Hello there, essential oil lovers!
This week most of the governments of countries in Europe, including the UK are issuing heat warnings. With temperatures rising to 40C + there is concern that many might suffer from heatstroke and sunburn if not protecting themselves properly.
Today we are sharing some facts about essential oils and how you could use them to protect your skin. Read on to find a list of recommended essential oils to prevent heatstroke and which oils you should NOT use before sun exposure.
Essential oils have been touted with a number of health benefits — for their healing and pain-relieving properties, among other things. Because of these properties, you may be interested in using essential oils to soothe your sunburn. However, it’s important to note that there’s a lack of scientific research definitively linking them as a sunburn treatment and more research is still needed.
When using essential oils, it’s imperative that you use them correctly. Never swallow essential oils. Essential oils themselves are very concentrated. Therefore, you should always dilute them before use. You can dilute them with:
• Water. This can be useful when diffusing essential oils in the air.
• Carrier oils. These can dilute the oils for topical application on the skin, as well as in a bath (along with water). Good carrier oils to use are unscented and include avocado, almond, rosehip, and jojoba oils. Make sure that the oils are safe for topical application before using them on the skin.
4 Essential Oils to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke
Keeping yourself hydrated, relying on cooling foods and limiting sun exposure are the standard methods of combating an episode of heatstroke. Here, we share with you, a list of essential oils that will keep your body cool.
5 Essential Oils to help soothe sunburn
Vitamin E - it works great as an after sun to treat sunburns. Being an antioxidant, it will help fight free radicals caused by ultraviolet radiation, ultimately soothing sunburns. Get vitamin E rich body cream or add Vitamin E essential oil to your body lotion.
Tea tree Oil - it’s soothing and pain relieving, plus it reduces blistering and peeling. You can apply full-strength tea tree oil directly on your sunburn, but people with sensitive skin should stick to using it in a diluted form. To add a cooling effect, include aloe or lavender oil in the mixture.
Green Tea Oil - This essential oil is an antioxidant with several benefits. It protects the skin from ultraviolet (UV) exposure and heals the skin after a sunburn. Applying a product with green tea essential oil aims to add antioxidants to your skin. This often targets deeper areas of the skin and can be useful following sun exposure even if you don’t have a sunburn.
Aloe Very Body cream - Aloe vera works in a number of ways to treat sunburn: Reduces inflammation: Aloe has several ingredients that reduce the pain, redness, and swelling associated with inflammation from sunburn. You can put aloe vera to the fridge for a few minutes and gently rub directly to your skin. Alternatively, you can get a body cream rich with Aloe Vera and use for minor sunburns.
Chamomile Essential Oil - Like aloe vera, it has emollient, moisturising, and skin-rejuvenating properties. Studies show that chamomile may help heal minor burns. Plus, it’s very soothing on the skin. Consider putting it in a bath with some oatmeal, too.
Can you mix your favourite essential oils into Sunscreen?
The short answer is NO.
While some essential oils are fine to use outside in the sun, there are a few oils that should never be applied to the skin and then exposed to sunlight. These are called “photosensitive” or “phototoxic” essential oils. These oils usually contain furocoumarins, which are the culprit. Using a photosensitive oil and then going in the sun can increase the chances of skin cancer (yikes!).
So the next time you want to add an essential oil to your sun lotion or any body lotion, be sure to avoid this list of popular photosensitive essential oils:
• Clary sage Salvia sclarea (L.)
• Coriander Coriandrum sativum (L.)
• Black pepper Piper nigrum (L.)
• Bergamot Citrus aurantium (L.) var. bergamia
• Neroli Citrus aurantium (L.) var. amara
• Ginger Zingiber officinale (Roscoe)
• Lemon Citrus limonum (Risso)
• Lime Citrus aurantifolia (Christm.)
• Grapefruit Citrus paradisi (Macfad.)
Risks and potential complications for using essential oils
Using essential oils should always be done cautiously. Keep in mind that:
- Essential oils are potent, distilled concentrations of plants found around the world. They should always be diluted before use.
- There’s a lack of scientific research supporting the use of essential oils for health conditions and there are no official guidelines for application of essential oils. Using them for health conditions is considered complementary medicine and should be done with caution.
- You may have a reaction to an essential oil. Discontinue use immediately if you notice irritation from the essential oil and contact your doctor. You should do a test patch on a small area of your skin before applying to your sunburn.
- Essential oils may be unsafe for infants, children, and pregnant or nursing women.
- Some essential oils may make your skin more susceptible to UV damage when exposed to sunlight, including citrus-derived essential oils.
Don’t delay medical treatment for moderate or severe sunburns.
Essentials for your Handbag this summer
There are plenty of ways to treat sunburn or heat exhaustion after it happened, but we are huge advocates of prevention. Here are some well known, but effective ways to protect yourself from extreme heat and exposure to the sun:
- Wear a sunscreen with SPF (30+) with high UVA and UVB protection.
- Protect your lips with a lip balm with SPF
- Wear a wide brimmed hat and/or scarf on your head when in the sun.
- Choose sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays, and UV 400-protected sunglasses do this.
- Stay hydrated and always carry a bottle of water in your bag.
- Wear or at least have access to a long sleeve lightweight shirt or a coverup if the sun feels too intense.
- Avoid the midday sun and stay in the shade when possible.
We hope that you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your specific requirements, please do get in touch with us - we will be more than happy to help if we can!