It’s the time of year when we are all out enjoying the long days, patios at dusk, and hopefully any activity that ensures Mother Nature is there with us; unfortunately, mosquitoes like to crash this party.
No one likes a mosquito bite - they cause itchy, red bumps or even red, ulcerating sores! Individuals who are allergic or hypersensitive are at risk of even having their whole body become seriously infected. However, most mosquito bites will resolve on their own, in a matter of a few days - but I want to give you some advice on how to avoid them in the first place!
Certainly you can pick up an insect repellent containing DEET (which is known to repel them) but there is some literature concerning the safety of this chemical. Here at Truth Beauty, we like to opt for natural yet safe options so my go to for insect repellent is always essential oils.*
I am going to share my recipe for what I make for myself and my critters (I am meaning my twin daughters – trust me, it’s an endearing term) and not the mosquitoes that make us crazy!
2 oz of Sweet Almond oil – or some other neutral carrier oil, like Jojoba or grapeseed.
20-25 drops of Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Lavender, Clove or Mint (not 20-25 of each but TOTAL – sometimes, I like to do a blend to achieve a smell I enjoy; for example, I don’t really enjoy the smell of tea tree so I might use 5 drops of that and 20 of lemongrass).
Mix the carrier oil and the essential oil drops in a dark coloured glass. Shake it up and presto! Natural Bug Repellant. I find I only need to apply a few drops to my pressure points – the crease of my elbows, the backs of my knees, on my neck and behind my ears. No bugs seem to bother me.
To be honest, I can’t tell you the science of why these essential oils work to repel the mosquitoes but I know they do!! I have been hiking in a heavily wooded area, after a rain fall at dusk (worst time EVER if you want to avoid bites) and did not get ONE bite!!
Say some of these pesky pests do get to your lovely skin – what to do in order to speed healing and to stop the itch? (Apparently the itch is a result of leftover mosquito saliva – hence why some of these suggestions with ‘drawing out’ properties are mentioned and effective). Have you tried any of these? Which do you find to be the most effective? Leave your comments below!
1. A paste of baking soda (made with warm water) left on the bite for a few minutes should help with the itch;
2. Activated charcoal (which you can buy in a capsule form). Break one open and sprinkle the contents on your skin, cover and keep bandaged for a day;
3. Clays – used in the same way as the activated charcoal;
4. Vinegar – soak a cotton ball and apply it to the bump and keep it there until the pain subsides;
5. Of course this list contains Aloe Vera! It is such a super star for all skin injuries and issues. In this case, Aloe is very helpful for removing the heat that comes with bug bites – very soothing, almost instant relief! It will also help with the swelling and even aid in the healing of the wound;
6. Onion – as if having an itchy bug bite wasn’t bad enough – now you will smell like onions too! Oh well, all in the name of skin saving! All you need to do is take a fresh slice and place it on the bite, until the itching subsides;
7. Honey – another skin superstar with multiple uses! It will help with the swelling and honey actually possesses natural healing abilities that make it great to soothe the inflammation. Just rub the area with a little of this sweet goodness;
8. Salt. Similar to the baking soda paste, all you need to do is take a bit of finely ground salt and mix it with a bit of water until you have a thick paste – and apply it directly to the bite.
Have you tried any of these remedies? Or perhaps, you have others – if so, our readers want to know about them! Leave comments below!
If you want the easiest solution to remedy a bite, the Fig + Yarrow Healing Salve works wonders! A staple in our medicine cabinet, we use it for everything from bug bites, to callused garden hands to sunburns! We just adore multi-taskers!
Or do simply mark the spot with an X? (Is this just an old school Portuguese thing and do you even know what I am talking about?)
NOTE: If there is serious swelling, muscle cramping, breathing problems, headache, nausea, fever or fainting as a result of a bug bite, you should seek medical attention.
*(Use caution with essential oils as they should be diluted before being applied directly to skin, and be advised that some essential oils can cause skin reactions).