Carrier Oils for Sunburn: Photo Credit, Fotolia
Carrier Oils for Sunburn: Photo Credit, Fotolia

Summer is more-or-less over, and with the back-to-school routine may come some minor problems related to summer fun! One of these issues may be sunburn from long days spent in the sun. Fortunately, minor sunburn can be soothed with a simple carrier oil – if you know which one to choose. Here are my recommendations for carrier oils for sunburn.

Note: Please remember to seek professional health care advice with regard to serious health issues, and if you are unfamiliar with the use and safe application of essential oils. The information in this article is for educational purposes only.

Good quality carrier oils are predominately cold pressed; hot pressed carrier oils hold little therapeutic value.

Jojoba for Sunburn

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) is native to the southwest United States and north-west Mexico and has traditionally been used for various ailments by native tribes for centuries, including as protection against the sun. The “oil” from the jojoba plant is more correctly defined as a wax and contains high quantities of stearic acid. It is extracted from the seeds of the plant.

Jojoba is suitable for use by all age groups. Apply a small amount to the skin to soothe and calm skin that is red, itchy, and inflamed from the sun.

Kukui Nut Oil for Sunburn

Kukui nut (Aleurites moluccanus) has been widely used by Hawaiian people for years. The oil is extracted from the seeds of the plant and is predominately made up of linoleic acid and linolenic acid.

Although not as well known, or as popular as some carrier oils, such as jojoba and sweet almond oil, kukui nut holds value when used to soothe sunburn and other similar skin conditions. Massage a small amount of the oil into the affected part of the skin. Kukui nut oil has no known contra-indications for use.

Rosehip Oil for Sunburn

Rosehip (Rosa canina L.) is a “traditional” plant that is known in the UK and Europe, especially for its use as a “Vitamin C” syrup for children during the 1930’s and 1940’s. However the plant is actually native to the Andes region of South America, and is characterized by its red berry fruits: rose hips.

Rosehip oil is extracted from the rose hips and contains a high percentage of linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. It is useful for various types of skin conditions, including sunburn. However, due to the cost, viscosity, and the presence of trans-retinoic acid, it is advisable to use rosehip oil in low dosage or in combination with other carrier oils.

Sweet Almond Oil for Sunburn

The sweet almond (Prunis dulcis) tree is a common feature of the landscape in Mediterranean countries and in US states such as California. The oil is extracted from the kernel and contains a high quantity of oleic acid, and a large quantity of linoleic acid.

Sweet almond oil is a popular oil for use in massage as it is a light oil with minimal aroma. It is more viscous than some carrier oils but can be used on its own. Use sweet almond oil for inflamed and itchy skin connected to the effects of sunburn. There is a slight risk of possible allergy for those sensitive to nuts.

Learn More About Carrier Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie

Each of the carrier oils featured in this article are studied in more depth in the Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy. Visit the courses page to learn more!


  • Price, Len, 1999, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, UK: Churchill Livingstone

  • Sedona Aromatherapie Certification in Professional Aromatherapy: Module 2, US: Sedona, Arizona

  • Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist with a decade of training and practical experience in aromatherapy, published author and editor in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.

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