That sultry summer party you’re attending this weekend is the perfect event to unveil your new strapless dress. There’s just one problem, though—your sculpted arms and legs are covered with bug bites.
While summer is the optimal time for showing off toned skin and flaunting revealing fashions, it’s the absolute worst for bug bites, sunburns, and itchy rashes. Stop skin blunders from ruining your look with any of the following skin relief treatments.
Natural bug bite prevention
Bug bite prevention is super simple. Repel mosquitoes by wearing loose-fiting clothing (the pests can bite through tight clothes) that’s light-colored (mosquitoes, similar to vampires, are drawn to dark colors. Also: bees and wasps are attracted to bright, floral prints—go figure.)
Have a lot of containers, trash bins, and other bowl-like knickknacks in your yard or on your balcony? Make certain they aren't full of water. Mosquitoes typically lay their eggs near standing water.
If you’ve done all the above and still notice a few bites after working in your garden, give this natural insect repellent a try:
Mother Earth News bug bite remedy:
- 2-teaspoons total of any of the following essential oils: basil, cedarwood, citronella, juniper, lemon, myrrh, pine, rose geranium or rosemary (available at health food stores).
- 1-cup 190-proof grain alcohol (available at liquor stores).
- Place ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously.
- Transfer to a small bottle for storage.
- To use, rub a small amount on exposed skin, though test first to make sure skin doesn't react negatively.
To fight the itchy, burn-y bite sensations immediately, give these immediate bite remedies a shot:
- Rub aloe vera leaves on stings, bites to ease burning.
- Get relief from itches by applying a few drops of lavender oil to the affected area as needed.
Homeopathic treatment for poison ivy and poison oak rashes
You reached down into your garden bed without wearing your gloves and pulled up poison ivy. Don’t let panic set in—you’ve got this. First, douse your hand in cold water or dab the affected area with rubbing alcohol. If you still develop a rash, give these home remedies a shot:
Terry Krautwurst’s “The Itch and You,” via Mother Earth News:
- “Moist compresses, soaking in cold water or taking a cold shower can temporarily ease the fiery itching.
- Jewelweed (also known as touch-me-not) is common in the eastern U.S. and has long been used to ward off rashes. If you find that you've gotten into poison ivy, grab a handful of jewelweed leaves, flowers or stems, crush them, and rub them on your skin to release the juice.
- Aloe vera gel can be squeezed from the plant of the same name or purchased in health food stores and drugstores. Aloe soothes and seems to promote healing.
- Herbal topicals (not to be consumed, but applied to a rash) such as jewelweed, plantain, oak bark (leaves or acorns), rhubarb leaves, ragweed, dock, gum plant (grindelia), garlic and goldenseal are among the more common and highly praised rash-healing herbs, according to Krautwurst.”
Other natural solutions include taking an oatmeal bath or rubbing a banana peel, aloe vera, or baking soda paste on the rash.
Natural sunburn treatment
Every year you manage to get a subtle to oh-my-gosh-I-want-to-die sunburn. It’s OK! We all occasionally fall victim to the sun. But now it’s time to face the itchy, burn-y, and gross consequences. You can:
- Sooth the sunburn by splitting aloe vera leaves and rubbing the plant’s juice on skin.
- Place chamomile extract in a bowl of cool water. Dab on affected areas. Or draw a chamomile bath and soak in the cool water.
- Make a baking soda bath with cool water.
Home remedy for scrapped up or itching skin
Our herbal, Make Your Own Garden-Grown Heal-Almost-Anything Herbal Bomb Balm, which we've highlighted in the past soothes irritated skin and actually works! It’s filled with natural herbs and organic ingredients. Follow the simple instructions here and make a few batches before you leave town for your mid-summer camping trip.