It might just be that I’m spending a lot of time outdoors with my kids, 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 (maybe 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.
How to Make Anti-Itch DIY Cooling Spray
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. It never hurts though to check with an aromatherapist or qualified practitioner before using this or any essential oil while pregnant/nursing or on small children. Omit it if in doubt. 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
- ¼ cup aloe vera gel
- ¼ cup witch hazel
- 2-3 drops peppermint essential oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
- 1 tsp Leucidal complete optional
- Combine all ingredients in a glass spray bottle.
- Shake or stir until well mixed and blended.
- Spray as needed to help cool off in the summer or on bug bites or sunburn.
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!
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.
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?
Discussion (38 Comments)
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!
FYI, the one linked in the recipe has phenoxyethanol. If you’re wanting to avoid that ingredient, your DT is great.
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.
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.
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!!
Hi you may want to read today’s article she has a great recipe for a cooling spray on there . And it sounds wonderful . Good luck
Can you use natural Aloe Vera straight from the plant?
if so how much?
Katie - Wellness Mama
I haven’t tried…
You can, actually! Asian families do that a lot; I have an aloe vera plant in my backyard. Just cut off a bit (an inch or so) from one of the leaves, and some wet stuff will come oozing out. Just apply that to whatever area on your body needs it (not sure how you’d use it to make this, though…) and once the wet stuff is gone cut off a bit more and repeat
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!
Not related, but can you recommend a good brand of glass dinnerware that is toxic free? Thanks!
Katie - Wellness Mama
We use Corelle all white without a pattern. It ranked safest on the reports I’ve seen for no/low levels of lead or other toxins https://www.amazon.com/Corelle-Livingware-16-Piece-Dinnerware-Service/dp/B0000DASUA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=wellnessmama-20&linkId=b8fb3c357f187720a94611c0169589c4&language=en_US
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.
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?
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