Summer is coming, and that means spending more time outdoors with our kids. Time outdoors can be full of fun and adventure, but it can unfortunately include sunburns, rashes, and bug bites. With kids, these annoyances can be a big deal. They’re uncomfortable and they itch. That leaves kids scratching, and excessive scratching can lead to infections and scars.
So what’s a natural mama to do?
Certainly you want to stay away from those anti-itch hydrocortisone creams as much as possible, but what other options do you have? Well today my friend, you’re in luck because I’m going to share my homemade anti-itch oatmeal paste recipe with you that is not only great at relieving itching, but it’s gentle and nourishing to your child’s skin too!
5 Simple Ingredients
This homemade anti-itch oatmeal paste is not only great because it works… it’s great because it’s easy to make. All you need are 5 simple ingredients.
Oatmeal – Oats are a very common ingredient in skincare products, and I think this quote about the clinical properties of oatmeal sum it up well. “The many clinical properties of colloidal oatmeal derive from its chemical polymorphism. The high concentration in starches and beta-glucan is responsible for the protective and water-holding functions of oat. The presence of different types of phenols confers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Some of the oat phenols are also strong ultraviolet absorbers. The cleansing activity of oat is mostly due to saponins. Its many functional properties make colloidal oatmeal a cleanser, moisturizer, buffer, as well as a soothing and protective anti-inflammatory agent.”
Plantain powder – Plantain is a great herb, and the best part is that it grows everywhere… even in your own backyard. As far as the healing properties of plantain go, GreenMedInfo.com says, “Studies have shown that plantain has anti-inflammatory effects, and it is also rich in tannin (which helps draw tissues together to stop bleeding) and allantoin (a compound that promotes healing of injured skin cells).” This herb has astringent-like properties which make it ideal for bug bites and weepy rashes like poison ivy.
Baking Soda – Baking soda is a natural acid neutralizer, which has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that help calm the itching caused by allergies, insect bites, sunburn, shingles and chicken pox. Salts have been used for ages to help sooth skin and nourish it, but be careful about overdoing it! Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is very alkaline and can throw the skins pH off. Just remember that a little goes a long way.
Non-nano Zinc Oxide powder – Zinc Oxide is a mineral powder that has many forms. The latest, greatest zinc consists of nano-sized particles that are so small they don’t show up looking white on the skin, but this has a downside in that it allows the zinc to be easily absorbed into the skin causing problems of it’s own. Thankfully you can still get good ole’ standard-sized zinc powder to use in your skin care remedies. Zinc oxide has several properties that make it a great addition to skin care products. In our case, it’s thought to have antiseptic properties to help keep infections from scratching to a minimum, and it’s also know to reduce inflammation and create a barrier against irritants.
Aloe Gel/Juice – Aloe vera is a must-have when it comes to skin care. It’s a well-known skin-soother, and it quickly and easily absorbs into the skin, carrying with it the healing properties of anything else it’s combined with… in our case, oatmeal and plantain. This is why it’s important to use organic aloe vera gel or juice because it does enter the skin so quickly and deeply.
How To Make An Anti-Itch Oatmeal Paste
Combine 1/2 cup colloidal oatmeal with 1 TBSP of plantain powder, 1 TBSP of baking soda, and 1 TBSP non-nano zinc oxide. Mix well.
Slowly add small amounts of aloe vera juice/gel to your powder, stirring occasionally. Continue to add just enough to make a creamy paste that will stick to the skin.
Simple. Easy. Done. Now all you need to do is use it, but first…
This is one of those homemade skin care recipes that you can make once and use over and over again.
The easiest way to store this homemade anti-itch oatmeal paste is to mix your powders together and then store it in a glass or plastic-safe container. That way, when your little gets a bug bite or a patch of poison ivy on her foot, all you need to do is pour out a small amount of your pre-mixed powder, add your liquid, and rub it on! Easy-peasy!
How To Use Your Homemade Anti-Itch Oatmeal Paste
This paste is pretty simple and easy to use.
Bites & Rashes
When using it on a bug bite or an itchy rash, take a small amount of paste and spread it on thinly across the skin. Allow it to dry and wash it off gently with warm water. Repeat as needed.
Sunburns can sometimes itch. To use your homemade anti-itch oatmeal paste on a sunburn, water it down a bit more than if you were using it on a bug bite or rash. You want to be able to take a cotton ball and dab a thin layer of your paste onto the sunburned area and allow it to dry. This not only nourishes the burnt skin, but it’s cool and soothing as well. Be sure to rinse it off with cool water afterwards and repeat as needed. There are other natural remedies to treat sunburned skin, but these depend on how badly the skin is burnt. This homemade anti-itch oatmeal paste should only be used on very mild burns.
You can also use the powdered portion of this recipe as a bath soak if you child is covered in poison ivy. It will help to sooth and dry the weeping skin all while calming that aggressive itching down. If you liked this post, be sure to share it on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest!
Meagan Visser is the owner of Growing Up Herbal on Etsy where she offers natural, herbal skin care products for children. She also teaches parents how to take charge of their children’s health naturally on her blog, GrowingUpHerbal.com, and she’s enjoys living a simple and healthy life with her husband and 3 little boys in the southern Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee. Connect with her on her Blog, Facebook, and Pinterest.