We may be welcoming spring and summer with open arms, but it’s important to protect those same arms from the pests and effects that accompany these seasons. During spring, bugs fly about looking for skin to feast on, and once summer starts, the sun’s rays find their way past the layers of sunscreen. Try these natural remedies made with essential oils and other items found in your home to protect and treat your children when the elements are out to get you.

Save Your Skin This Season | DIY on a Dime |May/June 2015 | Raise Magazine

DIY BURN CREAM

No matter how hard you try to prevent sunburns, your children are bound to end up with red skin during the long summer months. We’re sharing two natural solutions to treat and soothe those burns with ingredients you have in your home.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 T of witch hazel
  • 1 tsp. of aloe vera gel
  • 2-4 tsp. of baking soda or cornstarch
  • 1-2 C of fresh mint leaves, or 1 tsp. of peppermint oil
  • 2 T fresh, clean, water

DIRECTIONS:

Mix together 2 tablespoons of fresh water, 1 tablespoon of witch hazel, and 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel in a small bowl. Cover the mixture, allowing it to blend and infuse for 2 hours. After 2 hours, add 2-4 teaspoons of baking soda or cornstarch, and 1-2 cups of roughly chopped fresh mint leaves. Add more baking soda or cornstarch slowly if it appears to be runny. If it’s too thick, add small amounts of water slowly until desired consistency is reached. Transfer to a jar or similar container with a tight fitting lid, and store in a cool dark place for 24 hours to let the cream fully infuse. You can then apply as needed. Store the cream in your fridge for cool, lasting effects.

Save Your Skin This Season | DIY on a Dime |May/June 2015 | Raise Magazine

MINT & GREEN TEA RELIEF

Both mint and tea not only benefit the inside of our bodies, but can be used to naturally soothe and cool our sunburns. In green tea specifically, the tannic acid and Theobromine helps relieve pain and heal damaged skin when applied topically.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 qt. of boiling water
  • 5 green tea bags (remove strings and tags)
  • 3 C of fresh mint leaves
  • Cotton pads or a soft cloth

DIRECTIONS:

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Add the 5 tea bags and 3 cups of fresh mint leaves to a pan. Pour the boiling water over the mint leaves and tea bags and cover with a lid, letting it sit for approximately an hour. Strain and chill. When the mixture has chilled thoroughly, soak cotton pads or a clean soft cloth in the liquid and apply directly to the burn. You can also pour it over the burn if you wish. If you don’t have green tea readily available, you can substitute black tea.

Save Your Skin This Season | DIY on a Dime |May/June 2015 | Raise Magazine

“DON’T LET THE BUGS BITE” SPRAY

Creepy crawlers and freaky flyers are on the lookout, so make sure you’re prepared before they bite. Bring a mixture of this essential oil bug repellent spray with you the next time you go camping or hiking, and your kids won’t be itching and scratching the whole ride home.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Witch hazel
  • Distilled water
  • Mixture of essential oils: Citrusy and minty scents typically work best. Try a mixture of rosemary, thyme, mint, cedar, lavender, catnip, citronella, tea tree, or lemongrass.
  • 1/2 tsp. vegetable glycerin (helps bug spray stay on skin)

DIRECTIONS:

Fill an 8-oz glass spray bottle halfway with distilled water, then fill almost to the top with witch hazel. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin, but if you don’t have glycerin, it will still work without it. Add in the mixture of essential oils — about 25-50 drops. The more drops you add, the more effective the spray will be. Screw on the top. Shake. You’ve got your bug spray.