Lavender Essential Oil to Treat Sunburn

It’s inevitable, a few days of pleasant weather and half of the British population are bright red and peeling. Whilst many of us would never dream of going out into the sunshine with a liberal application of sunscreen on when we are on holiday, we will happily sit in full sun all day in the UK without taking any precautions at all. Yes, it’s true that for most of the UK (although less so for the lovely sun-drenched Channel Island of Jersey – our higher than average level, so sunshine is, happily, one of the reason’s that we are able to grow such incredibly lovely lavender) we don’t get that much sunshine, and it does seem a shame to miss out on taking advantage of the few days of glorious weather that we get a year. However, you might find that you enjoy a sunny day sitting in a beer garden even more – if it isn’t followed up by days of painful sunburn.

Sunburn is caused by overexposure of the skin to the ultraviolet (UV) rays that are contained in sunlight. There are three types of UV rays, two of which can be harmful to the skin:

— UVA rays – these rays penetrate deeper into unprotected skin and can damage the middle layer of the skin (the dermis). The dermis contains tissues that give skin its elasticity and as such it is overexposure to UVA rays that can cause the skin to age prematurely.

— UVB rays – these rays affect the top layer of your skin, the epidermis. It is overexposure to UVB rays that cause the epidermis to release chemicals that cause the pain, redness and swelling associated with sunburn.

— UVC rays – these less well known rays do not need to be protected from, as they are filtered by the earth’s atmosphere and so do not cause any harm to your skin.

The symptoms of sunburn typically include red sore skin (erythema) that is warm and tender to the touch. Affected skin then tends to peel and flake approximately four to seven days after damage. Different people are impacted by sunburn to greater or lesser extents due to the amount of melanin in their skin. Those with darker skin tones, which contain higher amounts of melanin, can tolerate exposure to the sun’s UV rays for much longer than those with white and pale skin tones.

But what if the worst happens and you so get sunburnt? Happily, this is just another thing that your trusty little bottle of Jersey Lavender Essential Oil can help you out with. Lavender essential oil encourages the more rapid healing of your skin and is especially useful when treating burns (whether they be from the sun or other heat source). So for most cases of sunburn, simply add a few drops of lavender oil to either a carrier oil (such as olive, almond or coconut) or into your favourite emollient cream or lotion and massage into the affected area twice a day.

Lavender essential oil has a number of properties that are especially useful when treating sunburn:

1. Soothing – lavender has extremely soothing properties and so will help to sooth and calm skin that is red and inflamed.

2. Encourages skin healing – lavender stimulates circulation and so means that skin will heal more rapidly than if left untreated.

3. Anti-inflammatory – lavender reduces inflammation and so will help to ease any swelling associated with sunburn.

4. Relieves pain – lavender also affects the central nervous system and so is able to relieve pain and also produce a feeling of calm.

5. Antibacterial – more severely sunburnt skin can sometimes crack and peel quite deeply, and so can be at risk of infection. Lavender’s naturally antibacterial properties will ensure that the skin is kept clean and healthy whilst it is healing.

So how can lavender treat a nasty case of sunburn? Lavender acts to speed the skin’s healing and is also wonderfully calming and soothing to the skin, so it can be a great essential oil to opt for in cases of sunburn. There are a number of different ways that you can use lavender essential oil to treat sunburn:

1. Create a simple, cooling skin spritz by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to a spray bottle of cool mineral (or filtered water) and spray onto your skin for a wonderfully cooling sensation.

2. Soak in a cool (not cold and certainly not hot!) bath to which you have added 10 drops of lavender essential oil. You could also add a handful of bicarbonate of soda to the water, or tie a handful of oats into an old pair of tights (or similar) and run your bath water through that.

3. Create a lavender coconut oil and massage into affected areas – simply mix 40 drops of lavender oil to 100ml of coconut oil (this may need to be gently heated first).

4. Or add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a shop bought aloe vera gel (make sure that is a pure gel rather than some cheaper synthetic alternatives) – the combination of aloe and lavender is simply amazing for sunburn!

So if you have overindulged in the sun and ended up with a nasty case of sunburn, either try a drop or two of our lavender essential oil, or why not try a few applications of our moisturising Lavender Hand and Body Lotion?


Read related article:
Visit Our Online Shop