With the Summer in full swing, I thought this would be a good time to address essential oils for the summer. There are some important topics that relate to essential oils and the sun. Below, I have written the highlights or you can watch a short video that includes the information if you’re more of an auditory learner.
Citrus Essential Oils Can Burn The Skin When Exposed To The Sun or Tanning Beds
When using essential oils, it’s very important to know that essential oils from citrus can burn the skin if they are applied to the skin and exposed to the sun or a tanning bed. The official names to describe this reaction are phototoxicity, photosensitivity, or photoirritation. It’s like an exaggerated sunburn, ouch!
Do not apply citrus essential oils to any skin that can potentially be exposed to the sun for at least 12 hours and even up to 24 hours prior to sun exposure or a tanning booth to be on the safe side. As a student aromatherapist, I know there are really, really low dilutions that are acceptable to use citrus essential oils while out in the sun, but for the average essential oil user, it’s best to refrain for the best outcome.
Citrus essential oils that can be phototoxic include Bergamot, Lemon, Grapefruit, Wild Orange, and Lime.
Essential Oils for the Summer Video
Essential Oils to Soothe and Promote Healing of the Skin After a Sunburn
There are many essential oils that are soothing and promote healing of the skin. I will cover my three favorites here.
My husband got a sunburn on his neck this past weekend after working out in the yard. He applied the oils I talked about in the video and used all of them together as a blend. It was Frankincense, Patchouli, and Lavender. Lavender is a favorite to use on sunburns for its calming effect and promotes healing. Frankincense is so soothing and helps to calms discomfort. Patchouli is cooling to the skin which is great for a sunburn when the skin is hot. In the video, I used fractionated coconut oil which is a great carrier oil and what I use most often. I am out of Aloe vera gel at the moment, but that is a great option as a base for sunburns.
Recipe for Sunburned Skin
- 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
- 3-6 drops of essential oil (Lavender or a homemade blend of Frankincense, Patchouli, and Lavender)
Apply as often as needed for therapeutic benefit. This recipe is safe for children over 2 years old and adults.
I use doTERRA essential oils for my natural remedies. Not all essential oil companies produce their essential oils for therapeutic benefit. If you are in the market for top quality essential oils, click this link to visit my doTERRA store. Feel free to use the Contact Form located at my header for questions.
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