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7 Essential Oils for Sunburn Relief and 7 Alternative Remedies


I was in the sixth grade at a pool party at a friend’s beach house. It was really cold out actually, but we were determined to have a great weekend.

So we all swam the entire weekend. My mom kept telling me I was going to get a sinus infection, but much to both of our surprises, I ended up with a really nasty sunburn. I was out of school for a few days and had to get a shot to reduce the swelling.

But if you are like me and have red hair and fair skin, then you know how easy it is to be sunburnt. Sunburns are just something I had to deal with most of my childhood, but as an adult, I’m really careful with my skin.

Yet, what do you do if you or your child gets a nasty sunburn?

Well, I’m going to give you a few natural remedies and then a few alternative remedies as well.

But before we get started, here is my disclaimer:

You use essential oils at your own risk. They are natural yet very powerful. Prior to use, do your own research, speak with someone you know personally that is well-versed in essential oils, and speak with your doctor.

Any other ideas we share on this blog is meant to be a suggestion. Again, you try at your own risk. We assume no responsibility for your outcomes or experiences with essential oils or other suggestions offered here.

Now that we have that covered, here are my suggestions on how you can help soothe the pain of a nasty sunburn:

Essential Oils for Sunburn Relief

1. Peppermint Essential Oils

Peppermint essential oils can do a lot apparently. I diffuse them regularly because they help kill bacteria in the home.

But peppermint essential oils can also be diluted with another oil (like almond oil) and be applied topically. Then it works as a natural pain killer while also by providing a cooling sensation. If you’ve ever had a bad sunburn, you know how important that cooling relief is.

2. Lavender Essential Oils

Lavender is probably my favorite essential oil. I love how it relaxes and calms you. I also love how it provides such a great fragrance.

But when you have a sunburn, you’ll probably love it because of what it can do for a sunburn. It is supposed to be able to reduce the redness and the pain that often comes with a sunburn. Also, it is antimicrobial which means it should speed up healing as well.

3. Helichrysum Essential Oils

This essential oil is one that could also grow to be your best friend if you are struggling with a sunburn. The reason is that it is supposed to help soothe the burn of a sunburn which is a great relief for anyone suffering.

Also, it is supposed to help speed up recovery as well. This is great news because a sunburn hurts at first and then it itches which can be just as miserable. So anything to speed up the process is usually welcomed.

4. Geranium Essential Oils

This essential oil is another oil that claims to have the properties to soothe the hurt and discomfort that a sunburn often brings with it.

However, it also claims to have the ability to speed up the recovery process as well. So keep this in mind if you are struggling with a sunburn.

5. Chamomile Essential Oils

I’m not a huge fan of the chamomile essential oil because it has such a mild fragrance. I usually choose my oils that I can use around my home for cleaning and disinfecting.

However, in this instance, I would think that the mild scent of chamomile could actually be beneficial because you could receive the soothing and recovering benefits of the oil without a potent smell.

6. Tea Tree Essential Oils

I am a huge fan of tea tree oil. I spritz it around any time I can remember because it is supposed to be helpful for keeping lice and other things off of your kids.

So anytime my kids are going into big crowds I try to place a couple of drops on them. But when sunburned, tea tree oil is supposed to help soothe the burn and also speed up recovery as well.

Alternative Remedies:

When I was growing up we didn’t do a lot of natural remedies. It just wasn’t the ‘in thing’ then, and I don’t think most parents knew a lot about it either.

But now, I think my generation saw a lot of the drawbacks of purchasing healing, and are trying to get back to the natural treatments for our kids.

Either way, if you or your child is hurting from sunburn you just want relief. So as helpful as essential oils can be, you might want a few backup options too. That is why I’m including the remedies I used as a child.

In my experience, they were very beneficial. Hopefully, they’ll bring some relief to you as well.

1. Ice Sunburn Relief Gel

This is still my go-to when I get any type of sunburn. Now that I’m an adult, I’m not so consumed with playing that I fail to realize that my skin is burning.

However, as hard as I try to stay covered during the summer and use sunscreen, sometimes I still get a little red while working out in the garden.

So after I come in and take a shower, I apply this sunburn gel. It works wonderfully, and removes the heat and pain (usually) within 24 hours.

2. Rub Olive Oil Onto Your Skin

This was a trick I learned when I worked in the restaurant industry in college. I’ve just learned to apply it in different areas over time.

So when you burn yourself in the kitchen, one of the best things I’ve learned you can do is apply cold oil to the burn. It will suck the heat and redness right out of it.

Now, if I get a burn and don’t have any of the above mentioned gel on hand, I’ll get vegetable oil or olive oil and rub it on the burn. As the burn sucks in the oil, I keep applying more and more. It helps nourish your skin and should in turn, help boost recovery efforts.

3. Take a Pain Reliever

The pain of a sunburn is often more than we can put up with. I have memories from my childhood, where I had terrible sunburns and would just have to lay there and cry, because it just hurt so much.

But if you are in pain, we do have pain relievers now that you can use that should help dull the pain some. My personal favorite is Aleve. I use it for everything from body aches to headaches. But you use what works for you, your situation, and your health.

4. Take a Warm Shower

This was a trick one of my sister’s friends shared with me when I was a younger kid and battling a sunburn. She told me that as soon as I came in from the sun and realized I was burnt, I needed to immediately jump in the shower and take a warmer shower.

Yes, it hurts, but I’ve always found that it takes the heat out of the sunburn. Then I can apply the sunburn gel or oil to finish the job. So try to avoid taking cold showers when you are burnt because it will just make your skin tighten and be more sore.

5. Take a Bath

After you got the initial shower over with, if you are still hurting and you have a sunburn that appears might blister, you might want to try to take a bath.

Again, in my experience, if you soak in a tub with vinegar and baking soda it could potentially help your sunburn heal.

Also, some people use oatmeal baths to soak in. Plus, if you like the idea of sticking with a natural remedy, then a bath is a great way to mix products like vinegar and baking soda with essential oils as well.

Then it can treat your whole body while you soak.

6. Stay Hydrated

You’ll want to be sure to stay hydrated. Your body is going to have to kick into high gear to bounce back from overexposure from the sun.

So you’ll need to make sure that you stay hydrated so all of your systems can function as they should.

7. Go to the Doctor

Finally, you’ll want to keep a close eye on yourself or a loved one. I had quite a few bad sunburns as a child, but only two stick out in my head as super severe.

One was when I was in the fourth grade and we went to Disney World. My mom was so careful trying her best to keep me from being sunburned. I could only go swimming early in the morning and after the sun went down. I had to wear a T-shirt in the pool, and I had to wear sunscreen.

But you see, this was back before SPF 50 came out. That is how I keep my youngest (who has my complexion) from being burned now.

So my mom would put the highest sunscreen available on me, and I’d still get blisters. But I actually got sun poisoning that time. My face swelled and it was so miserable.

Then the other bad burn was the one I mentioned in the opening of this post. Again, I got sun poisoning, and that time I did go to the doctor. I was so swollen that it was quite scary.

So here are the signs of sun poisoning. If you have it, go to the doctor. They can make you feel better and keep an eye on you to make sure that nothing severe happens to you.

Above all, take care of yourself. Try to avoid sunburns. Wear sunscreen, hats, swim coverings, whatever it takes to keep your flesh from being burnt. Sunburns are not healthy and they are miserable to experience.

But now you have many methods to try and provide relief for yourself or your loved one if they are suffering from a sunburn. I hope that they will help you and provide some form of rest while your body heals.

However, I’d love to know how you all treat a bad sunburn? Do you use other essential oils or natural remedies?

We love hearing from you so please leave us your comments in the space provided below.


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