflammatory and analgesic it helps to soothe the areas which have become burnt and to which it is applied, whilst the Tissue Regenerator property helps by promoting faster more effective healing to your skin.
On its own it provides an effective and quality aid to healing, though as a note when applied directly in pure form you will likely feel a stinging sensation proportional to the degree of burn that you have on first application, this will then ease as the analgesic property takes effect and the healing begins, the first sensations can be less than comfortable though. For this reason some people choose to apply it mixed with a natural moisturising cream which will reduce the initial sting whilst also providing additional moisture to aid with healing.
Lavender Essential Oil Helps With This Type Of Burn Too
Lavender essential oil has been noted for well over a century as being exceptionally good for burns, with various documented cases of its use medically, especially during WWI, it is also good for sunburn treatment. Notable components of its effects for this are:
Lavender as with the aforementioned Tea Tree has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, helping to soothe and bring healing to the affected areas that it is applied to. In addition and of great benefit to you as a sunburn remedy the nervine property helps you to relax and come to a point of calm, easing your thoughts over the condition, which brings greater opportunity for healing. When you are relaxed and at ease your body heals far more quickly and effectively.
This is something which the sedative property further helps with, aiding you to rest more effectively at night so rather than being kept awake from discomfort you can slip into quality rest with greater ease. Sleep again being important as it allows your body to heal on an even more effective level than whilst you are awake. Partly due to the greater amount of energy available for direction towards the healing process.
Lavender can also be applied directly though as with Tea Tree you may find it uncomfortable at first if you do this, and it can feel like it is burning as a result which is less than good on skin that has had excessive exposure to the sun. Mixing with a plain, natural moisturiser is good, applying mixed with a carrier oil is also good.
Frankincense A Surprisingly Useful Healer
Frankincense essential oil is incredibly good for a variety of skin conditions, it has been noted as being good for inflammation, sores and scars, whilst also helping the mental side of healing and discomfort. Among the most beneficial properties of this oil are:
As a cicatrisant it brings aid to healing forming additional tissue (a cicatrix) which helps to bring the affected area to a healthier state faster. Whilst its nervine and sedative properties aid with bringing the mind to a state which is more conducive to physical healing due to its relaxed state much in the same way that Lavender oil does, of note Frankincense tends to have a more pronounced calming effect for many people than Lavender.
Frankincense is also milder in feel than Lavender and Tea Tree when applied directly, so if you are feeling the extremes of sunburnt skin then direct application is usually ok, just ensure as with all other direct applications that you are using a very good quality source of it. You will find that it tends to be drawn into the skin relatively quickly if you do this, and with good quality Frankincense being relatively highly priced you may find yourself better off mixing it with a carrier oil or moisturiser cream so that you can cover the affected areas more effectively and use the oil more efficiently.
Myrrh Essential Oil Exceptionally Good For Your Skin And Healing
Myrrh forms a component of a great many skin care products, both as an essential oil which is combined with other elements and also for extracts which are taken from it and then combined with other ingredients to form balms and ointments. There are a great many beneficial properties from this oil with the most notable ones for healing sunburn being:
Again many of these are held in common with the other aforementioned essential oils, specifically the analgesic, anti-inflammatory and sedative properties which are in many ways core to an effective sunburn remedy, with additional effects that aid to enhance the healing effect that you experience. An anti-oxidant as most people know helps to enhance healing within the body, and through application directly as a topical treatment to affected areas the effect can be delivered directly to where you need it most.
An antiphlogistic works directly to counter act inflammation or fever, this is similar to an anti-inflammatory though it provides additional effects that bring benefit to you in returning to healthy skin and condition faster. With its cicatristant effect aiding still further with the healing or affected tissue and skin even more, one such thing that has been medically noted in studies is the “higher skin breaking strength” that this effect brings, thus reducing the chance of skin and tissues cracking and the discomfort that brings through soreness. Its credited ability to induce faster healing coming from and combining with all of these things and more to produce a wonderful remedy to the condition for you.
In addition to this Myrrh also helps to protect the skin from squalene peroxidation which is one of the things that causes skin to burn during excessive exposure to sunlight, with one study stating “Our results clearly show that essential oil of Commiphora myrrha provides the best protection against squalene peroxidation”. Thus leading the use of Myrrh to be beneficial both prior to going into the sun and when coming in from it, especially if healing is required.
Being slightly thicker and more viscous than the other oils mentioned Myrrh essential oil spreads further and when you are using a high quality source applying it directly can be very good. It may tingle when you do so, however its healing effect should soon compensate for any slight discomfort. As with Frankincense using a good quality source comes at a price, for that reason you may wish to use a carrier oil or moisturiser cream when applying it, especially if you are applying it to a large area.
Helichrysum Essential Oil Incredibly Gentle For Sensitive Skin
Helichrysum essential oil is used more regularly for helping people deal with allergies and with the effects of traumatic experiences. It is an incredibly gentle oil and is one of the very few that are widely noted as being “Baby Safe”. It is also good for skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema, both of which are dry and uncomfortable and the action it has on those conditions also helps it to be beneficial as a remedy for sunburn. Its main properties which are beneficial here are:
These are of course much in common with the other essential oils mentioned above, the difference being the anesthetic property of Helichrysum. This is something which can be of great benefit, though it also means that once you have applied the oil to your skin you are likely to feel drowsy depending on how much you have applied of course. In small amounts, 3-5 drops you will likely just feel a pleasant sense of relaxation, though in greater amounts you may well find your eyelids growing heavier. As such use caution in application if you are planning on going anywhere or operating any kind of machinery.
Helichrysum essential oil is fairly thin in consistency so your skin will absorb it quickly and as a result mixing with a carrier oil or moisturiser cream is worth your while so that you can apply it effectively. If you have particularly badly sunburnt areas then direct application can be good providing you are using a high quality source, in pure form it can soothe and provide greater benefit faster.
Single Oil Or Blended Mixture?
All of these essential oils are incredibly good on their own and they also blend well with each other in various combinations. Tea Tree and Lavender are very commonly available and relatively inexpensive too, so as a pair mixed together with a carrier oil such as coconut or avacado oil (please check if you are allegeric before use) they can provide a very easily accessed and very beneficial remedy for sunburn.
Potentially The Best Sunburn Treatment – For Slight And Severe
The following is a blend that has been tested and used very effectively and has helped heal even severe sunburn.
The best thing is always prevention of course. So please do your best to cover up and use adequate sun protection when you are going to be in the sun.
When you do get affected by excess exposure and your skin becomes burnt as a result the following mix can prove incredibly beneficial. From past experience and testing it has certainly helped me.
For General Sunburn Treatment
For this the following mix has been demonstrated to be beneficial.
5 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca)
5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
5 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil
5 drops of Myrrh Essential Oil
10 ml of Carrier Oil
Take the above blend and then gently massage it in to the affected areas as required as well as over and surrounding healthy skin too, this will aid you in healing more effectively. You can do this once a day or twice a day as you see fit. Applying it after a shower before going to sleep at night is notably beneficial. The combined action of each oil working together leads to something which is potentially the best treatment for sunburn when working with natural essential oils, especially when they are high grade.
For Severe Sunburn Treatment
For this the following mix has been demonstrated to be beneficial.
3-4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil (Melaleuca)
3-4 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
3-4 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil
3-4 drops of Myrrh Essential Oil
4-5 ml of Carrier Oil
When you apply this be incredibly gentle. From personal experience it does soothe on application, even when the skin is especially swollen and painful, though the action of gently massaging it in can cause a degree of discomfort.
Other Home Remedy Tips That Can Help You
A common thing to do in Australia, though one that may seem less than comfortable is to take a HOT shower. Whilst initially this does cause the burning sensation to be stronger the intensity of the sensation then drops off and much of the sting disappears. This is only something to do if you feel up to it, though from experience is can indeed help. Having had a shower in this way and with a certain amount of the sting gone you will find that the essential oils have an even more beneficial effect and that you feel more at ease.
Never do this if you have truly SEVERE SUNBURN though, only use this technique with lighter or potentially moderate burning.
Sleep and quality rest are also highly beneficial as they give your body greater opportunity to heal effectively, plus the sensations are minimised with less movement on your part. Healing is always more effective when you rest.
Taking additional nutrition, vitamins, minerals and especially protein is well worth doing too. Your body is healing and as such using greater amounts of nutrients than usual. Thus ingesting more nutrients so that there are more available for healing is very worthwhile. Most people take in less than they really need each day, as a marker for staying healthy your body needs about 1 to 2 grams of protein per day for each pound (454 grams) of body weight, so check what you are eating and ideally adjust so you can heal more effectively.
Avoiding alcohol and high amounts of sugar is also worthwhile as they both impair healing ability, especially in large amounts.
Meditation is something which has been shown to aid with both healing and pain relief, so using guided meditations or your own particular practice if you are experienced can be beneficial too. To discover more on how it can help you go to the section on the benefits of meditation.
It is also worth seeking advice from a medical practitioner in regard to your condition, especially if it is severe, they may notice or be able to help you in some way which is beneficial to your recovery. Checking with a doctor that using these essential oils is ok for your health is also worthwhile.
Other Essential Oils That Can Help
Roman Chamomile, Rose, Rosemary, Ylang Ylang and Clove can all be beneficial as well, though be especially careful with Clove due to its spicy nature. Chamomile, Rose and Ylang Ylang will all help to soothe, and Rose is particularly beneficial for the skin. If you wish you can include from these in your own home remedy blend to ease and promote healing.
One option with Clove essential oil is to get a high grade ingestion safe source then use a drop or two in food. Clove has the highest anti-oxidant rating of any food source and as such can be very beneficial to healing.
Getting The Best Of These Remedies For Your Sunburn Treatment
Applying the essential oils as described above will help you whether you have severe sunburn or a milder condition. Combining the use of these with other home remedies, particularly ensuring you take in additional nutrition and have a greater amount of rest will aid with more effective healing too with the combined action generating potentially the best treatment for sunburn.