Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Natural Sunburn Relief

Re posted from Mountain Rose Herbs Facebook Notes
Mountain Rose Herbs Main website

Ouch! It's easy to underestimate the power of the sun, especially during the busy, beautiful days of summer. If you do get a sunburn, these herbal recipes may offer some much needed relief and help promote quick healing so you can enjoy all of the sunny picnics, mountain hikes, and beach lounging that summer promises.

Aloe Vera Gel

There are several herbs that are well known for their ability to assist with sunburn relief. The most notable of which is Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera Gel may be used directly on sunburns for immediate relief of sunburned skin to quicken the healing time. It is especially soothing to the skin because of its high water content (99.5%). For best results, keep your Aloe Vera Gel in the refrigerator to increase its cooling effect upon the skin. Aloe Vera Gel is very mild and may be applied generously to the burned area as often as needed. Adding Lavender, Calendula, or Chamomile essential oil will assist with the healing process, and adding a minimum amount of Peppermint essential oil will increase the cooling effect. However, Peppermint essential oil is very strong and too much will burn your skin, so using a mild hydrosol can also be helpful.

Aloe Vera Skin Relief

Makes 4 ounces

4 oz Aloe Vera Gel
15 drops Lavender essential oil
10 drops Vitamin E Oil
5 drops Calendula essential oil
2-5 drops Peppermint essential oil

Mix all ingredients and apply to the skin as often as desired. Store in refrigerator to increase the cooling effect.


Chamomile is wonderful for the skin and the emotions – gentle, relaxing, and healing. You can use cold Chamomile infusions or the flower water (hydrosol) as a compress or mist. Simply place Chamomile flowers into bath water, or incorporate Chamomile essential oil into creams and moisturizers.

Chamomile After-Sun Spray

Makes 4 ounces

2 oz Aloe Vera Gel
2 oz Chamomile Flower Water (Hydrosol)
5 drops Chamomile essential oil

Mix all ingredients, pour into a spray bottle, and apply to the skin as often as desired. Store in refrigerator to increase the cooling effect.

Baking Soda

Baking Soda is extremely beneficial for treating sunburned and itchy skin. It may be placed directly into bathwater (use a lukewarm bath) or may be incorporated into a paste that can be applied to the skin.

Baking Soda Paste

Makes ¼ cup

¼ cup Baking Soda
1 ½ - 2 TBSP Lavender or Chamomile Flower Water
5 drops Lavender essential oil

Mix all ingredients until a medium thick paste forms, apply gently to the skin, and allow to dry. Once finished, rinse off carefully without irritating sunburned skin.

Green Tea

Green tea contains powerful antioxidants, and may be used topically or internally as a tea before or after sun exposure. Green tea has been shown to help reduce skin inflammation and redness, protect skin cells, and to assist with the adverse effects of UV radiation exposure. It naturally contains tannic acid, theobromine, and polyphenols – all of which are soothing and healing to sunburned skin. Aside from applying Green tea externally, try sipping on the cooled or iced tea throughout the day to further take advantage of Green tea’s beneficial properties.

Green Tea Compress

To create a compress from Green tea, make an infusion by pouring boiling water over loose-leaf Green Sencha tea leaves and allow the mixture to sit for 15-20 minutes. Once the infusion has cooled, strain the leaves, and retain the liquid. Soak a clean cloth in the liquid and place on the sunburned area for 5-10 minutes. This may be done several times a day.

Lavender is notoriously beneficial for any type of burn, including sunburns. It offers immediate relief and may accelerate the healing process.

Lavender Healing Oil

Makes 4 ounces

4 oz Jojoba Oil
20 drops Lavender essential oil
10 drops Vitamin E Oil

Mix all ingredients in a bottle and apply as needed. Perfect for using after an oatmeal or baking soda bath! Use this oil after the sunburn has begun to heal, applying a carrier oil to a fresh burn may increase the heat and discomfort.


Soothing to the skin, oatmeal is a wonderful ingredient to add to your bathwater at any time, and it is especially beneficial for sunburned skin. Add essential oils or dried herbs for an especially relaxing and aromatic experience.

Soothing Oatmeal Bath

Makes 1 bath treatment

2 cups Oatmeal
¼ cup Baking Soda
½ cup Chamomile Flowers
½ cup Lavender Flowers
2-4 TBSP Green Tea leaves

Blend Oatmeal in a food processor or coffee grinder until it has a powdered consistency. Place all ingredients in a muslin bag or cheesecloth, tie under the faucet, and draw a lukewarm bath. Hot water will dry out and further irritate the skin. Soak for 10-15 minutes.


Peppermint is very cooling to the skin and therefore very beneficial for relieving sunburned skin. The essential oil may be added in small amounts to lotions and moisturizers, but be cautious as Peppermint essential oil is very strong and too much will irritate and burn your skin. Start with 1-2 drops and see how your skin reacts.

Peppermint & Green Tea Cooling Mist

Makes 4 oz

6 oz distilled water
2 TBSP dried Peppermint leaf
1 tsp Green Tea leaves

Make an infusion with the Peppermint and Green Tea leaves, then strain the mixture. To make an infusion: pour boiling water over herbs, cover, and allow to sit for 2-4 hours. Pour into a spray bottle and spray directly on sunburn as often as desired. This recipe is also wonderful as a refreshing facial toner! Use within 1-2 days, or store in the refrigerator up to 1 week.


Yogurt contains enzymes and acids that can appease the sunburn, and it assists with reducing irritation, redness, and it cools the skin. Yogurt can easily be mixed with other ingredients, so feel free to experiment with various essential oils and ingredients.

Yogurt After-Sun Relief

Makes 5 oz

4 oz plain yogurt
1 oz Aloe Vera Gel
15 drops Lavender essential oil

Apply directly to sunburned area, and leave the yogurt on until it dries. Rise off with cool water, and repeat the process if desired.

Before using any of these tips or suggestions, make sure to cool down the sunburned area with a cool shower or with compresses, and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. It is also important to moisturize the area with alcohol and perfume-free lotion. If you have a severe burn, then you may want to consult a doctor before using any of the recipes. If your skin is blistered, then do not use any of the recipes. Blistering may lead to infection and it is best to consult a doctor.

We hope that you find these suggestions and recipes useful and informative. Here's to a healthy and sunburn-free summer!