Essential oils for sunburn- Outdoor activities are usually fun, whether it is a day at the beach, at the pool or just riding a bike, staying outdoors comes with one damaging disadvantage, Sunburns!
The sun isn’t all bad for you, as it does have its therapeutic effect (vitamin D). However, prolonged exposure, especially without sunscreen, most likely will lead to a sunburn.
Let’s face it; sunburns are not exactly fun to have, asides from being particularly painful. You’ll also notice the redness, blistering, and dryness of your skin.
Well, what causes sunburn? Staying out in the sun for a long period exposes you to harmful ultraviolet rays which damages your skin cells (Sunburn cells).
So have you been looking for a natural alternative to treating sunburn? Nature does have a pretty awesome remedy for sunburn. Essential oils!
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are volatile chemical compounds extracted from plants that retain the essence of their source. They have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidants properties hence their application in the rejuvenation of the skin.
Below are the 7 best essential oils for treating sunburn:
1. Peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita)
It is widely popular for its natural cooling effect, which is a result of the presence of menthol. It works by stimulating the cold receptors on your skin and dilating the blood vessels, hence the cooling sensation.
Asides from its excellent use as an anti-inflammatory, other health benefits include antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, and vasoconstrictor properties.
2. Lavender essential oil (Lavandula officinalis)
Lavender is an excellent alternative for treating sunburn. This is because it promotes the production of antioxidants, and its antimicrobial properties protect the skin from scarring.
It is also popular for its ability to reduce anxiety as it simultaneously aids relaxation.
3. Chamomile essential oil (Chamomilla or Matricaria)
Chamomile has been around for thousands of years. Its skin rejuvenating properties make it suitable for treating skin problems like sunburns, wounds, and bruises.
This is due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which support the body in ridding itself of natural toxins. It has found widespread application in aromatherapy, skincare products, and even make-up products.
4. Eucalyptus essential oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
This is a popular essential oil extracted from the plant Eucalyptus. It has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant properties, hence it is perfect in treating sunburn. It also has antibacterial properties; this means that it protects sunburned skin from infections.
Studies have shown that Eucalyptus also possesses anti-proliferative or anti-cancer properties, thereby preventing the spread of cancerous cells.
5. Tree Tea essential oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Extracted from the needle-like leaves of the Tea tree plant, it has found numerous applications in medicine from curing nasal polyps and bad breaths to treating ringworms and of course, healing sunburns.
This is due to its exceptional antiseptic, antifungal, and antibiotic properties. You should never take Tree tea oil orally.
6. Geranium essential oil (Pelargonium graveolens)
It is extracted from the shrub of the geranium plant.
Its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it useful in the treatment of a different array of skin infections that include and are not limited to sunburn, dermatitis, and eczema.
Also, it aids subcutaneous circulation, which smoothes wrinkles and helps slow skin aging.
7. Sandalwood oil (Santalum spicatum)
Sandalwood oil is extracted from the sandalwood tree. It grows only in a few places around the world, this makes it relatively expensive and at a time was reserved for royalty.
Its anti-inflammatory properties help relieve the redness and pain associated with sunburn. It is also useful in beauty products because of its anti-aging and skin restorative properties.
Other Benefits of Essential Oils
Aside from treating sunburn, essential oils are useful for several purposes, they include;
1. Improving mood and setting a positive atmosphere
2. It is also useful for relaxation and Sleep
4. Essential oils function as an inflammation relief
5. Prevent Certain Illnesses and Boost the Immune System
6. They are also useful for Pain Relief
7. Essential oils heal skin irritations
Side Effects of Essential Oils
Although essential oils perform countless functions, it is essential to use caution when using them at home.
When applied topically, essential oils can lead to dermatitis, burns, and skin irritation. Also, avoid long exposure or use of large amounts due to the risk of adverse effects like heart rate and increased blood pressure.
Endeavor to do a patch test when using a new essential oil to see if you’re allergic to the oil.
Essential oils can also be toxic if ingested or used internally. They shouldn’t be confused with essential fatty acids, which are edible dietary oils.
Also, oils should only be used in devices or materials meant for essential oils. The oils can degrade plastic equipment, and there may be health risks with extensive exposure.
The Bottom Line
Essential oils should be used cautiously as they are highly concentrated extracts of plants. You should, therefore, dilute them with carrier oils like Aloe Vera gel, carrot seed oil, coconut oil, or oatmeal.
You should always do a test patch on a small area of your skin (usually the inside of your arm) before applying to your sunburn. If you notice any irritation, you should discontinue use immediately.
If your sunburn is very severe or doesn’t go away after a few days, you should see your doctor immediately.