Bug bites and stings are an inevitable part of summer. Despite using bug-repelling plants, citronella candles and swatting away pesky mosquitoes, I can’t seem to avoid the itchy bites! This 100% natural bug bite balm, made with a few simple ingredients, provides soothing relief for the redness and swelling.
And it doesn’t sting like other bug bite remedies, which is a huge bonus. Oh, and did I mention, it also smells wonderful!
How to Soothe Bug Bites Naturally
For this balm, I chose ingredients based on how well they take the sting out of bug bites. If you have children (or even if you don’t), you know how impossible it can be to get them to stop. itching. those. nasty. bites.
It’s all they want to do! So it’s important to choose essential oils and butters that have been shown to soothe inflammation, calm the fire and get rid of the itch.
Here are my go-to ingredients whenever I make my own soothing bug bite balm:
Calendula – Not only is calendula super soothing, it’s also a major anti-inflammatory that’s been used for centuries to treat open wounds that just won’t seem to heal. To save time, you can buy calendula oil at the store, but we recommend making your own fresh calendula oil for maximum skin-soothing benefits, if you have the time.
Tea tree oil – Tea tree essential oil is known for its anti-pain, anti-swelling, and anti-itching qualities. It’s also antibacterial and antifungal so it should help keep those annoying bug bites from getting infected. [source]
Lavender oil – Lavender has soothing pain-relieving qualities that quickly take the pain and itch out of bites.
Beeswax – All-natural beeswax provides healing and moisturizing properties. Plus, it gives this bug bite balm a solid, balm-y consistency. If you’re vegan or would prefer to use a cheaper alternative, you can use natural candelilla wax in place of beeswax.
Shea butter – Often used as a natural body lotion, shea butter contains multiple moisturizers and has a high vitamin A content.
Avocado oil – Avocado oil moisturizes the skin, reduces age spots and has a thick, soothing consistency that I love.
How to Make a DIY Bug Bite Balm
This recipe is pretty versatile. While the ingredients are tried and tested in my home, they’re not the only ones you can use. It’s pretty hard to mess this up, so feel free to test out a combination of different oils until you find something that works for you.
- 2 tablespoons pure shea butter
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 ounce pure beeswax
- 1 teaspoon calendula oil
- 5-10 drops lavender oil
- 5-10 drops tea tree oil
To get started, melt all of the ingredients in a small pan over low heat. The mixture will be very hot, so be careful!
It needs to be hot enough to melt the wax so that the other ingredients can be combined properly. It does set quickly once it’s off the heat, so you’ll want to work fast.
Pour the melted oils into a small glass jar and let cool for several hours or overnight.
(I prefer to use several small jars that are easy to toss in my bag or keep in the medicine cabinet, but your bug bite balm can easily be poured into an empty lip balm tube for hands-free application.)
And that’s it! This recipe makes a pretty solid bug bite balm that won’t melt in the heat of the summer. If you prefer a softer cream use half as much beeswax. It makes about 5 ounces of balm, which should last one person the entire summer.
Bug Balm FAQ
Can this bug bite balm be used as a lip balm?
Sure, I don’t see why not! You can also use it to moisturize dry hair or soften parched skin after spending time in the sun.
Will this go bad or get moldy after a while?
Since we don’t use any liquid or food-based ingredients in this recipe, it shouldn’t. But oils can still go rancid after a while, so keep an eye out for weird smells or a change in consistency.
Can I add peppermint oil to this?
Yes, peppermint oil is wonderful at soothing itchy, irritated skin. It’s incredibly strong, though, so only add 2-3 drops at most.
Is calendula oil the same as calendula essential oil?
No, when we say “calendula oil”, we’re referring to a carrier oil, such as olive or jojoba, that has been infused with calendula, like the process here.
Do you have any recipes for natural bug repellant?
Of course we do! This one is an all-time favorite.
Is one ounce of beeswax measured by weight or by volume?
It’s measured by weight. An ounce of solid beeswax is approximately 2 tablespoons melted.
What else can I use besides lavender essential oil?
Chamomile, peppermint, and rose geranium are all soothing oils that can help take the itch out of bug bites.
What can I use in place of the avocado oil?
Any neutral carrier oil will work, but you can try olive, coconut, jojoba or almond oil.
All-Natural Bug Bite and Sting Balm
- One 4-ounce jar or several smaller containers
- In a small pan, melt shea butter, avocado oil, and beeswax. Stir well.
- Remove from heat and stir in calendula, lavender, and tea tree oils.
- Let cool slightly, then pour into small jars or lip balm containers. Let cool completely.