Summer brings plenty of opportunities for sunburns, bug bites, and other skin irritations. But essential oils can help when used pro-actively against bugs and in response to burns, stings, bites, or rashes.
Below, I’ll share some ideas for how to use these powerful compounds – and some recipes for “potions” that have worked for my family. I started learning about essential oils nearly four years ago, and I am a distributor for a company that blends and sells them. Read my full disclosure here.
So what’s an essential oil?
Essential oils are made from the essence of a plant, gently extracted by steam distillation or other methods appropriate to the plant. Some plants carry their oils in the leaves or flowers, while others carry them within their rinds or seeds. Resin, sap, wood, and peelings also are used, depending on the plant.
And as such, essential oils can be potent and must be used properly and cautiously.
Using Essential Oils Safely in Sun
Some essential oils are photo-toxic, which means that after using those on the skin it’s a good idea to stay out of the sun (or tanning beds) for at least 12 hours. Bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, red mandarin, and any blends containing these oils should be considered photo-toxic, and their use within 12 hours of sun exposure could lead to burning.
But other essential oils can be used before sun exposure. To be certain which is which, read the safety notes and information provided with the oil.
Also, let’s be clear about the role of essential oils. They do not treat, cure or prevent any diseases or conditions. But they can support different systems of the body. And for the skin, several essential oils can provide terrific support.
Using Essential Oils After Sun Exposure
After sun exposure, replenish moisture by applying a mixture of 1-2 drops of lavender, mailette essential oil with 1 squirt of a carrier oil such as jojoba or grapeseed. One drop of peppermint essential oil also would add a cooling sensation.
But if I’ve gotten too much sun, it feels better to spray on a cooling mixture rather than rubbing it in. In that case, I use:
- 5-6 drops of lavender, mailette essential oil
- 2 ounces of Plant Derived Minerals
- 2 ounces of distilled water
- 1-2 drops of tea tree essential oil (optional)
- 1 drop of peppermint essential oil (optional)
- 1 drop of geranium, rose essential oil (optional)
I add them all to a mister bottle (I actually double this recipe and keep the mister in the refrigerator), and spray on the sunburn as needed – more often at first. These recipes were shared originally through the Youngevity Aroma Share Club, which is a great way to build up a collection of essential oils. And the Basic First Aid Oils kit, a starter package at a special savings, contains most of the above items.
How to Use Essential Oils to Ward Off Bugs
We have two go-to potions to naturally scare away bugs in the summer.
And the first is a simple mix of water and peppermint essential oil to scare away spiders in Scout camping tents! Mix in a small spray bottle with 4 ounces of water 12-15 drops of the peppermint oil. Shake and use. I’ve sent my son to summer camp with this for the past five years.
The second is an Insect Spray, again first shared through the Youngevity Aroma Share Club:
- 4 ounces of water in a spray bottle
- Eucalyptus citriodora essential oil – 4 drops
- Lavender, mailette essential oil – 4 drops
- Basil, sweet essential oil – 4 drops
Shake before and during spraying. Those oils also can be mixed with 2 ounces of jojoba blending oil and applied to legs or other exposed skin to ward off chiggers, mosquitoes, and other bugs.
Do you have other favorite essential oils recipes for summer? Send me a note. I’d love to hear from you.
Welcome! I’m Amy, an integrative health coach, offering grace and space for a healthier you. If you liked this article, please subscribe at this link so that you’re among the first to get any future information and ideas that I share. And you can unsubscribe anytime; we both know that SPAM is not good for us, so we avoid it! Thanks for visiting.