Essential Oils for Cold Sores on Lip with DIY Recipe Blends

Essential Oils for Cold Sores on Lip with DIY Recipe Blends

Cold sores can be embarrassing because they are so visible for everyone to see. Also, the discomfort and tenderness on the delicate surface of the lip can be miserable. Looking for a quick way to get this unpleasantness off your face? Try using essential oils for cold sores on lip.

Many essential oils have antiviral and healing proprieties, making them a great option to use on cold sores. Let's look a little closer at cold sores and how essential oils can help.

What Is A Cold Sore?

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are contagious blisters or sores in the mouth area, usually on the lip. They are caused by a common virus, herpes simplex virus (HSV). Here are the symptoms:

  • Itching, tingling or burning sensation at the location
  • Small fluid-filled blisters
  • Oozing and crusting of blister

The first eruption usually lasts the longest, approximately two weeks. Subsequent flare-ups may last around one week.

Quick Tip: A quick tip to ease the tenderness and burning is to apply an ice cube to the blister and let it numb the area so you can get fast relief. You can also take a preventative approach and keep your immune system strong using echinacea tea. Here is a good immune-boosting tea with elderberry included.

Cold Sore Essential Oils with DIY Recipes and Blends by Loving Essential Oils

Essential Oils for Cold Sores

Here are the top 8 cold sore essential oils:

1. Lemon Balm Essential Oil (aka Melissa)

  • Lemon balm is a calming and soothing oil that can assist with stress and tension which may be a trigger for a cold sore outbreak.
  • Powerful antiviral oil that is safe to use on the skin.
  • Lemon balm has been shown to be effective as an antiviral on the herpes virus according to this study, here is a snippet: "Considering the lipophilic nature of lemon balm essential oil, which enables it to penetrate the skin, and a high selectivity index, Melissa officinalis oil might be suitable for topical treatment of herpetic infections."
  • Read more: Melissa Spotlight

2. Tea Tree Essential Oil

  • Tea tree is a well-known oil with powerful anti-viral, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties.
  • A great oil to use to aid the skin's healing process once the painful blister has broken open.

3. Lemon Essential Oil

  • Lemons have long been known for their cleansing and medicinal properties.
  • Don't forget that lemon is a phototoxic essential oil, so be sure to use them in the evening or avoid sun exposure after application.

4. Peppermint Essential Oil

  • Peppermint oil was found to be effective in this study at inhibiting the herpes virus, stating "peppermint oil might be suitable for topical therapeutic use as virucidal agent in recurrent herpes infection".
  • The cooling action of peppermint, plus the taste and scent make it a winning choice.

5. Lavender Essential Oil

  • Lavender oil is am amazing skin healer that can be used for a variety of ailments.
  • It also has pain-relieving properties to help reduce the pain that is associated with cold sores.
  • The calming scent of lavender oil is very appealing to many. Pair lavender with strong antiviral oils like clove or lemon balm. I also like to use it with tea tree.
  • Read more: Lavender Spotlight

6. Eucalyptus Radiata Essential Oil

  • Due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, eucalyptus oil can reduce the severity of a cold sore.
  • Some people say that eucalyptus oil has a calming scent and a soothing sensation on the skin when it’s applied.
  • Read more: Eucalyptus Spotlight

7. Clove Essential Oil

  • Clove is an analgesic oil (pain reliever), it also has numbing action that can soothe the painful burning, tingling sensation that is commonly felt.
  • Diluting clove oil with a carrier oil to prevent skin irritation is best. This oil is really strong and very little is needed to be effective, one drop is usually enough. 
  • Read more: Clove Spotlight

8. Chamomile Essential Oil

  • This soothing and comforting oil is very gentle. Combine chamomile oil with other essential oils or dilute with a carrier oil before applying on your body.
  • Either type can be used for cold sores, either Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) or German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla).

Carrier Oil for Cold Sores

When using essential oils as a natural remedy for cold sores, it’s important to keep in mind that essential oils are extremely concentrated plant extracts. Without proper dilution, you risk stinging or burning at the site of application. That is why it is best to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil. Here are my two favorite carriers to use with cold sore essential oils.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel is frequently used to assist with skin conditions like sunburns, infections, injuries, and burns. It has soothing and healing properties that can ease the discomfort and speed the healing process of a cold sore. Make sure you buy the gel and NOT the jelly. Here is the brand I like to use.

Virgin Coconut Oil (Unrefined)

Coconut oil is a popular carrier oil that contains medium-chain triglycerides. This oil is very moisturizing and soothing to lip sores. Virgin coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can aid in swelling reduction and improve skin healing. Here is the brand I like, it is organic and unrefined.

I find that the lovely coconut flavor makes it a perfect carrier oil to use on lips because it has a pleasant taste if a little oil gets into your mouth. It also absorbs fairly quickly which is a plus too!

How to use Essential Oils for Cold Sores by Loving Essential Oils

8 Best Essential Oil Blends for Cold Sores

Essential oils can be applied topically or inhaled. When you use essential oils on a cold sore, it is best to apply the oil blends and recipes directly to the area that has the blister or sore, commonly on the lip.

I do share a diffuser blend below because I find it helpful for overall wellness when dealing with physical and emotional ailments. It is not meant as a treatment for it.

Here are some blends and recipes to naturally treat cold sores with essential oils.

1. Cold Sore Essential Oil Blend

Directions: Add ingredients to small lip balm jar, stir to blend together in. Place a small dab onto the affected area. To avoid contamination, apply with a clean cotton swab each time. 5% dilution.

2. Cold Sore Essential Oil Recipe

Directions: Add ingredients to a roller bottle, shake to mix in. Roll onto the affected area. When using a roller bottle for cold sores, it's best that once the sore goes away you will want to discard the rest of this blend to avoid spreading virus back to you. 2-5% dilution.

3. Sore No More Blend

Directions: Add ingredients to small lip balm jar, stir to mix in. With a clean cotton swab, apply a small amount onto the affected area. 5% dilution.

4. Fever Blister Blend

Directions: Add ingredients to small lip balm jar, stir to mix in. With a clean cotton swab, apply a small amount onto the affected area. 5% dilution.

5. Supportive Cold Sore Diffuser Blend

    • 3 drops Lemon essential oil
    • 2 drops Tea Tree oil
    • 2 drops Lemon Balm oil
    • 1 drop Frankincense essential oil
    • Aromatherapy Diffuser

Directions: Add drops of essential oil to a diffuser, fill the water tank with the recommended amount. Turn on and enjoy! Remember this is not a cold sore treatment, but a supportive blend for overall wellness.

Supportive Essential Oil Diffuser Blend for Cold Sores by Loving Essential Oils

6. Cold Sore Balm

Directions: Add ingredients to small lip balm jar, stir to mix in. Place a small dab onto the affected area. Use on the sore as needed. To avoid contamination, apply with a clean cotton swab each time. You can make balms for cold sores to use as needed. This recipe will last as long as the ingredients, assuming it is kept in a cool, dark area in a colored glass jar. The expiration date can be determined by the closest expiration date of the ingredients used. 3% dilution.

7. Cold Sore Salve

You can make salves for cold sores ahead of time to use as needed. The tea tree oil and lemon balm essential oil can reduce the healing time of a cold sore. They can also reduce the frequency of outbreaks.

Directions: Blend the essential oils into the melted coconut oil. Pour into a small balm container and allow it to harden. Dab on the sore three times a day as needed. To avoid contamination, apply with a clean cotton swab each time. 3% dilution.

8. Prevention Lip Balm Blend

If you are prone to fever blister breakouts, try dabbing the following blend on lips each night.

Directions: Add the melted coconut oil to a small glass jar. Mix the oil blend into the melted coconut oil and allow it to harden. Using a clean cotton swab, dab balm onto the sore several times throughout the day as needed. 5% dilution.

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Cold Sore Essential Oil Recipes and Blends by Loving Essential Oils

Jennifer Lane - Certified Aromatherapist

BIO: Owner and founder of Loving Essential Oils. I am a Registered Nurse and Certified Aromatherapist that loves to look toward essential oils and aromatherapy for all natural physical, emotional and spiritual support. I love creating and sharing DIY Essential Oil Recipes & Blends. Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your essential oil journey!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information provided here is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease, nor is it a substitute for medical advice. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Post may include affiliate links. See full disclaimer.