One of the main problems we encounter during summer is sunburn. When UV rays become sufficiently more than what the skin can handle, skin cells become inflamed which causes the release of pro-inflammatory substances and hasten the destruction of normal skin cells. The treatment of sunburn therefore, is to arrest this inflammatory reaction before it creates more serious harm and help the skin regenerate a lot faster.
This is where essential oils come in. Because many essential oils have excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, they are especially beneficial in the management of sunburns. That said, here are the 5 best essential oils for sunburn.
- Lavender Essential Oil
Known as the CEO of all essential oils, lavender essential oil is the principal oil used in the management of sunburn. It is known for its anti-inflammatory effects as well as analgesic properties. To help you get the most of your lavender essential oil, you can mix 1 part of lavender EO with 20 parts of aloe vera gel. You can add 1 part of arnica-infused oil, but this is optional. Use the mixture to soothe the sunburn. You can also mix 1 part lavender EO with 1 part chamomile EO and 5 parts of milk. Put the mixture in your bath water and immerse your sunburned body for at least 30 minutes.
- Geranium Essential Oil
Also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, geranium essential oil is also used in the management of sunburns. Its cicatrisant and cytophylactic properties also help in the faster healing and regeneration of damaged skin cells. To make full use of these anti-sunburn properties, you can add 3 drops each of geranium, chamomile, and lavender with half a cup of tepid water. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda and you now have a sunburn sponge mix. You can also mix 2 drops of geranium to 2 tablespoons of milk then apply this over the sunburned area.
- Chamomile Essential Oil
Did you know that chamomile essential oil is best used for the management of styes? This inflammatory eye condition has been known to respond well to a mixture of chamomile and other essential oils. By the same token, chamomile essential oil is also effective in the management of sunburns. You can mix 5 to 6 drops of chamomile with equal parts of lavender in cold water and use this to dampen a piece of cloth you can apply over your sunburn. You can also mix equal parts of chamomile and lavender with 5 parts of milk then use this as your body soak.
- Peppermint Essential Oil
One of the best ways to soothe the stinging sensation in sunburn is applying a concoction of peppermint essential oil. Peppermint also nourishes the skin which is often helpful after severe skin damage by UV rays. If your skin doesn’t have blisters, you can safely apply peppermint essential oil directly on the sunburn. However, if you have already formed blisters, it is advisable to make a peppermint infusion by adding 5 drops of peppermint oil with half a cup of cool water and use this to soothe the sunburned area.
- Tea Tree Oil
The cicatrisant properties of tea tree oil makes it an ideal essential oil for the management of sunburn. This helps damaged skin cells to heal and regenerate a lot faster. To use this, mix one part of tea tree EO with 10 parts of coconut oil or even olive oil. Apply the mixture onto your sunburned skin. You can also add lavender EO to the mixture to make it more soothing. This helps reduce blistering as well as peeling.
While these essential oils are effective, the most effective sunburn management is still prevention. Protecting your skin when you go under the sun is important especially in summer.