Essential Oils for Summer Skincare-Natural Bug Spray Recipes and Home Remedies for Insect Bites

Spring and summer are a wonderful time to get outside and enjoy the things you love: gardening, walks, picnics, and bug bites.

I'll bet that last one isn't really on your list. Want to know what you can do to keep the pests away without using chemical-laden products? Try essential oils for summer skincare and make bug spray blends, herbal repellents and !

For each of the following homemade essential oil sprays, you will need a small spray bottle, distilled water, and the essential oil of your choice. Once you have added your oil and water to the bottle, be sure to shake the well before spraying it onto your body as separation will occur. Each of the blends below are safe for any age as well as your beloved pets.

DIY Essential Oil Insect Repellents

1. Lavender and Geranium:
Create a dilution of 30 drops of either lavender or geranium oil or 15 each if you wish to blend both, in a small spray bottle of water to protect against ticks and mosquitoes. Spray any exposed skin and consider adding drops of the oil to the cuffs of pants and long-sleeve shirts when hiking or outdoors for extended periods of time.

2. Lemon Eucalyptus:
30 drops in a small spray bottle with water or witch hazel will deter a variety of insects including ticks, mosquitoes, and ants. Add the drops of lemon and eucalyptus to a small spray bottle and spray generously on exposed skin.

3. Citronella:
It's not just for outdoor candles! Citronella essential oils are actually quite powerful when sprayed on your body so go ahead! Keep the mosquitoes at bay by adding 15 to 30 drops of the oil to a spray bottle of water or witch hazel and spray on exposed skin.

4. Soybean Oil:
While this isn't an essential oil, it has recently been named to the list of recommended repellents for mosquitoes by Canada's National Health Agency. Add this oil to your own DIY essential oil sprays that are listed above or look for products that contain at least 2% of it if you purchase a manufactured repellent.

DIY Essential Oil Insect Repellent for Your Pets

For your dog or cat try combining 5 drops Vetiver, 5 drops lemon eucalyptus, and 10 drops sandalwood for a collar bug repellent. Blend these oils together and apply directly to the collar where your pet CANNOT lick. There may be some discoloration from the oils but your cat or dog will be able to naturally repel insects with their own essential oil blend!

DIY Herbal Insect Repellent

It's an old wives tale but it's possible if you ingest 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar each day the mosquitoes will leave you alone? See for yourself!

2. Parsley, Lemon Balm, Basil:
Use any of these herbs (dried) to brew a strong tea. Boil a pot of water, remove from heat and add 2 handfuls of dried herb. Allow the blend to steep overnight then pour into a spray bottle for use as an insect repellent. You will want to be generous with the amount of the tea that you spray on your body; keep any unused portion in the refrigerator for later use.

Home Remedies for Insect Bites

1. Ice:
Seems simple, and it is! Icing a bite will reduce swelling and itching and is a remedy we all already have in our homes.

2. Soap:
Wet a bar of soap and rub it on the bite to stop itching and reduce redness. Be careful to not use bars that are heavy in dyes or fragrance.

3. Banana Peel:
The inner peel of a banana is a great reliever of bites. If you've never tried it, you'll be surprised at how well it works! Rub the inside of the peel directly on a bite; try this remedy for ringworm as well!

4. Oatmeal Bath:
There are several types of packaged mixtures of oatmeal bath soaks that offer a soothing bath when you've been bitten throughout the day and can't seem to find relief. Look in your local grocery store or ask your pharmacist for direction on which might be the best for you.

Finding relief from insect bites is as easy as looking in your own cupboards at home. Consider making this spring and summer a "greener" one without the use of chemical-filled repellents. The essential oils for summer skincare recipes above are a wonderful option for everyday use.

14 Little-Known Facts About Lipstick

Lipstick really came a long way... from attempts to ban it (yes, you read that right) to the international celebration (July 29 is considered to be International Lipstick Day). These interesting facts, some of them little-known, will change the way you look at a tube of lipstick.

natural lipstick

The first documented lip tint was made with crushed red rocks and white lead and dates back to Queen Schub-ad or Puabi of Ur, a Sumerian ruler around 2500 B.C.

Early in the Greek empire, red lipstick or lip paint signaled that a woman was a prostitute, given that most women during that time typically went without makeup.

During the Roman Empire, lipstick was used to indicate social status. Even men wore lip paint to suggest their rank.

During the Dark and Middle Ages, lipstick was worn by lower-class people in various European countries, including England, Germany, Spain, and Ireland. They used herbal and plant-based dyes to redden their lips. The Church deemed the look to be "Satanic".

Queen Elizabeth I was such an avid user of lip rouge to the point where she believed that it had healing powers and even the ability to ward off death.

In 1650, the British Parliament attempted to ban the wearing of lipstick or as they called it "the vice of painting." The bill, ultimately, did not pass.

By 1770, the British Parliament declared that women who wore makeup and "seduced men" by using it would have their marriages annulled and also be accused of witchcraft.

In 1884, the first modern lipstick was introduced by perfumers in Paris. It was wrapped in silk paper and made with deer tallow, castor oil and beeswax.

By 1908, it was okay for women to apply lipstick at the table during lunch at a restaurant. It was not okay to apply lipstick at dinner though.

In 1915, the first twist-up lipstick tube was invented, making lipstick even more popular, as it was much easier to carry around.

In 1915, a bill was introduced into Kansas legislature that would have made it a misdemeanor for a woman under 44 to wear makeup because it "created a false impression."

At the turn of the twentieth century, lipstick continued to symbolize femininity, but due to the endorsement of leading suffragettes, it also began to symbolize female emancipation.

During World War II, all cosmetics except for lipstick were rationed. Winston Churchill decided to keep lipstick in production because he felt it had a positive effect on morale.

Queen Elizabeth II commissioned her own lipstick shade to match her coronation robes at the 1952 ceremony. The soft red-blue was called "The Balmoral Lipstick," named after her Scottish country home.

The average woman uses 4 - 9 lb of lipsticks in a lifetime.

The last fact should really hit home for everyone that uses lipstick. How much of those pounds do we actually ingest? Make sure the lipstick you are wearing doesn't contain any chemicals. When you reach out for a tube a lipstick, look beyond colour, packaging and price. Always read the label and choose one with ingredients that you'd be okay eating.

Now, let's put some lipstick on!

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