(Last Updated On: May 2, 2018)

Before we discuss which are the best essential oils for sun poisoning, let’s address the phrase ‘sun poisoning’.

A poison is defined as something that causes extensive disturbance in an organism.

For example tummy ache or a bit of diarrhea would be considered a mild disorder.

However if someone gets abdominal cramps, extreme diarrhea and nausea, fever etc, it would be considered ‘food poisoning’.

Similarly, a bit of inflammation and/or discoloration on skin due to exposure to sun-rays would be termed just ‘sunburn’.

But when such exposure results in red and cracked skin, blisters, pain, a fever and other serious symptoms it would be described as ‘sun poisoning’.

You can understand that an essential oil remedy for sun poisoning would consist of selecting the right oils to counter the various symptoms of sun poisoning, namely

  • Inflammation of the skin leading to
    • Red and cracked skin.
    • Blisters and peeling skin in more severe cases.
  • Pain.
  • Mild to moderate fever.
  • Headache.
  • Dehydration.
  • Nausea.

Essential Oils For Sun Poisoning – Inflammation Related Issues

For red and cracked skin, mix 7 drops each of thyme and sandalwood essential oils in a base of cool (not cold) rose water.

Apply that onto the affected areas gently. If you feel discomfort applying with your hands, use a Q Tip.

Thyme and sandalwood EO’s are both known for reducing inflammation. Rosewater can soothe your skin.

You can top up these essential oils with cool cucumber slices.

Please note blisters and peeling skin may require medical attention.

Essential Oils For Sun Poisoning – Pain, Mild to moderate fever and Headache

As far as headache and general discomfort arising from fever are concerned, for topical use, you can choose between Lavender and Sandalwood.

  • Choose Lavender oil if you are looking for a sedative (falling asleep, drowsy) effect.
  • If you’re looking to remain alert while reducing discomfort, try Sandalwood EO.

You can apply them directly to

  • Your temples.
  • The tips of your ears.
  • Your wrists.
  • Your feet.

for some relief.

Use no more than 2 drops (start with 1 drop) in each case.

In addition, you can inhale Chamomile, Bergamot or Sweet Orange vapors through a diffuser.

Essential Oils for Sun Poisoning – Nausea

With nausea, we’d recommend you stick to aromatherapy (inhaling essential oil vapors, in other words).

Essential oils can indeed be safely consumed (in small amounts) with food but if you’ve experienced severe sun exposure it’s advisable to not do so.

Ginger oil has a long-standing reputation for being able to relieve nausea via aromatherapy.

If that doesn’t work, try Sweet Orange or Bergamot.

Essential Oils for Sun Poisoning – Dehydration

Dehydration has a two-fold implication, namely

  • Loss of water.
  • Imbalance of electrolytes like sodium, potassium and magnesium.

Due to loss of water, your skin may lose elasticity and firmness.

You can go New Testament on it and apply not more than 7 drop of the essential oil of Myrrh in a base of cool water.

Another oil that’s known for restoring dry skin is Sandalwood.

Please note dehydration, like peeling skin, may require medical attention.

This is because, as noted, dehydration can lead to an imbalance of electrolytes (sodium levels shoot up while potassium and magnesium levels tend to decline).

And that is an issue we don’t think essential oils can deal with.

Essential Oils To Avoid During Sun Poisoning

We at Unsullyd pride ourselves on giving you the complete picture. All the information.

And so, in addition to telling you what you can do for sun poisoning, we’ll also tell you some things you should not do.

  1. If you expect further exposure to the sun, do NOT use lemon, bergamot or orange essential oils topically

Lemon, orange and bergamot (among other) essential oils are known to be ‘photosensitive’. Lemon is even considered ‘phototoxic’.

In plain English, they will aggravate sunburn on exposure to sunlight.

If you want to use them in diffusers, go right ahead.

But please avoid sun exposure for a minimum of 12 hours if you use any of these oils topically.

  1. Do not use peppermint essential oil topically

Peppermint oil is ‘cooling’ and refreshing so you might think it logical to use it to soothe your inflamed skin.

Big mistake.

The ‘cooling’ sensation of peppermint EO can be sensitizing in many situations. Sunburned skin is one of those.

If you use peppermint EO to refresh your skin in all likelihood you will hurt yourself even more.

This list is by no means exhaustive.

We have just rounded up the choices we feel are the best for dealing with sun poisoning. You can always make up your own essential oil remedies.

Remember what your objective is – to alleviate the various symptoms of sun poisoning as outlined above – and go through our who’s who of essential oils to choose a combination you think will suit your needs better.

All the best!

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