Essential Oil Cooling Spray for Summer

Peppermint and Aloe Cooling Spray for Summer

It might just be that I’m spending a lot of time outdoors with my kids and usually holding one of them, 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 time for the sprinkler running, slip and sliding, hiking and zip-lines, so outside it is.

A Cooling Spray

A few weeks ago when we took 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.

I realized that the witch hazel and the peppermint essential oil were both naturally cooling and was surprised how refreshing it was.

I decided to make a spray that would just be cooling and refreshing for times when I wanted to cool off without smelling like a citronella candle…. the result was this cooling spray, and I’ve found that it also 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 are beneficial to the skin:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 uses 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 is what makes it beneficial for hemorrhoids and also for cooling the body.
  3. Peppermint Essential oil– (and optional lavender)- These can actually be left out, especially for pregnant women or small children, as peppermint oil use can be controversial. The witch hazel alone can be cooling, but the peppermint adds extra cooling power. If you do use peppermint, it is important to only use the small amount recommended as too much peppermint or menthol can be quite uncomfortable (remind me to tell you about the time I rubbed biofreeze on my entire body to try to stop the achiness from the flu…disaster). Most aromatherapists would say that in this small concentration, peppermint is generally considered safe for general use, 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 could also infuse dried or fresh peppermint leaf into the witch hazel for a week or so before making this spray. 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.

Cooling Spray Ingredients

  • 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 (and 10 drops of lavender essential oil, optional)

Cooling Spray Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a glass spray bottle.
  2. Shake or stir until well mixed and blended.
  3. Spray as needed to help cool off in the summer or on bug bites or sunburn.

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?

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Reader Comments

  1. try using mint hydrosol instead of the essential oil, it is safer and it is cooling
    i keep it with me to spray on my dog and myself

  2. how young can children be before the peppermint is safe? Also, I’m nursing my two and a half year old still and I sometimes use peppermint EO in my homemade toothpaste. Is that safe enough?

  3. I have used rose water and peppermint oil in a spray for cooling. I will definitely try this one. As a woman who is in perimenopause these sprays are excellent for the hot flashes when you need to cool off quick. I keep one in my purse at all times so I am ready when one comes on.

  4. Not related, but can you recommend a good brand of glass dinnerware that is toxic free? Thanks!

  5. I use a combination of peppermint, spearmint and tangerine oils, which adds an uplifting boost! I also keep my spray in the fridge!

    • We have a long patch of spearmint in the backyard and when I cut grass and pass by it, it’s so refreshing just to smell it on a hot, humid day! Thanks for the tip! I plan on making the spray also!

  6. Can you use natural Aloe Vera straight from the plant?
    if so how much?

  7. We here in Oregon are having record highs: 104*, 107*, etc. !
    It has been horrible for me. I deliver mail! My own vehicle’s A/C is not working, which, even though I drive with my window down, does help quite a bit if I angle the vents properly, but without it, has been nasty! I drive with both windows down to help with airflow, but when the AIR is 107*, it doesn’t really help! Plus, I have some gravel roads, and the dust! I drive a Jeep, and it doesn’t have power anything, so trying to reach across to roll the window up isn’t an option, either! WAAAA! LOL!!!
    This cooling spray will help a lot, I know! Wish I’d had it last week when it didn’t drop down from the 100’s all week! This week it should only be upper 80’s -90’s! Thank goodness!
    PS: I have tried hydrosols, but to me, they stink! Is that anything anyone else has noticed about them? I can smell the hint of whatever they are made from, but they have an old or moldy smell too, and I can’t seem to get past that odor!

    Thanks for all the great recipes!!

  8. Do you have a recipe using aloe vera gel to dupicate biofreeze? I have purchased this at a local farm market and would like to find the recipe to make it myself. My husband has chronic leg pain and this seems to work amazing but the way he goes through it is quite expensive! Any help would be appreciated!

    • I’ve been experimenting with one, but haven’t posted it yet. Probably will in the next month or so.

  9. Awesome, I will be waiting. The girl that is selling it said she found the recipe somewhere, but I have been unable to find it. I wonder if it might have witch hazel in it. I made the recipe with coconut oil as the base, camphor, peppermint and eucalyptus, but it didn’t have the same effect.

  10. I had a dollar store witch hazel on hand that I’ve been using up. It’s 86% witch hazel and 14% alcohol (same as the Mountain Rose Herbs one). I’ve also read that some people use Thayer’s because it’s alcohol free.
    My question is, would you recommend the MRH one over my dollar store one, if so why? And is the alcohol free one even better? TIA!

  11. Hi again, For the cooling spray, where do you buy glass spray bottles? Also, is there a substitution for witch hazel? (I don’t like applying alcohol to my skin.)

    I’ve also made a variation of the cooling spray to discourage ants from invading our bathroom with 2 T of Real Aloe Gel, 10 drops of peppermint EO, about 1/2 tsp of salt in 12 oz of water spray bottle. I’m seeing less ants and while spraying down the counter tops, tile, etc., I notice that this mixture cleans really well so I guess it’s the peppermint action! Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • Thayer’s witch hazel can be had without alcohol.

  12. Thanks! It looks like it contains aloe vera, which is fine by me. 🙂

  13. Thank you!!! I have been having hot flashed or longer than flashes lately from the mold in the house. ( I know really bad . Im doing what I can to fight it) the spray is helping though. im nice and comfy now.

  14. Have read a lot about the high quality of DoTerra EO? What is your honest opinion of their E.O?
    Seems the methodology of extracting them is scientifically acceptable.Pls. Share your opinion.

  15. Hi – thanks for the great info! One note: the aloe vera that you recommend looks like a great product, but it does contain a preservative, potassium sorbate. It’s a relatively safe preservative, but preservative nonetheless. Thanks again!

  16. what size spray bottle do you use for this cooling spray recipe? How many ounce bottle?

  17. I can’t find your recommendation for type.of spray bottles that work well with any of the sprays similar to this (bug sprays). Can you post a link to the ones you use please?

    • Currently using this type: but I’m working on a way for everyone on my email list to be able to get a glass spray bottle for things like this… should be able to email about that in about a month.

  18. I will be trying this! So hot lately, and between the car a/c not working well, and hot flashes, it gets pretty bad! I’m going to try to use aloe from my plants. Tonight! Thanks for the recipe!