Essential Oils as Sunscreen? My PSA for the day – Bath and Body

I spent a little time this past weekend popping into some of my favorite groups and noticed a theme: multiple people were asking what essential oils could be used as sunscreen and how to apply them.

I was pretty shocked at some of the answers I was seeing. Some people were suggesting oils to use, and others were saying that you could apply the essential oils to your pulse point and they would protect you from the sun.


This kind of misinformation makes my aromatherapist brain want to explode.

Let’s start off by saying, essential oils DO NOT act as sunscreen. Ever. Period. The end. Unless you want to look like this girl:

Now, let’s go a step further and say that some essential oils can actually cause your skin to severely burn if you put them on your skin and then spend time in the sun.

These oils include:

Angelica Root

Cold pressed Bergamot

Cold Pressed Lemon

Cold Pressed Lime

Cold Pressed Bitter Orange

Mandarin Leaf




Cold Pressed Grapefruit

Oils that are POTENTIALLY phototoxic include:

Cold Pressed Clementine

Celery Leaf

Cumin Seed


Listen, folks, it’s important that we use a real, good sunscreen when we’re going to be spending time outdoors. Not only does it protect us from the soreness of sunburn, but it also helps keep our skin from drying prematurely or, heaven forbid, developing skin cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, you want a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and you want to apply it generously at least every 2 hours.

PLEASE don’t use essential oils and think you’re protected from the sun because you aren’t!

I also want to share a quick and easy sun soothing spray that is super refreshing and great to use on hot days or when you’ve spent time out in the sun.

Skin Refresher Spray


4 ounces Peppermint Hydrosol

4 ounces Lavender Hydrosol

8-ounce spray bottle


Add all ingredients to the spray bottle and shake well to combine. To use: spray on the skin after being out in the heat or sun, or just anytime your skin needs a little pick me up. For best results, store the spray bottle in your fridge.

Happy Crafting!

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