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Looking for sunburn relief? Try lavender oil to soothe the pain

Too much of sun exposure can damage your skin. It can lead to sunburn. So, use lavender oil for sunburn relief.
Lavender oil may provide relief from sunburn pain. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 17 Jun 2024, 10:30 am IST
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Applying sunscreen after every few hours is a must to protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays. But with all the heat and sweat, I didn’t want to reach out for my sunscreen again and again. At the end of the day, I realised it was a bad call as I ended up with a sunburn. To soothe my stinging skin, I took cool baths and applied a moisturiser with aloe vera in it. But they were not enough to help heal my sunburned skin. My mom told me to use an essential oil to get relief from sunburn. She suggested me to apply lavender oil for sunburn relief. I tried it, and it helped reduce the pain and redness associated with sunburn. Here’s what an expert has to say about using lavender oil for sunburn.

What is sunburn?

Sunburn is an inflammatory skin reaction that happens due to overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. You can also get sunburn from artificial sources such as tanning beds, says dermatologist Dr Neha Khuraana. UVA is the wavelength of light that can penetrate to our skin’s deep layers and cause skin damage over time. UVB, on the other hand, is the wavelength of light that penetrates the skin more superficially and causes sunburn, explains the expert. The UV light basically damages skin cells, and the immune system reacts to it by increasing blood flow to the affected areas. This in turn causes the inflamed skin, known as sunburn.

Sunburn results from too much sun or sun equivalent exposure. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What are the symptoms of sunburn?

Here are some of the symptoms of sunburn:

  • Red, tender skin that feels warm when you touch it.
  • Blisters.
  • Severe reactions, including fever, chills, nausea, or skin rash.
  • Skin peeling on sunburned areas.

How does lavender essential oil help with sunburn?

Lavender essential oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and healing properties, says the expert. Lavender oil can promote the healing of skin tissue, according to a 2016 study published in the BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies journal. Due to these properties, this essential oil can help in reducing redness, pain, and swelling. It can also be used by people with sensitive skin, as a 2004 study, published in the Cell Proliferation journal, found that lavender is one of the mildest plant essential oils.

How to use lavender oil for sunburn?

To use lavender oil for sunburn, do the following:

  • Add 4 to 5 drops of lavender oil to a cool bath.
  • Soak your body in it for about 20 minutes.

If you don’t have a bath tub, you can put a few drops of the essential oil in a bucket of cool water and apply it to the affected areas with a soft cloth, suggests Dr Khuraana.

Water alone can be sufficient for mild relief. However, for better results, dilute lavender essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil before applying to sunburned skin. This helps reduce irritation and enhances absorption, providing more effective relief and soothing properties. you can blend 20 drops of lavender with 1 ounce or 30 ml of a carrier oil and apply to sunburned skin. Reapply it 2 to 3 times a day to the affected areas, but do a patch test first.

Lavender essential oil may help soothe sunburned skin. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What are the side effects of lavender oil for sunburn?

Lavender oil is extremely soothing, but if you are sensitive to smell, the fragrance of the oil may irritate your nose. It can cause nausea, vomiting and headache, says the expert. People with allergies, eczema, or dermatitis should also avoid it to prevent reactions.

Overexposure to the harmful UV rays can lead to sunburn. You can use lavender essential oil to get relief from sunburn. But make sure to dilute it with water or a carrier oil such as coconut oil so that it is not harsh on your skin.

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Natalia Ningthoujam

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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