Now that summer is upon us, so is the heat and humidity. And so, this leaves us more and more susceptible to stings, bites, and irritations from summertime vermin.

Here are our top do-it-yourself ways with all natural ingredients for relieving bites, stings, and other summer skin irritations!

Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the most versatile household remedies, and is a fast acting itch-reliever that’s easy to use. Just mix about 1 tablespoon of baking soda with just enough water to form a paste, then apply directly to the skin. If you’re covered in bites, add about 1/4 cup baking soda to warm bath water and soak for twenty minutes, then rinse. 

Lavender or Peppermint Essential Oil

Essential oils such as lavender and peppermint can neutralize the irritation and reduce inflammation. Use the baking soda mixture above and add a few drops, or apply a few drops directly to the irritation.

Cold Cucumber

Cucumber stays cold and can help keep your skin even cooler, helping reduce swelling (bags under the eyes, anyone?) It works for puffy bites and provides cool relief.

Clay

Clay helps soothe itchy skin and stings. If you can’t find it (or can’t be bothered to dig it up) in your backyard, head over to the local health store or pharmacy, many of which carry it. Be sure to choose a darker clay, which contains higher mineral content and are more effective. Use the same way you would baking soda, making a paste and, if desired, adding a drop of essential oil.

Chamomile

Chamomile can help calm rashes and soothe wounds. The anti-inflammatory powerhouse inhibits oxidative stress that is caused from sun damage or irritated skin. To use, put a chamomile tea bag in 8 ounces of boiling water. Cool completely. Transfer to a spray bottle and spritz on your skin as needed. You can also make a compress by soaking a clean cloth in the mixture.

Mashed Papaya

The enzyme papain is found in abundance in papaya and when applied topically, it breaks down the proteins that cause itching.

Oatmeal

A simple way to ease the itch? Look no further than your breakfast. Just spread cooked oatmeal on the affected area.

Aloe

Best for burns, scratches, and bites, aloe creates a protective barrier on the skin that keeps it moist and promotes healing, as well as reduces inflammation. It is recommended to use it straight from the plant, because it doesn’t contain any extra additives.

Natural Bug Sprays

To avoid this mess, consider using an all-natural homemade bug spray, free of the chemicals in the storebought versions. Make a spray by diluting 20 drops of essential oil with 1 cup of grapeseed oil and 1 1/2 cups of  water. Shake well each time before you use it. Use cinnamon or turmeric oil for black flies, catnip or thyme oil for mosquitoes, and lemon and eucalyptus for ticks.


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