There's nothing worse than ending a beach day with your skin in an itchy, red and flaky mess. No matter the amount of sunscreen you apply, getting caught in the sun for too long can lead to the painful sting of burnt skin. Among the many remedies that claim to treat sunburn, essential oils are the lesser-known ones that we don’t hear much about. Yep, those skincare heroes can more than nourish your skin.
Essential oils are extracted from plants — some from the flowers and others from the leaves. Popularly used in aromatherapy as a form of 'inhalable beauty', they can also be effective in treating surface issues of the skin. Every kind of essential oil is packed with plant-based nutrients that can help deal with several skin issues, including sunburns. However, there is a right way of using it to avoid issues like skin irritation or even contact dermatitis.
- How do essential oils help deal with sunburns
- How to use essential oils for sunburns; plus, precautions to follow
How do essential oils help deal with sunburns
While there have not been many studies detailing the actual efficacy of essential oils in treating sunburns, the properties present in them can certainly help relieve some of the symptoms:
01. The inherent pain-relieving properties of many essential oils can help soothe the stinging feeling caused by sunburn. For instance, peppermint essential oil has menthol in it and can help calm moderate to severe stinging sensations.
02. Similarly, you can use eucalyptus essential oil, jojoba oil and even sunflower seed oil to calm irritated skin. They can ease discomforts like skin irritation and burning sensations brought on by sunburns.
03. While essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus should be diluted with a carrier oil, some gentler options can soothe the skin on their own. For example, chamomile essential oil — this gentle ingredient can help soothe your skin without causing any further irritation.
04. A severe sunburn can damage the skin barrier, and if left untreated, it can lead to an infection. Some essential oils contain antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties can help avoid that. You might already know an excellent essential oil used for skin infection, tea tree oil. It can be used as an overall remedy for sunburn because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
How to use essential oils for sunburns; plus, precautions to follow
The right way of using an essential oil on a sunburn is to dilute it — whether you add it to a carrier oil (like coconut oil or almond oil) or another cooling agent (like aloe vera gel) — always add just a couple of drops to unscented lotion, carrier oil, ointment, or gel and apply to the skin.
Essential oils are not meant to treat severely red and blistered sunburn. Also, do not apply them, even if diluted, on open sores or abrasions. To make sure that you're not too sensitive to the fragrance, do a patch test to be sure of your tolerance level towards them.