How to Soothe Bug Bites with Aloe Vera Gel and Essential Oils
An unfortunate side effect of summertime outings, bug bites can be a real drag. Though scratching provides in-the-moment relief, it only makes bites more painful in the long run and could potentially cause infection. Here’s how to skip the scratch by using our Soothing Aloe Vera Gel and essential oils to soothe inflamed skin the next time you meet a hungry mosquito.
A DIY recipe for itchy bug bites
Make your own bug bite skin soother at-home! This recipe combines Australian Gold Soothing Aloe Vera Gel and essential oils mixed into a floral and fresh blend that can be stowed away in a hiking pack or perched on a backyard table. Remember to be diligent about dilution and wash your hands after application to avoid accidentally getting any oils in your eyes or mouth.
- 1 tablespoon Soothing Aloe Vera Gel
- 3 tablespoons jojoba oil
- 5 drops peppermint essential oil
- 4 drops chamomile essential oil
- 15 drops lavender essential oil
Makes a 2-oz. jar’s worth
Combine ingredients in a 2-oz. glass jar (make sure it’s amber-coloured so that light can’t penetrate) and store at room temperature.
This recipe gets the expert seal of approval when it comes to bug bite relief. Though there hasn’t been much peer-reviewed research on mixing aloe vera gel and essential oils for their efficacy for bug bites, in particular, they all have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that make them soothing to the skin.
When properly diluted, this blend can be applied to bites multiple times a day. Apply one drop to bug bites as needed, avoiding the eye area, and washing your hands after application. You’ll want to apply it right away for best results.
How and why to dilute essential oils
Many essential oils will cause irritation when applied directly to skin, so you’ll want to dilute them in a carrier oil such as argan, jojoba, or rosehip seed first. These carrier oils are nourishing to the skin but don’t contain the same potent properties that essential oils do, making them safe to apply in high amounts. For tiny clusters of bug bites, you may use a 10% concentration blend, meaning 1 part essential oils to 9 parts carrier oil. Note that this concentration is too high to use on larger patches of skin; if you’re looking to incorporate essential oils into your everyday skin care routine, keep it below 5%.
What else you can do to soothe bites
Don’t have essential oils on hand? Chamomile tea can also be applied to bug bites for some relief, and honey, aloe, and oatmeal all have anti-itch properties too. Applying an ice cube to a new bite as soon as you see it can help prevent redness and irritation down the line. One thing that won’t help? A hot shower, so avoid those after a long and bug-filled day outside. If irritating lesions or rashes persist for days or start to spread, please consult your primary care physician.