Oh summer… how I love thee. With an abundance of fresh veggies at the farmer’s market (not to mention fresh peaches for cobbler) and lots of fun activities to do as a family, summer is almost perfect…
Except for the mosquitoes… or the occasional poison ivy… or an itchy peeling sunburn!
Of course, homemade bug spray helps ward off most of the mosquitoes, and homemade sunscreen helps avoid the sunburn in the first place. Still, it seems that at some point someone forgets one or the other and ends up with itchy, irritated skin.
I always seem to be a magnet for mosquitoes, so even just a couple minutes of cutting the boys’ hair outside or taking out the trash is usually enough to leave me with a few bites.
Homemade Anti-Itch Spray
This anti-itch spray contains a mixture of potent natural remedies that help eliminate itch immediately. I’ve tried it on mosquito bites, poison ivy, sunburn, chigger bites, and even stinging nettle burns with good results.
The secret ingredient is menthol crystals. I use these potent natural crystals in my pain relief lotion bars and my soothing shower melts for cold relief. Menthol is naturally cooling and soothing and is often used in salves, balms, mouthwashes, liniments, lozenges, and other remedies.
I make this in a 4-ounce spray bottle, but you could easily double the recipe or cut in half to fit your container size.
Anti-Itch Spray Ingredients
- 1/4 cup natural witch hazel extract
- 1 tsp natural salt
- 1/2 tsp menthol crystals (approximately 1-2 crystals)
- 2 TBSP aloe vera gel
- 1 TBSP organic apple cider vinegar (optional – can use additional aloe)
- optional: 5 drops of lavender essential oil (this is my favorite brand)
- optional: 5 drops calendula essential oil
Anti-Itch Spray Instructions
- Carefully heat the witch hazel extract in a small saucepan until warm to the touch (about 130 degrees). This is to melt the menthol crystals and salt, which melt at about 115 degrees F.
- Add the salt and stir until dissolved.
- Using tweezers or gloves, add the menthol crystals to the witch hazel and stir until dissolved. Avoid touching menthol with your hands, as it can sting eyes or other sensitive areas if you touch them after.
- When menthol is dissolved and the mixture has cooled, add the aloe vera gel, apple cider vinegar, and essential oils (if using) and carefully transfer to a spray bottle for use.
Use & Storage
Spray and let dry on itchy skin as needed. This will store for months at room temperature, but I prefer to keep in the refrigerator for extra cooling of itchy skin.
Note: The essential oils can be left out for use on pregnant women or children, but I’d still recommend checking with a doctor before using if you are pregnant or have a medical condition.
Other Natural Remedies for Itchy Skin
If you don’t have all the ingredients for this anti-itch spray on hand when itchy skin strikes, there are some simple natural methods to try:
- Apply a paste of bentonite clay and water to treat itchy skin. I also use bentonite clay in my anti-itch cream (use it like calamine lotion).
- Crush peppermint leaves and rub them on bug bites for a natural menthol effect.
- Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda and water for a soothing paste.
- The Native Americans used jewel weed for its skin-soothing properties. If you don’t feel like playing naturalist and foraging for it (thus getting more poison ivy), you can buy an herbal jewel weed salve.
While the spray is my first choice when it comes to soothing an itchy bug bite, I have also been introduced to the Bug Bite Thing. Simply put the device on the bug bite itself and pull up to suction up the irritants!
Ever struggled with itchy skin? What worked for you?