Natural Sunburn Relief with Aloe Vera & Essential Oils

Looking for natural sunburn relief?

Try my recipe with aloe vera and essential oils!


Sunburns happen, and sometimes you just need some quick relief. There are many sunburn products available that you can buy in stores, but many have added preservatives and chemicals that you don’t necessarily want to put on your skin. If you want some natural sunburn relief you can make at home I’ve got a great recipe for you!

Of course it’s best to not burn in the first place. Over exposure to UV-B radiation through frequent sunburns may result in skin cancer. Melanoma is the type of skin cancer which results from frequent sunburns. It is seen as dark coloured freckles, which appear raised on the surface of the skin. It spreads rapidly and may become fatal. It’s super important to try to prevent sunburns and over exposure to the sun’s rays. I hate sunscreen and all the nasty chemicals that come with it, but unfortunately there aren’t many effective and natural alternatives available, so I still have to use it.

Sometimes even though I think I’ve used enough sun screen, and re-applied often enough, I still end up with a burn. Especially in the spring when my skin is tender and pale. Sometimes the best intentions just don’t cut it. Swimming and sweating are the worst for shedding your sunscreen protection, and sometimes you just forget to use enough. If you have ever suffered a bad burn you have my sympathies!

During the summer I try to always have some of my natural sunburn relief gel ready to go, just in case. You don’t want to scramble to make this while your skin feels like it’s burning! Luckily this gel really helps to relieve most of the burning almost instantly.

About the ingredients:

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera is well known for soothing skin and has been used for thousands of years for a variety of conditions. The gel is the jelly-like substance from within the plant’s leaves and the main part of the plant. The gel has a low comedogenic rating so it doesn’t clog pores. Learn more about comedogenic ratings here! Homemade aloe vera gel can be made by simply cutting open a leaf and removing the clear gel inside.

I grow my own aloe vera plants. I bought a gnarly looking plant stuffed in a corner of a plant store that needed some attention. It had lots of babies poking out so I separated them and now I have 6 plants that are starting to grow their own babies. You can harvest gel from your own plants or buy aloe vera gel in many health stores. If buying it, look for the gels with the least amount of additives.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is great for soothing and calming upset skin. On a sunburn it reduces the sting of burns and reduces redness. Lavender is commonly used to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns because it improves the formation of scar tissues. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, it’ll speed up healing, allowing your body to recover faster.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint oil is a natural analgesic, or painkiller. The peppermint plant contains menthol which has a numbing and cooling effect on skin. Peppermint also moisturizes skin, especially when mixed with other carrier oils. Also, because peppermint oil is also effective at alleviating headaches, it can help with the after-sun headache some people suffer from.

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense is another wonderful skin healer that works wonders on sunburnt skin. This oil is great for pain relief, and promotes skin regeneration. It is commonly applied to cuts, wrinkles, surgical scars and stretch-marks to diminish their appearance. Frankincense is also great for dry skin and used to hydrate and rejuvenate after damage.

Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E has been proven to be effective in reducing sun-induced skin wrinkling and has excellent skin moisturizing properties. It also helps to prevent trans-epidermal water-loss by the skin, meaning it increases the natural moisture content of the skin. Vitamin E also acts as a natural preservative and will help the aloe mixture to store longer as it’s a natural antioxidant.


Natural Sunburn Relief with Aloe Vera & Essential Oils
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  • Small glass jar
  • Aloe Vera Gel (home grown, or store bought), enough to fill jar
  • 20 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 8 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 3 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
  • A few drops of Vitamin E oil, or one capsule


  1. If using your own aloe vera plants: First choose a thick, smooth large leaf and use a clean, sharp knife to cut it as close to the trunk as possible. Choose a healthy leaf from the top of the plant if possible, and leave the smaller, lower ones alone. A knife is the best way to harvest the leaves, as hand picking aloe vera may cause tissue damage to the leaf and the plant.
  2. Wash the leaf then lay it flat on the table and cut off the serrated edges. Start on one side and filet off the skin, kind of like you take the skin off a fish. Continue removing the skin on all sides, including the yellowish layer, until a clear to white, translucent flesh is exposed. Alternatively you can squeeze the juice out of the leaf into the glass jar. This also works but may waste a bit more of the aloe.
  3. Smush the aloe gel into a bowl or the jar with a fork or spoon and mix until nice and smooth, and no longer chunky.
  4. If using store bought aloe vera: Fill the jar almost to the top with gel.
  5. Add the lavender, peppermint, and frankincense essential oils, and the vitamin E oil.
  6. Mix well.


I’ve been using this natural sunburn remedy for a couple of years now and love it. It instantly helps to soothe and cool even the worst sunburns. Apply generously and as often as you need. I end up using quite a bit if I’ve burnt myself badly. If you make it in the spring, and make sure to add the vitamin E oil, it should last the rest of the summer on the shelf. If you are bringing this on adventures or camping trips make sure to keep it in a cool, dark place to keep the essential oils healthy. A dark coloured glass jar is preferable, but you can use any sort of glass jar with a tight sealing lid.


Me with a bad sunburn!

I hope you all stay healthy and sunburn free this summer! However, if you end up with a burn, I hope this homemade remedy helps save your skin and bring you some relief!

See you in the sunshine!

~ Natalie Rose


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