Sunburns are usually first-degree burns only affecting
the epidermal layer of the skin. They are caused by
over exposure to the sun or other source of UVR (ultraviolet
radiation). The result is a red painful skin that
feels hot to the touch. Severe sunburn can lead to
blistering and be classified as a mild second-degree burn.
The best cure for sunburn of course is prevention,
especially for sensitive skin. Also be aware that,
although direct sunlight is a risk, partly cloudy days or
direct sunlight with reflecting water can be even more
risky. For general information the classification of burns
Classification of Burns
The severity of burns is indicated by the degree of the
burn. The higher the degree number the worse the burn.
A simplified description of the degree of burns is included
First-Degree Burns – Only affects the
outer layer (epidermis) of the skin with redness and
Second-Degree Burns – Extends into the
second layer (dermis) of the skin. As the epidermis is
damaged it separated from the dermis and fluid accumulates.
This blistering is the most common characteristic of
second-degree burns. As the epidermis is compromised
the possibility of infection is present. This is also
the most painful of burns since the nerve endings in the
dermis may be exposed.
Third-Degree Burns – Extends through the
epidermis and dermis and into the subcutaneous tissue of the
skin. Blisters may form and infection must be
considered. The nerve endings may be destroyed with
the burn such that there is no feeling.
Forth-Degree Burns – In very extreme
cases damage extends below the skin layers into muscle and
Oils, blends & products
Oils & Blends:
Frankincense, LavenderC, MelaleucaC, Peppermint,
Essential oils based
HelichrysumC, Roman ChamomileC,
understand the E and C superscript go to Home and
scroll to New Helps.
Add 20 drops each of Lavender (soothing, healing) and
Peppermint (cooling) to a 2 ounce spray bottle. Fill
the remainder with either water or fractionated coconut oil.
Shake and apply as soon as possible to the sunburned area.
Repeat every 2 hours for the 4 to 6 times.
Continue with a blend of 1 ounce fractionated coconut oil
and 20 drops each of Lavender and Frankincense sprayed or
applied directly 2 to 4 times daily. If there is any
blistering add 20 drops of Melaleuca to the mixture to
prevent any infection from open sores.
To prepare a moderate sunscreen add 60 drops each of Helichrysum
and Lavender to a 2 ounce spray bottle. Others have
noted that replacing Lavender with Sandalwood proved even
more successful. Fill the
remainder with fractionated coconut oil. Spray on and use as
any store purchased sunscreen.
Before and after:
8 - 10 drops each Helichrysum, Lavender and Sandalwood
with 5 oz dōTERRA Hand & Body Lotion, 1.5 oz filtered water
in an 8 oz squeeze bottle. Shake and use before and after
Experiences and Testimonials of others
What about sunburn?
Jan - I make a really effective
before and after sun lotion - 8 oz plastic squeeze bottle
(for room to shake it up), 5 oz dōTERRA Hand & Body Lotion
(approx.), 1.5 oz filtered water (approx.), 8-10 drops each
of Lavender, Helichrysum, Sandalwood. Include it or not, as
Laura - My son got a sunburn that was so
bad he couldn't move his arms and his skin was beet red and
getting redder every second, swelling and starting to
blister. I took the Lavender and splashed it all over
his arms, carefully patting it because he was already crying
from the pain and couldn't take my rubbing it in. I
didn't have any FCO, but Peppermint came next. We
discovered that if there were spots I hadn't hit with the
Lavender, the Peppermint stung, so watch that. In two
hours, he could move his arms again, bending them at the
elbows and everything, the red had lightened, and by morning
his skin was light beige (a sun tan for him - he's a
towhead), no blistering, no peeling skin, no more pain,
nothing. My son has learned to remember sunscreen when
he goes swimming with friends on a nice sunny day.
I know - I was worried about essential oils on a sunburn,
too, but the Lavender seemed to reverse the skin damage and
repair it without holding the heat in that you're normally
worried about with a burn.
Kathy - Just got back from girls camp. I
decided to only use dōTERRA TerraShield for my bug spray. I
came home bug bite free!! I also decided to go all natural
with my sunscreen so I did Helichrysum, Lavender and
fractionated coconut oil mixed in an old Lavender bottle and
used a spray top. Again I came home with healthier skin and
sunburn free!! The bonus though was that because I would
just spray it on my face it protected my lips as well. I
love essential oils. Also it is the first time while
camping that people would actually come up to me and tell me
how good I smelled!
Melanie - We had the same success with
TerraShield at my son's scout camp. I would be interested in
the "recipe" for the sunscreen, what was the ratio you used?
Kathy - The sunscreen recipe that I used
was 60 drops of Helichrysum, 60 drops Lavender and then I
filled the rest of the bottle with the fractionated coconut
oil. This was the first time that I had the spray tops and I
Kelly was 12 years old and lived by a fairly large lake.
One Saturday he invited his friend Robbie to walk around the
lake. They decided that they would pack a lunch, take
their wrist rockets and spend the day exploring around the
lake. They both had fanny packs and put their lunches
in them. About ½ hour into their trek, the sun was beating
down on them. To be a bit cooler, they both removed
their shirts and tied them around their waist. Had
their moms known, they would have been horrified at the
shirtless trek especially along the shores of a highly
After a few hours, the sun was feeling hot on their
backs. They took a few minutes to take off their fanny packs
and wade into the water, playing and swimming for another
It was after the dip, that Robbie realized his back
seemed to itch. He called to Kelly.
“Scratch the middle of my back”
Kelly took aim with his fingernails and swiped along the
center of Robbie’s back.
Robbie pulled away in pain. Kelly immediately
“Wow, you’re burned. Am I burned too?”
Robbie focused on Kelly’s shoulders. Indeed they
were bright red.
The two boys put back on their shirts and decided to
expedite their trip home. When they walked into
Kelly’s house, Kelly’s mom, Marlene, noticed they were not
“What's wrong boys?” Marlene questioned.
Kelly pulled his shirt away from his shoulder, exposing
the bright red burn.
“Oh heavens!! You boys weren’t out there with your
shirts off weren't you?”
Robbie and Kelly both did a guilty nod.
“Well the sleep over is lost. Robbie I will call
your mom.” Marlene announce with a bit of anger in her tone.
The boys were disappointed, but were mostly not feeling
well. Robbie could tell this burn was making him not
When Robbie’s mom, Carol, came to pick him up, Marlene
tried to apologize.
“No. These boys should know better.” She said
with a stern glance at Robbie. “This was not your fault.”
Carol went on to tell Marlene that she had a natural
remedy that was very effective for burns and offered to
share it. When Carol explained they were essential
oils, Marlene declined saying she had some Solercain, and
that she would use that.
Back home, Robbie was feeling the pain. As his mom
helped remove his shirt, Robbie winced in pain. His
back and shoulders were bright red, and as Carol held her
hand over Robbie’s back she could feel the heat of the badly
Carol was quick to work. She grabbed a small spray bottle
out of a cabinet. She filled it with cool filtered
water, about a half cup. She then grabbed the
Peppermint essential oil and the Lavender. She new the
Peppermint would be cooling, and the Lavender would be
efficacious for the burn. She put about 12 drops of
each in the spray bottle and began to shake it very well.
She then got behind Robbie and began to spray his back.
Weeehhh! Robbie let out a cry.
“Are you ok?” Carol asked.
“Its cold, Mom!” Robbie complained.
But before Carol could argue its need, Robbie said; “but
its ok, it feels good now.”
Carol finished spraying his back and shoulders liberally.
After she was done, she decided to add some more drops to
the spray bottle to make the spritz a little more
concentrated. She added 10 more drops of each oil.
Carol would watch Robbie’s back and spray every time the
oils and water had seemed to evaporate or be absorbed.
Sometimes as much as once or twice or even more per hour.
After applying about 6 times, Carol made a blend of a
teaspoon of melted virgin coconut oil and about 15 drops of
Frankincense. She would then carefully rub the blend
into his back and shoulders. By now it was late into
night, Robbie was sleeping and the touching of his back
would cause him to stir and moan. But it seemed to be
analgesic afterward, because Robbie would immediately fall
into deep breathing and obviously be asleep.
Over the next week, Carol was persistent in her
applications of Lavender and Frankincense. As the burn
healed and got less tender, she would apply Lavender neat to
his shoulders and back.
About a week and a half after the Lake Trek, Carol got a
call from Kelly’s mom, Marlene. Marlene went on to
describe the horrible suffering that Kelly had gone through,
and that most of the blisters had just popped, and
Kelly was suffering through sever itching now. She
also described a very bad area on Kelly’s shoulder where the
exposed tissue from a popped blister had become infected.
Carol almost didn’t have the heart to describe Robbie’s
quick and uneventful quick recovery with no blistering or
peeling. She sympathized with Marlene sayng;
“I hope these boys learned their lesson!”