Some of you have heard of using lavender oil to help sleep, headaches, and other similar problems. Did you know it can help sunburns as well? Lavender essential oil has also been used to reduce acne and helps dry skin. But because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, lavender can also be used for sunburns.
Properties in Lavender Oil
Lavender oil contains different properties that make it multifaceted. One of these properties is its anti-inflammatory properties. These are essential in helping with sunburns because it not only helps reduce the redness but also numbs the pain, making the sunburn less evident throughout your day.
Sunburns occur after long exposure to the sun without UV protection. When you are exposed to the sun, your melanocytes, which produce melanin, block the UV rays resulting in a tan. Yet, if the sun exposure is too strong for them to block, a sunburn occurs. The skin turns red, can get blisters, and becomes painful to the touch.
Another way of obtaining a sunburn is through tanning salons, which create artificial sunlight using UV rays, and can be more harmful. This sunburn is similar to the one caused by the sun, so the same essential oils and the same methods for applying it can be used.
When this happens, instead of reaching for a bottle of artificial aloe vera gel, you might instead want to reach for your lavender oil. Lavender oil’s anti-inflammatory properties will reduce the redness, and support the melanocytes in deterring further damage, including any blistering, when back in the sun even for a moment. Over time, you'll notice a reduction in redness and the affected area calming down.
Aside from this, lavender oil also contains antioxidant properties, which support the body’s healing process. This is true not only for wounds but for sunburns as well. It helps by speeding up the healing process, and can also help to avoid scarring. With its antioxidant property, it removes the chemicals that cause the deterioration and oxidation of the affected areas.
Another method in which it can help is by reducing the anxiety that comes with attempting not to scratch. So not only will you feel relief pain-wise, but you will also be able to reduce the anxious feeling that follows. If the sunburn is close to your neck shoulders, you won’t have to look for a pressure point to apply it to, since they are right there!
Aside from all this, it also has antibacterial properties, meaning it helps to kill unwanted bacteria. This is necessary to keep the sunburn from being infected, and in turn becoming worse. In avoiding these infections by supporting in killing the unwanted bacteria, it speeds up the healing process and maintains the area clean.
Applying lavender oil once in the morning and once at night would in turn help remove the bacteria from the area when you wake up, and again before you sleep; that way it does not have time to cause bacterial infections.
How To Apply It
When using lavender oil for sunburns there are various different ways of doing so. The easiest would be to dilute lavender oil in coconut oil—unrefined coconut oil helps to reestablish the moisture in the skin.
To do this, you would diffuse three to four drops into 10 ml of coconut oil, and apply it directly on the burn. If you need more, you would simply dilute more and apply it where needed. This could be used up to twice a day for relief.
The hardest part of sunburns, though, is sleeping with the pain. Sunburns make it hard to lay on the affected area, and it is often difficult not to scratch right before bed when it is also healing.
Try the Bubbly Belle Sleep Roll-On. You can use it to get a good night's sleep and to reduce the redness and itching. Because it contains lavender, it helps with both and comes ready to just roll onto the skin.
Another simple method, but not as direct as diluting it and applying it directly, would be to add it to the bath. Whether it be lavender bath bombs, salts, or diluted oil, it helps both to relieve the pain and reduce the inflammation and redness of the burn. For this, you would dilute the oil the same way, if you do not have lavender bath salts or lavender bath bombs, and then apply it into semi-hot water. The hot water will also help the oil evaporate into the air, aiding with reducing anxiety related to sunburn as well.
For the baths, you could take one each day as needed, but shouldn’t take more than one bath a day. Lavender is a natural pain reliever so in using it in the bath, there could be multiple benefits.
Another method of treating sunburn is with a mixture of natural aloe vera juice (about a quarter cup), jojoba oil, two tablespoons of distilled water, and 10 to 12 drops of lavender oil.
You mix these in a spray bottle and spray at the affected areas up to twice a day. The mixture uses jojoba oil as the carrier oil that dilutes the lavender oil, and the aloe vera and lavender oil work together to help reduce redness and speed up the healing process.
Aside from this, you can also partake in aromatherapy to help with the pain. Placing the oil in the diffuser to evaporate it into the air. This helps relax you and your muscles and also alleviates the pain. You can mix two drops of peppermint oil as well, to further help with the pain.
Enhancing Lavender Oil’s Effect
Lavender Oil is the best option for sunburns in revelation to the other essential oils, but you can couple it with other oils to help with pain, numbing, and faster healing. These other oils would not greatly help with sunburns by themselves, but rather serve to give lavender oil a boost.
One of these other oils is peppermint oil. When coupled with lavender oil, this one increases the numbing property and reduces the pain felt by the sunburn. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which helps with both.
Peppermint oil is also a known vasoconstrictor, meaning it is able to narrow the blood vessels that have become inflamed, aiding with calming the redness and inflammation. By narrowing the blood vessels, it helps the blood vessels from bursting. Along with this, it also helps to avoid fungal infections.
Another one that can also help when coupled with lavender oil is eucalyptus oil. This oil contains all the properties which lavender oil contains, thus helping with all aspects. Just like lavender oil, it has anti-inflammatory properties, so it would help reduce redness alongside lavender oil. It is also antibacterial, so you would better protect yourself from bacterial infections on the delicate skin in the burn site.
The carrier oil coconut oil, as said before, can also be used to dilute peppermint oil. In doing this, you are helping protect the skin, but you are also assuring that the sunburnt area is moisturized and does not dry.
This helps support the healing process and prevent scarring. Another carrier oil that does the same is sweet almond oil, which is commonly used because of its moisturization properties.
Risks and Precautions
Although essential oils are natural, you must remember not to place the oil directly on the burn without diluting it first. Aside from that, you must also know whether you have any allergies to the oils, and be cautious of irritation and other reactions.
If any do occur, stop using them on your sunburn. The oil should not make the sunburned area burn worse. Always make sure to discuss with your doctor before use if you are pregnant, or have respiratory conditions.
Lavender Oil Does Help
Because the vast majority of the properties in lavender oil assist with healing and inflammation, it is a definite go-to product for sunburns. Using it by itself has been shown to enhance and support the healing process, but it can also be mixed with other oils and substances to further help.
There are different methods of using the essential oil, such as bathing with a diluted amount or spraying it with aloe vera. All of these different things show how sunburn relief doesn't have to be in the form of medicated topicals because natural remedies are possible.