14 Best Essential Oils for Sunburn Relief

Not everyone enjoys spending time outdoors, but prolonged exposure to UV sunlight can cause sunburn, resulting in irritated and itchy skin. In such situations, people often seek relief from sunburn symptoms.

Before trying any remedy, it’s crucial to understand that there are natural options available. Essential oils are one such remedy known for their healing properties. They possess medicinal qualities that aid in treating sunburn and alleviating its symptoms, offering relief from pain.

What is a Sunburn? 

Sunburn occurs when the skin is exposed to excessive ultraviolet (UV) radiation, typically from sunlight. This exposure triggers the skin’s defense mechanism, causing an increase in melanin production to absorb and disperse UV rays. However, when this defense is overwhelmed by intense or prolonged UV exposure, sunburn occurs, damaging the DNA in skin cells and causing inflammation.

Symptoms of Sunburn

Symptoms of sunburn include redness, pain, sensitivity, swelling, blisters, and eventual peeling of the affected skin. Sunburn isn’t just uncomfortable; it can have long-term consequences such as an increased risk of skin cancer, accelerated skin aging, uneven pigmentation, and various skin issues.

Importance of Sun Protection

Consistent sun protection is vital to reduce these risks. UV radiation is a known carcinogen and can accelerate skin aging, leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. Protecting your skin from the sun not only maintains its health but also helps maintain an even skin tone and youthful appearance.

Top Essential Oils for Soothing Sunburn:

1. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint oil is renowned for its cooling effect, making it a top choice for soothing sunburn. It contains menthol, which calms the skin. However, if you have sensitive skin, it’s important to dilute peppermint oil with a carrier oil before applying it.

2. Yarrow Essential Oil

Yarrow oil is gentle on the skin and an excellent option for sunburn relief.

3. Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli oil possesses natural calming and soothing properties, making it effective in relieving sunburn discomfort.

4. Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile oil is ideal for inflamed skin and is rich in properties that ease sunburn symptoms. It has calming, soothing, and conditioning properties, aiding in rapid skin healing. Chamomile oil is safe for use on children and can alleviate symptoms like itchiness.

5. Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum oil stands out as one of the most potent essential oils for sunburn relief. It contains neryl acetate, which benefits the skin and helps alleviate sunburn discomfort effectively.

Additional Essential Oils for Sunburn Relief

6. Spearmint Essential Oil

Spearmint oil contains menthol, providing natural cooling properties that can alleviate sunburn discomfort. It’s safe for use, including on children.

7. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender oil offers soothing and cooling effects, promoting skin health and potentially aiding in scar reduction. Mixing lavender oil with shea butter can create a homemade sunscreen.

8. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree oil is renowned for its numerous skincare benefits, including alleviating symptoms of sunburn such as itchiness.

9. Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium oil soothes irritated skin and possesses properties beneficial for mild sunburn relief, calming the affected area and reducing skin irritation.

10. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus oil’s cooling properties can soothe sunburned skin, providing relief from irritation.

11. Green Tea Essential Oil

Rich in nutrients, green tea essential oil is beneficial for sunburn relief and skin protection.

12. Rose Essential Oil

Considered the “queen of oils,” rose oil is highly effective for sensitive skin and offers protection against environmental factors, potentially aiding in sunburn prevention.

Essential oils offer effective relief for sunburn discomfort, each with unique properties:

13. Frankincense Essential Oil

Regarded as the “king of oils,” frankincense oil contains nutrients that can aid in sunburn relief and is often used in sunscreen products.

14. Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood oil possesses cooling properties that calm irritated sunburned skin. Its natural healing properties promote faster skin recovery.

Best Carrier Oils for Sunburn Relief

Aloe Vera Gel: Known for its cooling and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera gel soothes sunburned skin and reduces redness.

Coconut Oil: Moisturizing and anti-inflammatory, coconut oil helps alleviate peeling and itching associated with sunburn.

Jojoba Oil: Similar to skin’s natural oils, jojoba oil hydrates without clogging pores and has anti-inflammatory effects.

Olive Oil: Provides temporary relief by moisturizing and reducing dryness and flakiness.

Benefits of Essential Oils for Sunburn

– Relieve Discomfort: Essential oils offer natural healing and cooling properties to alleviate sunburn discomfort.

– Soothe Skin: These oils soothe irritated skin caused by sunburn.

– Pain Relief: Some oils, like peppermint, have analgesic properties to alleviate pain.

– Reduce Inflammation: Essential oils contain anti-inflammatory properties that decrease skin irritation.

How to Use Essential Oils for Sunburn

– Dilute oils with carrier oils like coconut, jojoba, or almond oil to avoid skin irritation.

– Conduct a patch test before applying to ensure no allergic reactions.

– Combine essential oils with aloe vera gel for additional soothing benefits.

– Avoid excessive use to prevent skin irritation.

DIY Essential Oil Blends for Sunburn

1. Essential Oil Spray

– Ingredients: Peppermint, rose, green tea, lavender oils, aloe gel, water.

– Directions: Mix oils and aloe gel in a spray bottle, add water, shake, and apply to sunburned skin.

2. Soothing Essential Oil Blend

– Ingredients: Peppermint, chamomile, rose, sandalwood, yarrow oils, coconut oil.

– Directions: Mix oils in a glass bottle with coconut oil, shake, and apply to sunburn.

3. Oatmeal Bath

– Ingredients: Sandalwood, patchouli, tea tree oils, aloe, oatmeal.

– Directions: Mix ingredients, add to warm bath, and soak to soothe sunburned skin.


Sunburn can cause discomfort, but natural remedies like essential oils offer relief and promote skin healing. Always dilute essential oils and conduct a patch test before use. These oils, combined with carrier oils or aloe vera, can effectively soothe sunburned skin and promote overall skin health.

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