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Use Emu Oil for Sunburn Relief

I spent last Sunday on my step-mom and dad’s pontoon boat, mostly relaxing, sometimes riding the SeaDoo, but mostly relaxing. In the sun.

I have this weird Irish skin that has two responses to the sun: get frecklier and burning, so no “tanning” for me. But if I get a slight burn, it will turn the non-freckled part of my skin tan after a couple days, thus making me more resistant to burning later. So my plan on Sunday was to get just a light burn, the sort that doesn’t hurt and is only pink and quickly and painlessly turns to a tan.

Bad idea.

By the time you feel like you’re starting to get to that point, it’s too late. Well, I started slathering on the 50 SPF at that point on Sunday, but my shoulders, upper arms, back, and upper legs are bright red. I stopped sunning those areas and covered them with a towel pretty quickly, but it was too late.

emu oil for sunburn

Emu by Tom Watt

I tried aloe gel with lidocaine (a topical pain reliever). I tried 3x500mg of Tylenol. I even tried one of the left-over Vicadin pills from my recent root canal. No relief. Deanna just suggested a water-vinegar bath, and someone else suggested a black-tea bath, but I hadn’t gotten around to trying either of those by the time my hair dresser Jill suggested emu oil this morning.

Oh. my. goodness.

Talk about relief! The emu oil immediately made my sunburn feel better. The bottle says it has anti-inflammatory properties, and even though I had always heard not to put oil on burns, this is definitely an exception. My hair dresser applied some, and I bought a bottle before I went into work and put some more on, and it is amazing. Jill said it’s best to apply it as soon as you get the burn, even if it’s from a curling iron or a hot pan, and I will do that next time, but even three days after the burn, the relief is undeniable.

It is a bit expensive. I bought it at Mama Jean’s, and a 2 ounce bottle is $11.60 (that’s what I bought) and the 4 ounce bottle was right around $20. However, when something works, and works this well, it’s worth the price. Just so you know, for the same price, you can get either unscented or lavender scented–I got the lavender one–and there doesn’t seem to be any difference in the effectiveness from what she used (unscented).

Emu Oil Uses

In just the brief curiosity research I have done, it seems like there are lots of emu oil uses, but most of them relate to pain relief. I had no idea? Arthritis pain? Use emu oil. Sore muscles or joints? Use emu oil. Psoriasis? Use emu oil. I don’t have many of those conditions*, but I will keep emu oil on hand in our house from now on for insect bites or that nasty winter dry skin, and I’ll pack a bottle when I go to the lake next, even if I don’t plan on “getting a light burn.” I’ve learned that lesson!


* I’m getting older—30 now—and the muscles and joints are starting to remind me that I’m no spring chicken anymore. I already use traumeel cream for running-related muscle soreness, but I think next time I’m going to see if the emu oil provides more relief.

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