Homemade Anti-Itch Cream (Like Calamine Lotion)

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Homemade Anti-Itch Cream - Like Calamine Lotion
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With kids, skin irritations are a fact of life… especially during the summer when things like mosquito bites, poison ivy, and other insect bites can cause skin problems.

Don’t let the lack of pink fool you… this homemade natural anti-itch cream is an excellent DIY replacement for calamine lotion and works in a similar way to relieve skin irritations and itching. It contains all natural ingredients and can be mixed as needed for a soothing and effective remedy.

How to Make Your Own Anti-Itch Cream

If you already make some of your own natural remedies, you probably have bentonite clay, witch hazel, essential oils, and baking soda on hand. If not, I encourage you to build up a small stash of these items because you can make so many money-saving remedies that are just as effective as the ones you find in the store.

To take this anti-itch cream to the next level (and maybe make your own sunscreen while you’re at it!), you can add non-nano zinc oxide powder to this recipe. This isn’t something everyone has around, so feel free to skip it if needed. You’ll still get a great itch-soothing effect courtesy of the bentonite clay.

Longer-Lasting Option:

If you’d prefer not to have to make a small amount that must be used within two weeks, you can make a larger batch by mixing double or triple quantities of the dry ingredients and adding to the wet ingredients as needed for use. (Of course, if you’re using it for the dreaded poison ivy rash, you may want to make the large batch all at once!)

I store the pre-mixed powder in an empty spice container or small tin. When needed, I simply shake the powder out into a small bowl and mix it with witch hazel right before I need to use it.


Homemade Anti-Itch Cream - Like Calamine Lotion
3.16 from 143 votes

Anti-Itch Cream Recipe

Make an all-natural anti-itch cream for rashes and bug bites with ingredients like baking soda, bentonite clay, witch hazel, and peppermint essential oil.
Prep Time5 minutes
Author: Katie Wells



  • In a small bowl or jar, mix together the zinc oxide, sea salt, baking soda, and bentonite clay.
  • Slowly stir in the witch hazel (or water) until it reaches a creamy consistency.
  • Mix in the essential oil and preservative if using.


Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge and use within two weeks (one week if using water in place of witch hazel).
The recommended preservative is broad-spectrum, all natural, and used at a 4% rate. It’s only necessary if you’re not mixing up the dry powder with liquid right before use. 

Other Useful Soothing Skin Remedies

This article was medically reviewed by Jessica Meyers, MPAP, PA-C, RH(AHG), who specializes in herbal protocols and functional medicine. You can also find Jessica on Instagram. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

Ever have skin irritation? What has helped you? Share below!

This easy homemade anti-itch cream recipe works like calamine lotion but uses all natural soothing ingredients for DIY natural itch relief.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


120 responses to “Homemade Anti-Itch Cream (Like Calamine Lotion)”

  1. Brianna Franzese Avatar
    Brianna Franzese

    Thanks for this. I reacted pretty bad to some bites I got the other day and this helped me not rip my skin off.

  2. Sarah Avatar

    Hi! I’m excited to try this, do you know if it can be used long term or every day? I have chronic itchy skin and doctors can’t seem to find a solution besides steroid creams, wondering if these ingredients are safe for long term use. Thanks!

  3. Judy Avatar

    Could this last longer in the refrigerator? What ingredient makes it perishable? Thank you. It is great!!

  4. Alicia Avatar

    Hi Katie – I wrote a long post but not sure it sent.

    Here’s the readers digest version:

    1. Your work is amazing – love this site, the blog, the podcasts, the cookbook. Thank you sooo much!
    2. I think my 3 year old might be allergic to our new rescue and I am devastated. Will this cream work on her crazy hives ?
    3. Do you think kids grow out of allergies ?

    Thank you again for everything!!!


    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      Thanks for your kind words. I wouldn’t hurt to try and see. My son grew out of his dairy allergy after we put him on full the full GAPS diet for over 6 months, so there is definitely hope!

  5. Melissa Avatar

    Can I mix almond oil or another type of oil instead of the water/witch hazel? I’m trying to figure out how to make this last longer than 2 weeks.

  6. brandy Avatar

    I made it with air dry clay, water, baking soda, and salt and it is working

  7. Sailaja Avatar

    My 6 months baby is having eczema. Can this be applied on her skin?

  8. Glori Avatar

    Hope to try this soon! Thanks for the great recipes! ?

    Glori from Lancaster, PA

    Ps…Not sure where you are from, but we have chicken pox right now if you want to meet up and pass around the lolly pops! Lol!

  9. Lauren Avatar

    I don’t know if this has been answered yet but how long does this keep for in a mason type jar? Should it be refrigerated or does that not matter?

  10. Wylie C. Avatar

    I’ve had good luck spraying chigger “bites” with good old fashioned amber Listerine antiseptic and when it’s not handy, straight witch hazel works well until I can get to a good homemade anti itch cream on the bites. Until I learned about the true hazards of commercial ladies’ underarm deodorants, I used one of those on the bites. It worked well although it took longer, and it washed off in the shower.

  11. Denise D Avatar
    Denise D

    I was searching for a natural remedy for the terrible rash (so itchy & red) that my natural deodorant has caused. It was caused by the baking soda, so this recipe would make it worse.
    What could I use to heal and sooth this rash? Had the rash for 8 days, haven’t used baking soda in those 8 days, but the rash is not clearing up AT ALL (maybe getting worse).

  12. Michelle Avatar

    I love your post and recipes. I do have a cautionary comment on the zinc oxide for the sunscreen.
    I read of a homeopathic store owner who sent several different samples of her DIY sunscreen to the lab for testing before it was offered to the public. The expected UV rating was extremely low compared to what she expected. Apparently, the zinc oxide tends to bond to itself and ends up leaving “voids” in the lotion, allowing exposure to UV rays.

    I read this article because I made the sunscreen recipe in your post and both me and my granddaughter burned as if we weren’t wearing anything.

  13. Stuart Avatar

    Hi, good tip about bentonite clay and its ability to draw out heavy metals!
    Heres an alternative recipe,
    Calendula infused oil,
    Teatree oil
    Vitamin e,
    Aloe Vera,
    Lemon eucalyptus,
    Just a base design, from there you could also include bentonite clay and others,
    Peppermint is used to sooth the itch, Aloe or teatree will work with less sensation, also teatree, beeswax and other oils are natural preservatives. If your keen also mix in a bit of honey into mix.
    Also this one will asorb except for clays.
    Macadamia oil is a good oil to infuse the calendula but be wary of ppl with nut allergies or if you have one.

  14. Laurie Avatar

    Oops be sure to update your post by cautioning people to use only plastic, wood, glass or ceramic utensils, measuring devices and storage containers as bentonite clay pulls toxic heavy metals from metal utensils (ex. mercury, aluminum, etc.) and it will contaminate their anti-itch cream.
    Bentonite clay is a wonderful choice of ingredient for this cream as bentonite clay has a very strong negative ionic charge. This negative ionic charge attracts things that have a positive charge, such as heavy metals, toxins, harmful bacteria, pesticides, and other pathogens. By divine design, bentonite clay does not attach to anything beneficial in or on the body.

    1. Laurie Avatar

      Again thank you so much for posting this as I have eczema and recently found some other supplements to take for detoxing of fluoride and to my surprise that my eczema has been going away and my skin is healing. The eczema was chronic and I was on a toxic an oral prescription medication for the last three years. I wanted so much to get off the medication but if I would miss a dosage within a couple days I would get a severe flair up of eczema and the rashes, dry cracked bleeding skin never would completely clear up. The medication just made it manageable. I was also periodically using a prescription steroidal cream on top of that when I would get a flair up. Since taking fulvic acid and treating my water (city) with filters on my faucets and shower and the drinking water with boron to eliminate the fluoride my eczema has been clearing and I took myself off the Rx about a month ago. My body has just kept healing quickly from the eczema. I have one rash on my wrist that has been more problematic then the other areas. It is healing but is the last area to do so and once in a while it is a little itchy. I don’t want to use the steroidal cream as I am trying to detox these substances out of my body and blood stream. I very seldom get an itchy spell anymore but once in a while on my wrist so I was glad to find your recipe and wow it was an instant relief. Thank you so much!

    2. Greg Poirier Avatar
      Greg Poirier

      This sounds like a fantastic recommendation,,,,,,,i mean really ,,how can anybody automatically know every single precaution in life,,, if they have never experienced or heard of the RIGHT THING TO DO ! ! ! ya know ?

      So the key to good health I believe, is being as well informed as you could ever possibly be. So never be afraid to ask questions,,,,because the more questions you ask, the more educated you will become 🙂 No question is ever – is considered a stupid or dumb question – is it ? NO IT ISN’T 🙂 Education and information is the key 🙂

  15. Christina Avatar

    You’d be amazed at how much a hot moist wash cloth can relieve itch. It’s my fall back for any skin condition (bug bite, rashes, infected scratches, inflamed nipples from breast feeding, swollen eyes, pink eye)…

    The other day the doctor recommended some zinc ointment for red spots on my daughters skin. I rubbed it on her back. What a MISTAKE. She was itching like horrible the next day. She scratched so much, her skin was red and inflamed, most likely from bacteria (she has really dry skin). So before bed, I wet a large cotton wash cloth, rung out all the water possible, folded it and placed it in the microwave for 25 seconds. It needs to be uncomfortably HOT (but not enough to burn). I tested on my skin first, and then placed it on her back. She didn’t like it at first (it will obviously feel a lot hotter on red skin) but then got used to it. I usually repeat, but since it was late, I only did it once. She slept well. The next day the swelling was gone, and the red spots had darkened (which means the skin was healing and the bacteria was dead).

    Now any time someone has swelling, bumps, etc… my kids recommend a hot wash cloth, lol.

  16. Matt Avatar

    How many ounzes does this yield.

    For concerns about age of children for 6+ months I’ve learned that, first, peppermint EO is too strong for not mature skin so lavender is a good one. Second, you’ll need to put 3-5 drops of EO per ounze yielded, or .5%. For a one year old that has some skin stuff I’m making a batch with 3 drips lavender and 1 drop peppermint (or spearmint).

    Love reading these comments and I’m going to apply on a small area with baking soda and Luke warm water nearby just in case the combination has the same reaction that it had for Allie and her child.

    Any advice on any of the things I’m saying is would be appreciated

  17. Kim Avatar

    For the long lasting recipe, do you add the EO (&witch hazel) when you’re ready to use? Or do you add the EO to the dry ingredients?

    If you add it when ready to use, how do I gauge how many drops?

    Thanks for all the AMAZING work you do!!!

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