Healing Sunburns with Essential Oils

Healing Sunburns with Essential Oils

Sunshine! It’s bright, beautiful, and rejuvenating. And we need it. We need the vitamin D it provides. We also need the light for our own emotional well-being. The problem happens when we get so much that we burn our skin. We all know that with over-exposure, we are raising our risk of skin cancer. We try to work on finding a good balance so we get what we need without overdoing it.

Kids on beachHowever, we do overdo it particularly when summer hits and we want so desperately to get out of the house and into the sunshine and fresh air. So here are some suggestions for what essential oils you can use when you burn. Ideas that will help strengthen your skin as well as alleviate the burn

For some good info on making your own sunscreen, got to our article on Preparing Your Skin for the Sunshine. It’ll give you some very good pointers.

Best oils

  • Essential oils: Lavender, Peppermint, Cucumber Seed, Eucalyptus globulus, German Chamomile, Helichrysum italicum
  • Other possibilities: Witch Hazel, Aloe Vera gel, Cornstarch, Apple Cider Vinegar, Buttermilk, Baking Soda, Cucumber Juice.

A few suggestions

  • New Aloe Vera plantThe single most best thing you can do is get an Aloe Vera plant. Every household should have at least one. Make sure your plant is in a good sand to potting soil ratio (10 parts sand to 1 part potting soil) and take care of it properly. Don’t overwater it. Water the pot every couple of weeks. Just remember how often it rains in Arizona and go from there. Keep it in an area of your house that gets a lot of sunlight.
  • When you get a burn, cut off an aloe vera leaf, slice it open, put a couple of drops of Lavender and 1 drop of Peppermint oil in the gel of the leaf and smear it onto the burn. You can leave the gel on the leaf and use it from there or you can scrape it out into a bowl and mix it up first.
  • Add a couple of cups Apple Cider Vinegar to a cool bath and soak for 10 – 20 minutes.
  • Take an oatmeal bath with a couple of drops of Lavender. Put 1 cup of oatmeal and the Lavender in a thin sock or nylon stocking. Tie off the end and add to your bath water as the water is running in. Soak for 15-20 minutes.
  • It sounds odd to use Peppermint but it does have a cooling action on the burn. Just don’t use a lot. Use it with Lavender and a good carrier oil.
  • Ground up fresh cucumbers are also good to use. Especially mixed with Aloe Vera juice or gel. You can also add any essential oil of choice to the mixture before use.
  • heat-sprayRocky Mountain Oils sells a spray called Relieve the Heat. It contains Lavender, Peppermint, water, and trace minerals. That is another possibility to use when treating your sunburns. You spritz the area of the burn as often as necessary.



Here are a few to try to see what works. Be sure to test on a small portion of skin first to test for sensitivity. (These recipes can also be used for contact burns and for dry skin.)

Aloe, Carrot, and Rosemary Hydrating Skin Rescue Spray

  • 1 cup Aloe Vera juice
  • 20 drops Carrot Seed
  • 20 drops Rosemary

Combine all ingredients in a fine mist, 8 ounce spray bottle. Shake well before every use. Immediately after experiencing sunburn, windburn, or any other burn, spray this liniment on burned area. Follow with a moisturizer or body oil. Store in refrigerator. Discard after 6 months. (3)

Cucumber on a white backgroundCooling Cucumber Body Mask

  • 1/4 cup boiling Water
  • 2 Chamomile Tea Bags
  • 1 whole Cucumber with peel, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Aloe Vera gel
  • 2 drops Lavender oil

Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and allow to sit and cool. Once cool, remove tea bags, pressing them to extract as much tea as possible. Put tea in a blender or food processor, add cucumber, aloe vera, and Lavender oil. Blend until smooth.

To use, spread entire mixture over sunburned area. Leave on for 20 – 30 minutes. You may want to wrap a large sheet or towel around area if needed to be able to sit down. Afterward, rinse well in cool water, pat skin dry and don’t forget to moisturize. Yield 4 – 5 ounces.  (4)

After-the-Burn Skin Conditioning Salve

  • 5 tablespoons Soybean Base oil
  • 1 tablespoon Beeswax
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Shea Butter
  • 10 drops Cucumber Seed oil

Combine in a small saucepan or double boiler. Warm on low heat until the solids have just barely melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Add the Cucumber Seed oil and stir a few times to blend the mixture thoroughly. Pour into a storage container, then cap and label. Allow to harden overnight at room temperature. Apply a small dab of salve to affected area and massage in gently. Use as often as desired. Discard after 1 year. Yields 1/2 cup. (3)

Peeling sunburnBurn Recovery Oil

  • 7 drops Rosemary
  • 5 drops German Chamomile
  • 5 drops Lavender
  • 3 drops Carrot Seed
  • 2 drops Sage
  • 1 tablespoon Jojoba oil
  • 1 tablespoon Rosehip Seed oil

Add all ingredients to a 1 ounce dark colored, glass bottle. Close lid tightly and wrap hand around the bottle and shake well for 2 minutes. Store in a dark, cool place for 24 hours before use. Apply a few drops to affected area as often as needed. (3)

Soothe-Me-Sesame Body Oil

  • 50 drops Carrot Seed oil
  • 3/4 cup Unrefined Sesame Base oil
  • 1/4 cup Unrefined Avocado Base oil
  • 1,000 IU Vitamin E oil capsule

Add all ingredients to an 8 ounce, dark colored glass bottle. Poke a hole in the vitamin E capsule and drain into bottle.  Close lid tightly and wrap hand around the bottle and shake well for 2 minutes. Store in a dark, cool place for 24 hours before use. Shake well before every use. Apply a generous portion to affected area as often as needed. Discard after 1 year. Works well for dry skin also. (3)

Sunburn Healing Spray

  • 1/2 cup Distilled Water
  • 1/4 cup Witch Hazel
  • 1/2 cup Aloe Vera juice
  • 8 drops Lavender oil
  • 2 drops Roman Chamomile oil
  • 1 drops Geranium oil
  • 1 teaspoon Honey

In an 8 ounce, fine mist spray bottle, add the water, witch hazel, and aloe vera juice. In a small bowl, combine essential oils and honey. Stir well to blend. Pour the honey mixture into bottle and shake well to mix. To use, spray on affected areas several times a day as needed. (5)

sara-little-yoga-blog-nyc-essential-oils-german-chamomileAfter-Sun oil

  • 10 drops Lavender
  • 5 drops Roman Chamomile
  • 1 drop Bergamot FCF
  • 2 drops Geranium
  • 2 ounces Almond oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a dark colored glass bottle. Shake well for 2 minutes and allow to sit for 24 hours before using. Apply all over body after showering or bathing. Best used after being the sun to nourish skin.  (7)

Summer Sun Soother Facial

  • 1/2 cup plain Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Oatmeal, grounded
  • 2 drops Jasmine oil

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Stir well. To use, apply to over-exposed areas and leave on skin for 10 minutes. Rinse off with cool water and pat dry. (5)

And finally,

Sunburns are pretty much something to plan for every summer. And I’ve given you a smattering of interesting tips and recipes for how to deal with them. What do you like to use on your sunburns? Please share in the comment section at the bottom of the page. We’d all love to know!

Man kayaking


  1. Natural Beauty at Home: More than 250 Easy-to-Use Recipes for Body, Bath, and Hair by Janice Cox
  2. Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homeade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self, by Stephanie Tourles
  3. Hands On Healing Remedies: 150 Recipes for Herbal Balms, Salves, Oils, Liniments, and other Topical Therapies, by Stephanie L. Tourles
  4. Ecobeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends by Lauren Cox and Janice Cox
  5. Organic Beauty with Essential Oil: For Natural Skin Care, Hair Care and Bath & Body Products, by Rebecca Park Totilo
  6. Aromatherapy Handbook for Beauty, Hair, and Skin Care, by Erich Keller
  7. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

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