This month in Julie’s Medicine Cabinet, our founder details what she covets. Julie’s picks for August encompass her DIY mosquito bite remedies—from her favorite antidote you just might find in your backyard to the hydrator that helps pesky bites heal faster; Julie’s discoveries are the products you need and never knew you needed.
There are a few things Julie utilizes to minimize the damage of mosquito bites. Because when she gets bitten, the healing process is very slow. So she approaches it with what’s going to decrease the wound. “I don’t have a tried and true mosquito repellent. I’ve tried so many natural things, but with naturals, you have to be diligent about reapplying every hour. So I try to wear a long flowy caftan to cover myself as much as possible. But in the case, I get a bite, my absolute favorite remedy is aloe vera.”
Julie grows aloe vera on her terrace, so she always has it fresh at her disposal. But of course, you can also purchase it in gel form from the store. “I don’t usually get aloe from the store because it usually includes a lot of preservatives since it’s unstable. I tend to work with the pure leaf, which has so many benefits. It soothes the skin and helps to prevent itching, which will, in turn, improve infections. I slice open the leaf, and rub it all over my legs. It also has a firming and tightening effect on the skin, so even when I don’t have mosquito bites, there are times when I like to take the aloe plant and use it to treat my body like I do my face.”
PURE ZINC OXIDE
Another bug bite remedy that Julie loves is pure zinc oxide, which you can buy at many pharmacies in its pure form. “It has a lot of anti-bacterial and anti-microbial activity. So it can be used for all kinds of skin issues to take the swelling goes down.”
Zinc oxide is a very thick ointment and provides an occlusive protective barrier on the skin. “After you’ve done an aloe rub, you can follow with the zinc and spot treat the exact bite to take down the redness. What you’re trying to do in this situation is not let it turn into an infection since a lot of us tend to itch. Zinc oxide is a new discovery for me and has been used in Ayurveda for all kinds of rashes and acne. But it’s definitely something to utilize because it’s super inexpensive and easily accessible.”
Cacao grows in the region where Julie lives in Nayarit, Mexico and it’s something that the residents use as part of their skincare. “I’ve never really been attracted to butters because they can be heavy, especially in the tropics, where it’s so hot and humid. It seems counterintuitive, but it’s actually really lovely. I have been experimenting with the use of cacao butter, especially with my mosquito bites, to help heal and nourish them. A lot of the treatments that we use for mosquito bites are to take down the inflammation and reduce the itchiness, and that can have a drying effect. So you want to keep the skin super hydrated.”
Julie also applies the Comfrey Solution, lets it absorb, and then puts cacao butter on top. “It’s really great for scars. So I double down on the cacao butter to prevent any scarring from the mosquito bites.”