Essential Oil Recipes for Deep Summer

Abandon the laptop. Lose the phone. Suit up and get out of doors! Stay on the beaten path and maybe you’ll avoid some typical summer hazards. But if nature and the elements get the better of you, essential oil remedies for bug irritations, sunburn, poison ivy, and even bug repellent can be at your fingertips.  

Lavender + Peppermint Bug Bite Soother

For the itch and irritation of bug bites, try serving the cure straight up or “neat” as they call it in the trade, A.K.A. “undiluted”.

When directly applied, a lavender-peppermint blend combats itchiness from bug bites. These two EO’s together not only take the sting out of mosquitoes but also fly and ant bites. Combine 24 drops of both lavender and peppermint into a bowl, dip your fingers in and apply one drop of this mixture to each bug bite every 1 to 2 hours.

*For the direct application of essential oils to the skin, for those under 12 years of age, or adults with sensitive skin, dilute the EO with an equal amount of carrier oil. First-time users of any EO should try a dab on the inside of their forearm to determine if redness or sensitivities result.

Lemon Eucalyptus Bug Away  

Made from the leaves of the tree by the same name, lemon eucalyptus (in Latin, Eucalyptus citriodora) essential oil can be an insect repellent effective against mosquitos, gnats, and biting flies because it contains the component citronellal. 

Add 30 drops of lemon eucalyptus to a mixing container, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, and 4 oz. of witch hazel, rubbing alcohol, vodka, or cooking oil. Mix well and put into a spray bottle to apply. Reported to give relief for about 4 hours.  

Sunburn Soothers: Peppermint or Lavender + Tea Tree  

Peppermint is cooling and pain-relieving to sunburned skin. Mix 2 drops of this analgesic E.O. with a carrier oil such as aloe vera and dab onto parched skin with a cotton ball or fingers.

Lavender with tea tree oil also works to soothe mildly sunburned skin: mix together 30 drops of lavender and 20 drops of tea tree oil into 4 oz. water in a spray bottle. Shake to blend. Spray on the affected area and let dry.  

Poison Ivy: Lavender Helps Again!

Lavender essential oil, and its cousin, Lavandin, win again as a top choice for summertime hazards. In a lavender and myrrh salve for mild cases of poison ivy, try 1 tsp. of carrier oil such as jojoba, olive, grapeseed, or almond oils; 20 drops lavender and 10 drops of myrrh essential oil. Mix well using a small whisk. Use a cotton pad for dabbing, (don’t rub) onto the affected area. Severe cases of poison ivy may require medical intervention.

Happy summering!

Jean VanGray for The Gift of Scent


Essential Oils Natural Remedies by Althea Press, 2015

Healthline: Using Essential Oils for Bug Bites: Nov. 2018

Make an Effective DIY Mosquito Repellent with Lemon Eucalyptus Oil,, 2016.

Author’s experimentation