You can make your own natural home remedy against itchiness caused by insect bites, sunburn, dry skin or allergies with just a few ingredients. This soothing DIY anti-itch lotion nourishes the skin and promotes healing.
The list of torture methods probably doesn’t include itching. But when you’re struggling with the overwhelming urge to itch you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is. Itching can drive you crazy to the point that you don’t even care about possible scars. All it takes are a few mosquito bites and once the trigger has been set off, every thought revolves around the itch. In anticipation of the next time you struggle with itching of any kind, I’ll show you how you can easily make a soothing balm at home. (No time to read? Click here to save to Pinterest.)
Causes of itching
Itching comes in many forms: There’s the classic and annoying mosquito bite because you forgot to bring or use your homemade mosquito repellent – or a few particularly stubborn beasts found the one square inch of unprotected skin. Other common causes of itchy and irritated skin include sunburn, insect bites of all kinds, allergies, dry skin and dry sweat.
And do not underestimate the psychological component. Stress can lead to itchy skin as well – or the fact that you are reading a post about a home remedy for itching… 😉
A natural home remedy against itching
While it’s unlikely that the occasional stress itching has you reach for a remedy, insect bites quickly make me looking for the tube of anti-itch ointment. Medicinal treatments for itching, such as antipruritics, certainly have their place, but using a home remedy can be your first line of defense.
I am a huge fan of giving mother nature a chance to perform before launching heavier artillery. Plant extracts are the ideal place to start because they are inexpensive and usually have little to no side effects. Rather than using tea or alcoholic extracts (like tinctures) I love using essential oils mostly out of convenience.
Being a highly concentrated form of herbal ingredients, essential oils offer natural treatment for a variety of ailments. The more I learn about them, the more I suspect that herbs might actually provide a cure for almost everything.
There is one disadvantage, though: Home remedies usually require frequent application and therefore much more patience. Unfortunately, that’s the point where I fail often…
Fortunately, this particular home remedy for itching is an exception, because it is just as practical to use as its pharmacy counterpart. Even if you’ve never made a balm yourself, the job is done in 15 minutes flat. And your itch will take care of the reminder to reapply the balm… 😉
Preparing the anti-itch balm
To produce your own homemade balm, you’ll need a few extra ingredients, which you may not yet have at home: beeswax pellets, cocoa butter, aloe vera gel and the already quite common coconut oil. Check your health food store, the drugstore or Amazon and you’ll quickly find what you need.
First, make a basic skin-care balm mixture:
- 1 tbsp (approx. 10 g) beeswax pellets
- 3 tbsp (approx. 45 g) coconut oil
- 1/2 tbsp (approx. 5 g) cocoa butter
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) aloe vera gel
Put beeswax, coconut oil, cocoa butter and aloe vera gel into a heat-resistant glass jar. Fill a pot with about 1 inch of hot water and place the glass jar in it. Heat the mixture while on low heat, stirring occasionally until everything has melted. This takes about 8-10 minutes. Alternatively, you can use your microwave: For about 3 minutes, heat the ingredients in 20-30 second intervals. The aloe vera gel does not mix with the melted oils, but with a little stirring, it is distributed quite well.
Carefully remove the glass jar from the water or microwave and stir again before adding the essential oils. I recommend using about 20 ml of the mixture (1 tbsp + 1 tsp), which is about a quarter of the total amount. Since different age groups require different dilutions, by only using part of the balm mixture you’are able to make different versions. Now add the required amount of essential oils as described in the next section. After carefully stirring, gently pour the liquid into the containers of your choice and place in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Best containers for your homemade anti-itch balm
I find re-fill deodorant sticks or lipsticks most convenient and practical (capacity of 5 ml or 15 ml each), but small metal jars or screw cap jars are also great. Ice cube molds are great for producing small lotion bars. Particularly for the treatment of larger sunburn areas, small ant-itch lotion bars are helpful, at least as long as you’re at home. If you live in hot areas, keep your anti-itch balm in the fridge. To take along, always use wide-mouth mason jars to make sure your stick doesn’t melt into your purse…
Extra tip: If you only need part of the balm mixture, simply allow the base mixture to solidify in a sealable glass jar. Whenever you’re ready to produce more, simply melt the basic balm directly in the vessel.
Age-appropriate recipes for a balm against itching
Due to the high concentration of active plant ingredients in essential oils, there are a few things to consider when using it for babies, children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. Pregnant women should only use essential oils in consultation with their midwife or doctor. In the interest of milk production, breastfeeding women should omit peppermint oil if they are not already in the weaning phase. For babies and children under 10 years the number of drops must be reduced, resulting in the following recipes:
Babies and infants (6-36 months) per 20 ml (one-quarter of the basic recipe)
- 2 drops of lavender oil
- 1 drop of tea tree oil
Children from 3-10 years per 20 ml (one-quarter of the basic recipe)
- 4 drops lavender oil
- 2 drops of tea tree oil
Children over 10 years and adults per 20 ml (one-quarter of the basic recipe)
- 8 drops lavender oil
- 4 drops of tea tree oil
- 2 drops peppermint oil
Extra tip: For a particularly soothing effect after sunburn or insect bites, it is best to keep a balm stick in the refrigerator.
Modifications and Variations
To simplify the basic mixture of the balm, skip vera gel or cocoa butter if you don’t have them and reduce the essential oils by one drop each. However, this only works with the mixture for adults as the other dilutions would require half-drops…
You can also use the paste to make other solid skin care products. If you have experience with essential oils and already know your favorite mixtures, then simply put together your own combination against dry skin. Please make sure that the concentration of essential oils for adults is in the range of 12-16 drops per 20 ml and never exceeds 20 drops.
As mentioned in my previous article, you can use the balm mixture to produce an anti-mosquito balm. Because it is applied over a large area, I recommend preparing the full amount. Empty deodorant sticks, ice cube trays, silicone molds, an empty lotion container or a wide-mouth mason jar are all great options. Adapting to 80 ml of liquid (1/3 cup minus 1 tsp), the following adjustments need to be in place for the insect repellent balm:
For adults, use 7 drops of each essential oil listed in the insect repellant recipe. For children over 3 years, use 3 drops per oil. For babies, adjust the baby-safe version t0 7 drops of each of the two essential oils.
The Simple Balance Tip
If you have no energy to start hunting down unusual ingredients and melting waxes, go for the easiest anti-itch solution: Get a roller bottle, add the essential oils and fill it up with olive oil. Depending on the size of your roller bottle, you may have to adapt the number of drops for each essential oil. I recommend using 10 ml roller bottles so you can simply half the recipes given in this post. When needed, roll over the itchy skin and allow to dry. All done!
So whether you have to fight with itchiness after a mosquito bite or you can’t stop itching due to dry skin, sunburn or allergies – with this soothing balm you’ll be equipped to fight your itch naturally. Don’t wait for the next insect bite and make sure you have a supply before a stubborn itch drives you – or a family member – up the walls. (Pin this post for later.)
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