Itchy skin can be so annoying, with inflammation to include swelling, heat, redness and even pain. If continued scratching occurs, it can make problems worse and cause infection. When summer is around the corner, anything from insect bites from those pesky mosquitoes, poison ivy, poison oak and irritation from the chlorine in pools can cause dry itchy skin, especially for the kids! And we are all familiar with that sunburn itch.
So while it’s best to prevent sunburn all together by using sunscreen, this DIY anti-itch cream can provide some effective itch relief.
And while there are many hydrocortisone creams and antihistamines such as Benadryl on the shelves, I recommend avoiding unnecessary chemicals, especially when there is an easy home remedy for itching at your fingertips. Also, some of these products can have side effects such as sleepiness, fatigue, dizziness, headache and dry mouth.
So let’s get our ingredients together and make our very own DIY anti-itch cream. Using a double boiler or a heat-safe bowl that can sit in a pot with about 2 inches of water, melt the coconut oil and shea butter over low to medium heat. Then add the dried calendula. Place a lid on top allowing the heat to infuse the calendula for about 20 minutes.
Coconut oil has amazing antibacterial properties while providing moisturization to the irritated skin. Shea butter simply can’t be beat for its ability to repair the skin with it’s high nutrient-dense vitamin E and vitamin A content. Calendula is a pretty phenomenal herb that helps speed up recovery of wounds and irritated skin by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the infected area.
It’s time to separate the herbs from the oil. Simply strain the oil using a fine mesh sieve like a cheesecloth and discard the calendula. Next, wipe down the double boiler so that you can use it again by placing the infused oil back into it. Return the heat to low/medium and add the honey or beeswax. Honey or beeswax are great additions helping to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Stir until well blended.
Remove from heat and add the baking soda, bentonite clay, witch hazel and apple cider vinegar to the mixture. Continue stirring. It will start to resemble mud. These four ingredients are important because they help draw out the impurities. Bentonite clay benefits your body by helping to expel many of these toxins (thus as part of a heavy metal detox) and can increase immunity and reduce inflammation. (1)
Apple cider vinegar contains minerals, such as potassium, that can help reduce swelling and inflammation caused from skin irritation like poison ivy. The great news is that apple cider vinegar, along with these other ingredients, helps pull the poison out of your skin more quickly.
Now add the peppermint, tea tree oil and chamomile. Blend well. Peppermint provides a nice cooling sensation and helps stop the itch pretty fast due to the pain relief it provides. Not only that, it’s an antiseptic and an anti-inflammatory, and is great for poison ivy and poison oak. Tea tree oil is also an antiseptic in addition to being an antifungal and antibacterial which helps heal rashes associated with itchy skin. Let’s not overlook the amazing chamomile! Chamomile is not great as a tea calming you from a hard day, but it calms itchy skin, too. Chamomile is a soothing floral herb and a great solution to add to this recipe.
Allow it to cool for just a few seconds, then pour or spoon the cream into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. As it continues to cool, the cream will solidify into a spreadable lotion.
Now you are ready to use your DIY anti-itch cream! Just spread the cream over itchy skin irritations 2–3 times a day. One important note, however: Baking soda can cause irritation and pain to open wounds. It may be best to avoid use on open wounds.
DIY Anti-Itch Cream with Bentonite Clay
- 2 tbs shea butter
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- 1 tbs dried calendula
- 1 tbs honey or 1-2 beeswax pellets
- 1 1/2 tbs baking soda
- 2 ½ tbs bentonite clay
- 1 tsp witch hazel
- 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops tea tree oil
- 5 drops chamomile