Everyone knows that it’s a bad idea to stay in the sun too long. Having a bad sunburn raises your risk of skin cancer. However, we also need sunlight so our bodies can make Vitamin D. This nutrient is critical to our health. A number of serious conditions are linked to Vitamin D deficiency. So totally staying away from the sun carries its own health risks.
In the summer, we spend a lot of time outdoors. We go to the beach. We work in our yards. We gather for backyard barbecues and other social events. Occasionally, we overdo it, and our skin suffers. This happens to me, even though I try to prevent it with non-toxic homemade sunscreen. I also wear a visor to protect my face. Regardless, I still occasionally end up with redness on my nose and cheeks. That’s when I reach for a special essential oil, well known for it’s potential skin healing properties.
Essential Oils for After the Sun
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One of the most amazing aromatics is lavender essential oil. It became famous for its potential ability to heal burns, following a well-publicized accident involving a famous French chemist. After badly burning his hands, he plunged them into a vat of lavender oil. They healed nicely, with minimal scarring.
That’s one reason I like to keep lavender essential oil in my natural medicine cabinet. This is what I grab whenever I burn myself in the kitchen, while I’m cooking. I never cease to be amazed at how this immediately stops the pain, and jump starts the healing process. In fact, one time, I burned several spots on my left arm. I applied lavender essential oil to the burned areas. However, I missed a spot. The next day, my arm was completely healed. But the spot I’d missed was still red.
Essential Oils for After Sun Care
Lavender essential oil is probably the best known aromatic for after sun care. But you can combine it with one or more ingredients to create a synergy. It’s believed this results in a more potent and effective remedy. So you could use lavender and chamomile essential oil together for natural sunburn relief.
Although technically it’s not an aromatic essential oil, rosehip seed oil is also considered good for sunburn. In fact, this is what we used last year when my college-age son came home with a burn on his back, after a day at the beach.
Working on the principle of creating a synergy, I added a few drops of lavender essential oil to the rosehip seed oil. This mixture did seem to speed the healing process.
Essential Oils for Sun Damaged Skin
I can’t stress enough how important it is to try to prevent sun damage from happening in the first place. If you don’t want to use a chemical-based sunscreen, due to the fact it may contain potentially dangerous compounds, a number of all natural sunscreens have hit the market. These are a possible alternative to chemical sunscreens.
But everyone is different. Sun protection is something I encourage you to discuss with your doctor. It’s important to balance the need for Vitamin D with keeping your skin from getting burned. For me, I make my own sunscreen with carrot seed essential oil. I do this with the knowledge that it may not be as effective as a commercial SPF 35+ product. However, I like the fact I’m avoiding chemicals. Plus, I have olive-toned skin that tans, instead of burns.
How to Make After Sun Spray
One of the best ways to apply essential oils to a sunburn is with a soothing after sun spray. You can easily make this yourself. All you need are a few ingredients, plus a 4-ounce glass spray bottle. You’ll want to use glass instead of plastic. That’s because the essential oils are so strong, and will eat away at the plastic. Here’s what to do and here’s what you need.
1/2 cup alcohol free witch hazel (It’s available here)
2 tbs aloe vera gel (It’s available here)
10 drops of lavender essential oil (It’s available here)
5 drops of chamomile oil (It’s available here)
4 ounce glass spray bottle (It’s available here)
Mix these ingredients together in the glass spray bottle and apply as needed after sun exposure. Store your DIY after sun spray in a cool dark place, away from light and heat.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils or herbal or homeopathic remedies unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.