If your outdoor Summer adventures are plagued with buzzing insects, you may be in need of some relief. Many products are available commercially to ease your discomfort. But, with a few simple ingredients – like beeswax and essential oils – you can make your own. This recipe for DIY Bug Bite Relief Sticks is easy to make at home and a cost-effective way to get relief from the itch of insect bites.
Why Make Your Own Bug Bite Relief Sticks?
Being outside is good for your health and your soul but we share the world with other living things. Perhaps, we get a bit to close to a foraging bee, fire ants, rub elbows with some chiggers or even discover a wasp nest! Sometimes, stings or mosquito bites just happen.
There are many commercial products that help keep biting insects away. But, they don’t always work and who knows the danger of the chemicals they contain?
There are many benefits of making your own bug bite relief sticks. The major one being that you control what goes in the product. You can avoid the harsh chemicals and added fragrances that occur in many commercial recipes.
A small bug bite stick is easy to carry in purses, your backpack or even a pocket. That’s why I chose the slim tube but you can use any small container.
Don’t suffer the discomfort of bug bites any longer than you have to. Keep some homemade remedies in your first aid box.
Only a few ingredients are required for this recipe and you can make some substitutions if you wish.
- shea butter
- coconut oil
- essential oils
Beeswax: Beeswax acts as a humectant (it attracts water) and it forms a protective layer on your sensitive skin.
Shea Butter: This luxurious product is made from fats extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. A nutrient rich cosmetic butter, Shea butter is full of vitamins and antioxidants. It softens and hydrates the skin.
Coconut Oil: I love coconut oil because you can do so many things with it. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which gives it antimicrobial properties.
It kills bacteria on your skin and helps reduce inflammation. Liquid at warm temperatures, it becomes a soft solid in cooler conditions.
Essential Oils: These oils are compounds extracted from plants. They are natural but that does not mean they are not powerful. Their anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and analgesic properties can help reduce itching, swelling, and pain associated with bug bites.
Tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender essential oils are good for insect bites. Some recipes use spearmint and patchouli oil.
When used in combination with beeswax and other natural ingredients, essential oils can create a powerful and effective bug bite relief stick that is gentle on your skin and safe for daily use.
Preparing Beeswax for Use
Beeswax is available to purchase in pastilles that are already cleaned and very easy to measure and melt.
However, you may be lucky enough to be a beekeeper with your own beehives or know a local beekeeper from whom you can purchase raw wax.
This is a great way to obtain pure wax but it is not ready to use straight from the hive. Your raw beeswax must be properly cleaned before using it for candles or any other projects.
Safely Melting Beeswax
Beeswax has a low melting point of about 147°F which makes it a great crafting wax to work with. However, it is flammable if heated to the flashpoint of 204.4 °C (400 °F).
Some people gently melt it in the microwave but that is not my recommendation. The safest way to melt your beeswax is using a double boiler method.
You can buy small double boiler inserts that are inexpensive and make great pans to dedicate to your wax crafts. However, you can just use a small pot of water and a tin can to hold the wax too.
How to Use
Even if you are not allergic to insect venom, the pain of the sting is often less troubling than the after symptoms. Swelling, redness and frustrating itching are the most common discomforts of bug bites.
Clean the area where the bite occurred. Gently apply the bug bite relief stick to the affected area. If the weather is chilly and the recipe too firm- use your finger to gather some material off the end of your tube and apply to the skin.
Because anyone can be allergic to anything – it is always a good idea to start with a light application first. And of course, if any serious symptoms arrive – reach out to medical professionals immediately.
Storing Your Bug Bite Sticks
Your beeswax bug bite relief sticks should last several months, even longer if you keep the extras in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.
I suggest keeping one with you and the rest in the frig until needed. They do not require refrigeration but don’t leave them in a hot car.
Congratulations – You did it! Now pat yourself on the back for just a moment because you created your own natural product to use. Best of all, you know what’s in it. You can use it with assurance that it contains no toxic chemicals.
Bug bite relief sticks are not a cure. But, they can provide some itch relief through the soothing properties of beeswax and essentials oils .
Now that you have the hang of things, maybe its time to try some DIY beeswax body butter to soothe the rest of your skin.
And don’t forget Rover – this homemade dog paw balm uses raw wax to lock in moisture on your best friend’s foot pads.
Beeswax Bug Bite Relief Sticks
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- Melting the Wax:Beeswax is very easy to work with due to its low melting point. However, it can be messy. Protect floors and counters or avoid drips!First, place the required amount of beeswax in your double boiler set up (or small saucepan). Water in the bottom pot and ingredients in the top. Use the stove top element to slowly heat.I have several of the little double boiler inserts linked above. They are great for crafting.Your wax can be in blocks, pellets or shaved. It takes a while to melt – be patient and gentle.
- Adding Butter and Oil:Once your beeswax has liquified, add the coconut oil and shea butter. Don’t be alarmed if the wax temporarily hardens again – it will quickly melt again.Continue to gently warm until these ingredients are liquid and mixed together. I use chop sticks or wooden skewers to stir but you can use whatever you wish to be dedicated to wax projects.
- Mix in Essential Oils:Remove the container from heat and add your essential oils. Count the drops – don’t use too much. We don’t want the essential oils to be overheated – that is why you remove the mix from the heat before adding them. (Add a few drops of vitamin E oil if desired – this is optional but it does help keep the oils from spoiling).
- Pouring into Containers:Stir well and let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes. Then slowly pour into empty lip balm tubes or small wide mouth jars or tins – depending on which container you prefer to use.
- Add Caps When Cool:If using plastic lip balm or chapstick tubes, let the mixture cool before adding the caps.
- Labels Please:You don’t want anyone applying the bug bite stick to their lips so label the container – even if you are only making them for yourself. Create some types of label. If you plan to give them away – I would list the ingredients -just in case someone may have allergies.