The 6 Best Essential Oils For Burns

For a minor burn or sunburn, the best essential oils for burns might help you heal faster, manage pain, or even reduce the appearance of scars. To learn more, Bustle reached out to aromatherapy expert Cristin Smith, the founder and spiritual director of Saffron & Sage, an integrated holistic health club. Below, Smith discusses how to choose essential oils as well as the best ones for burns and how to use them.

For their sourcing practices and quality, Smith highly recommends DoTerra essential oils: “The quality ingredients are derived from traditional agriculture processes such as organically or biodynamically grown, free of pesticides and herbicides, and not premixed with carrier oils.” So, two of my picks are from DoTerra.

Smith also advises you to look for the supplement facts to ensure you're purchasing 100% pure essential oils, but to only apply them to burns with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil; "When you have a burn, you want easy application that won’t cause more trauma to your skin, and can be easily absorbed to work its magic,” she says.

According to Smith, the best oils for burns are lavender, frankincense, helichrysum, and peppermint, but more information on their properties below. She also recommends avoiding caustic essential oils, like oregano or cinnamon since, “[these] are hot oils that will surely aggravate the skin and will be extremely painful if they touch a burn.”

Read on to find the best essential oils for burns.

1. The Best Lavender Essential Oil

“Lavender is known around the world as the ultimate burn healer,” Smith says. She says lavender boasts pain-relieving properties and it simultaneously reduces inflammation while keeping microbial activity at bay. She also points out that studies have shown that lavender essential oil actually expedites wound recovery.

This 100% pure lavender essential oil by DoTerra has three naturally occurring chemical compounds with other benefits: linalool, linalyl acetate, and ocimene. Studies show that linalool reduces stress, linalyl acetate supports immune function, and ocimene has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

All DoTerra products are third-party tested and are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG), meaning each batch of the company’s essential oils are tested for purity, potency, and consistency. DoTerra is also very transparent about their sourcing practices. Through the Source To You page on DoTerra’s website, you can follow the journey of the company’s essential oils from growers to distillers to lab testing to retailers to you. You can also look up and download the GC/MS quality reports from DoTerra's website, too.

2. The Best Budget Lavender Essential Oil

While this brand isn't the one recommended by my expert, like all Plant Therapy essential oils, this lavender essential oil is 100% pure, premium grade. Also good to know: all Plant Therapy oils are rigorously tested via GC/MS standards by a third party, and the company makes the test results of each batch available for download. This company also guarantees this oil is nonGMO and cruelty free.

3. The Best Frankincense Essential Oil

“Frankincense essential oil is being rediscovered from its roots as one of the ancient beauty secrets for luxurious skin, but what most don’t know is that its healing powers work on burns and any other skin conditions, from rashes to redness, cuts and scrapes, acne to eczema,” Smith says. Indeed, research suggests that frankincense essential oil can soothe skin, kill bacteria, reduce the appearance of scars, and it may even promote the growth of new skin cells.

This 100% pure frankincense essential oil by DoTerra has three naturally occurring chemical compounds, or terpenes, with unique benefits: a-pinene, limonene, and a-thujene. A-pinene is a terpene that may help with pain, inflammation, and anxiety. Limonene is a terpene whose many potential benefits include cancer prevention. A-thujene is a monoterpene with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that may help with everything from pain relief to inflammation.

As mentioned above, all DoTerra products are third-party tested and Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG), meaning each batch of the company’s essential oils are tested for purity, potency, and consistency.

4. The Best Helichrysum Essential Oil

Smith says 100% pure helichrysum essential oil is one of her favorite essential oils because, unlike lavender and frankincense, very few people have heard of it. She says it’s also chockfull of antimicrobial, antibiotic, and regenerative compounds that promote healthy cellular regeneration for the skin, and research backs this up. “Like lavender, it also speeds up the healing of wounds and burns, and smoothes away scarring,” Smith says.

5. The Best Peppermint Essential Oil

“When it comes to burns, especially sunburns, I always apply peppermint,” aromatherapy expert Cristin Smith says. Peppermint will cool the affected area, she explains, and reduce that hot, burning sensation — and research confirms this, showing that peppermint essential oil is highly effective at easing pain and inflammation. Smith likes to apply peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil (like coconut oil), and typically reapplies multiple times throughout the day.

This peppermint essential oil, like all Young Living essential oils, is 100% pure and therapeutic grade. Young Living supervises production of their essential oils from “Seed to Seal.” All Young Living essential oils are responsibly sourced and subjected to third-party testing, and Young Living is an industry “Green Leader” to boot — all Young Living offices have recycling in place and the company is committed to reforestation of harvested trees.

6. The Best Budget Peppermint Essential Oil That's Also Organic

This budget pick for the best peppermint essential oil is also organic and from the same company as my budget pick for lavender and my only pick for Helichrysum, so you know it's 100% pure, premium grade, nonGMO, and cruelty free.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently of Bustle's editorial and sales departments.

Experts Referenced:

Cristin Smith, aromatherapy expert and the founder and spiritual director of Saffron & Sage

Studies Referenced:

Kim, M.-J., Yang, K.-W., Kim, S. S., Park, S. M., Park, K. J., Kim, K. S., … Hyun, C.-G. (2014, May). Chemical composition and anti-inflammation activity of essential oils from Citrus unshiu flower. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25026734.

Mori, H.-M., Kawanami, H., Kawahata, H., & Aoki, M. (2016, May 26). Wound healing potential of lavender oil by acceleration of granulation and wound contraction through induction of TGF-β in a rat model. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4880962/.

Nakamura, A., Fujiwara, S., Matsumoto, I., & Abe, K. (2009). Stress Repression in Restrained Rats by (R)-(−)-Linalool Inhalation and Gene Expression Profiling of Their Whole Blood Cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 57(12), 5480–5485. doi: 10.1021/jf900420g. Retrieved from https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf900420g.