It might just be that I’m spending a lot of time outdoors with my kids (and usually holding the little one), but this summer has seemed unusually hot to me.
Not only has it been hot, but the humidity and heat index seem to be competing to see which can break the most records. While some days I’d rather just camp out inside (in an ice bath), summer is the time for backyard shenanigans, sprinkler-running, slip-and-slides, hiking and ziplines… so outside it is!
This DIY cooling spray feels amazing on the skin on a hot summer day and is my secret weapon for staying cool outside. Bonus: it uses only 3 ingredients I almost always have around.
Natural Cooling Spray for Skin
The idea for this spray came about when taking a break from working outside to reapply homemade bug spray and drink a gallon of water. I noticed that the bug spray left a cooling sensation on the skin and helped it seem not so hot.
Surprised at how refreshing it was, I realized that the natural properties of the witch hazel and peppermint essential oil in the spray created the cooling sensation.
I decided to make a spray for times when I wanted to cool off without smelling like a citronella candle. The result was this cooling spray which I now keep on hand during yard work, beach time, or backyard BBQs.
I’ve also found that this cooling spray works really well for helping take the “itch” out of bug bites and the burn out of sunburn.
This spray uses only three natural ingredients that benefit the skin:
- Aloe Vera – Aloe is naturally anti-inflammatory and great for skin. It is moisturizing without being oily and is perfect for those with normal or slightly oily skin. Rich in nutrients and antioxidants, it is often used in anti-aging skin products as well.
- Witch Hazel – Though I was first introduced to witch hazel after the birth of my first child, when I was given a container of round cloths soaked in witch hazel and told to use them on hemorrhoids (which I didn’t even have). Though we didn’t get off to the best start, I’ve grown to love witch hazel for its benefits in skin care and natural remedies. It is slightly antiseptic, which makes it cooling and great for skin. In fact, it is often used to remove excess oil and fight blemishes and blackheads. Its ability to shrink blood vessels and reduce inflammation makes it beneficial for hemorrhoids and also for cooling the body.
- Peppermint Essential Oil – Most aromatherapists would say that in this small concentration, peppermint is generally considered safe, but I’d definitely recommend checking with an aromatherapist or qualified practitioner before using this or any essential oil while pregnant/nursing or on small children. If you don’t feel comfortable using peppermint essential oil, you totally omit it (witch hazel is cooling on its own). You could also infuse dried or fresh peppermint leaf into the witch hazel for a week or so before making this spray for a less concentrated version. To do this, add 3 tablespoons of dried mint to a glass jar and cover with 1/2 cup of witch hazel. Cap tightly and stir daily for 1-6 weeks. Strain and use the witch hazel.
DIY Cooling Spray Recipe
A quick spritz of this super-simple cooling spray on the skin feels amazing on a hot day and makes great after-sun care as well.
- 1/4 cup aloe vera gel (natural with no added preservatives – I use this one)
- 1/4 cup witch hazel (natural with no harmful ingredients – I use this one)
- 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil
- optional, for scent and skin benefits: 10 drops of lavender essential oil)
- Combine all ingredients in a glass spray bottle. (I like this kind.)
- Shake or stir until well mixed and blended.
- Spray as needed to help cool off in the summer or on bug bites or sunburn.
Note: Keep this spray in the fridge for extra cooling power! Ahhh…
Goal: Embrace Summer While It Lasts!
I may complain about the heat from time to time (especially when it gets muggy), but don’t get me wrong… I love this season! There are so many health benefits to being outdoors, and I never regret it when I resist the urge to stay in the air conditioning and cross off some more summer bucket list items!
Has it been hot where you live? If you live on the other side of the world, can you send us some cool weather soon?