Sunburn should be treated like any other burn. Even mild sunburn needs to be considered seriously, because it often covers a large area of the body.

Camomile oil will soothe and cool burning skin. The fastest and most effective way to relieve a large area of redness and stinging is to take a lukewarm bath with 5 or 6 drops of Camomile oil added to the water. This can safely be repeated at intervals of a few hours until the burning sensation subsides. If it is a child who is burnt, dilute 3 or 4 drops of Camomile oil in a little almond oil before adding it to a bath.

More severe sunburn is best treated with Lavender oil, which is the first choice of oil for burns of any kind. Make a solution of Lavender oil in boiled and cooled water (12 drops to each tablespoonful of water) and dab this on the burnt area if there is no blistering and the skin is not broken. If the skin is blistered, you can apply Lavender oil neat to the blisters.

To prevent the parched, leathery condition of the skin that can follow too much tanning, mix Camomile, Lavender, or any of the oils suggested for dry skin into some almond oil (12 drops of oil to each tablespoon of almond oil) and massage into the skin twice or more each day. Do not use Bergamot oil if you are going to be out in the sunlight again after applying the mixture.

The best advice given on sunburn is that prevention is the best cure. Remember that essential oils do not prevent burning, and use a commercial preparation with a protection factor appropriate to your own skin and to the climate and conditions in which you will be sunbathing.

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