We can all agree that sunburn is harmful. While I may not use most sunscreen, this is the reason I’m careful to cover up or go inside when the sun gets too hot. Unfortunately, the best-laid plans don’t always turn out for the best and sometimes overexposure happens.
When it does, I turn to:
DIY Sunburn Spray
This spray uses a few of my secret weapons for skin health to rapidly relieve the discomfort of sunburn. I discovered this recipe last year. It uses many of the common ingredients you’d consider for sunburn relief with my secret weapon: water-soluble CBD for rapid relief.
Note: This spray helps any type of skin irritation, not just sunburn.
You’ll find some of these ingredients in many sunburn relief recipes, but I’ve never found anything as effective as this unique powerhouse combination:
Natural Witch Hazel
This natural extract made from the bark of the witch hazel tree is mildly astringent. Commonly used in skin recipes, witch hazel makes a great base for this spray. It’s also high in tannins, making it soothing and anti-inflammatory for skin that has been more than just kissed by the sun.
For best results, look for a witch hazel without alcohol or other added ingredients. Check out the one I use in the recipe below.
Aloe Vera Gel
Perhaps the most common remedy for sunburn, aloe helps soothe skin and relieve the inflammation that comes with over-exposure to the sun. Combined with the other soothing ingredients, it’s diluted enough for a convenient spray in this recipe.
Aloe’s emollient and moisturizing properties also help offer relief from the tightness that often accompanies sunburn.
My secret weapon against sunburn! I’ve never seen another sunburn relief spray that uses CBD, and this one ingredient makes such a difference! To work in this recipe, the CBD must be water-soluble so it mixes with the other ingredients.
I use CBD oil for other benefits but it comes in handy this purpose as well. Most recently, I used it to soothe a sea urchin sting and it worked wonders for that too. I’ve linked to my favorite CBD oil below in the recipe.
Lavender Essential Oil
This soothing oil is another powerhouse for sunburn relief. It’s actually helpful against any type of burn, and I keep it and manuka honey on hand for kitchen burns as well. In this recipe, a few drops adds soothing anti-inflammatory properties and offers quick relief.
Studies support using lavender to speed wound healing and recovery for any type of skin irritation.
Peppermint Essential Oil
A natural analgesic, peppermint offers quick relief from the pain of sunburn. It’s been used for years for topical pain relief, and may also reduce inflammation to speed recovery. For kids, I recommend using a much smaller amount.
An optional ingredient, calendula is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. From the marigold family, this gentle flower has been used in skin recipes throughout history and adds additional soothing properties to this recipe.
Avoiding Sunburn in the First Place
Of course it’s important to avoid sunburn in the first place! As mentioned, my strategies include:
- covering up with shade or SPF clothing
- a mineral sunscreen when needed
- “eating” my sunscreen with a skin-supporting diet and supplements
But if my safe sun practices fail me, relief is only minutes away in my natural medicine cabinet. See this post for more on what to do when you get a sunburn, and I’m adding this cooling spray to the list!
Lavender and CBD Sunburn Spray Recipe
- 12 oz natural witch hazel
- 2 oz aloe vera gel (about 1/4 cup)
- 20 drops CBD oil or more, I use water-soluble CBD from Ojai Energetics
- 40 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 40 drops calendula extract or more, up to 1 oz
- Combine all ingredients in the spray bottle.
- Screw on the cap and shake well to combine.
- Store in the fridge until ready to use. This serves two purposes - it helps the spray cool skin more effectively and also helps prolong the shelf life of the spray.
- To use: Attach the spray cap, shake gently and spray as needed onto skin.
- All ingredients are shelf-stable, so this sunburn spray should last up to a year. I store in the refrigerator to keep it cool and make sure it lasts this long.
- As with any recipe, if using on children reduce the amount of essential oils to proper dilution ratios. In this recipe, I would reduce the peppermint by half or omit entirely if using on children under 2 years old.
Looking for other skin-soothing remedies? Try these recipes:
- All-Natural Homemade Bug Spray Recipes That Work!
- Luxurious Homemade Lotion Recipe
- Itch-Stopping Natural Remedies for Poison Ivy
- Essential Oil Cooling Spray for Summer
- Natural Homemade Sunscreen Recipe
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Have you ever gotten a sunburn? I hope not, but if you have one right now, I hope this helps you find relief!
Discussion (3 Comments)
What is a calendula extract? Is it a tincture using dry calendula flowers
Hi Katie! Thank you so much for the well of wisdom and knowledge that your share with us. You are one of my go-to sources to find recipes & nutritional info. This time, I came to you for an after sun spray (sensitive son & hubby). I clicked on your link for the Aloe gel & noticed that it looks different from the others I looked at on iherb (one of the only affordable places to purchase from Japan) & the ones I’m seeing are more for ingesting. Are the ingesting aloe gels the same as the topical?? I’m confused!
The link for the peppermint and lavender essential oils and the calendula extract took me to an Amazon product that was actually dried whole flowers or leaves. I’m not sure what essential oils or extracts you actually wanted to send us to.