Aromatherapy to the rescue this summer

When using aromatherapy products in the summer, there are a few things you should be aware of. Don't slather on those containing citrus oils on before going out in the sun as these create photosensitivity. The rinds of citrus fruits contain compounds which attract UV rays, apparently to help the fruit ripen and increase the level of sugars inside. The worst of these is bergamot oil but other citrus oils do the same and these include grapefruit, lemon and lime. Orange and mandarin seem to be safe. Do not use a product which contains a phototoxic essential oil before spending time in the sun or just use these at night. You should also not wear perfume on your skin when you are going to spend time out in the sun for the same reason.

Now, I would like to share recipes for some aromatherapy remedies that you can make at home that will help you if you overexpose yourself to the sun. It is always better to be safe then to get burnt, but sometimes things happen. Lavender essential oil is the best oil for sunburn, but there is also Roman chamomile and Helichrysum essential oils which also work well. Peppermint oil is great and cooling as well. Only Lavender and Roman chamomile essential oils can be used for children under 5 years of age and the amount of essential oil should be much less for children. For children over 18 months use ¼ of the amount of essential oils stated here and for children over 5 years use 1/3 of the amount stated. For children between 7 and 12 years, pregnant women and the elderly or the ill use ½ of the amount stated.

Sunburn bath

Prepare a lukewarm bath and when you are ready to get in put 10 drops of lavender essential oil into 2 cups of natural/organic apple cider vinegar and mix well into the bath.

Sunburn lotion

20ml unperfumed natural lotion

20ml aloe vera gel

16 drops of lavender essential oil

8 drops of Roman chamomile essential oil

4 drops of peppermint essential oil

Apply as needed to all burnt areas.

Sunburn spray

50ml lavender water

5ml natural/organic apple cider vinegar

Apply as needed to all burnt areas.

Aloe vera compress

If you have access to the fresh plant cut the leaf from the base and cut out the flesh of the leaf and cut it as thin as you can and apply it to the skin. You can tape it in place with some muslin cloth as a compress and leave it on as long as it feels comfortable.


In a bowl of ice and water put 4 drops of lavender and use a cloth to wipe the oils off the top of the water and press the cloth on to the burnt area. Replace the compress as it gets warm.

Enjoy your summer and I hope you don't have to use any of these recipes.

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