Whether they leave you with itchy bumps, painful welts, or just angry spots, bug bites are easily one of the most disliked side-effects of summer. So what's the best way to treat bug bites? Because for some reason, you almost never know you've been bitten until the need to scratch wakes you up in the middle of the night, and then prevents you from falling back asleep. Talk about annoying. So to avoid being driven crazy by bug bites, I emailed with a few experts about the best ways to prevent, treat, and conceal 'em.
Elena Miglino, Smith & Cult Beauty Ambassador; Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection; and Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and Director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and Associate Clinical Professor for the Department of Dermatology at the George Washington University Medical Center, all let me know that there are quite a few options for treating those red and itchy bumps. And fear not — there's actually a pretty simple way to conceal bug bites too. Out of sight, out of mind and what not. So those mosquitos and other pests don't get the better of you, here are 10 things the experts recommend trying this summer:
Try: Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent Spray, $5, Target
One of the best and easiest ways to prevent bug bites is by using a repellant. Miglino recommends choosing one that is long-lasting and Deet-free, and thoroughly applying it before heading outside.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Try: Nature's Truth Aromatheraphy Tea Tree Essential Oil, $7, Target
If you end up with a bite, Miglino says to try to cool down the site. She recommends using a dab of tea tree oil for its healing properties. Just remember to mix a pure essential oil with a carrier oil so as to not cause any irritation to your skin.
3. Peppermint Oil
Try: Aura Cacia Peppermint Cooling Pure Essential Oil, $9, Target
Another oil option is peppermint oil. Peppermint oil, says Vargas, helps relieve itchiness and redness. She recommends mixing two drops of peppermint oil with aloe straight from an aloe leaf, and using this solution as a compress.
4. Chamomile Tea
For a quick rinse that will relieve itchiness, redness, and hives, Vargas suggests using cooled chamomile tea. For many bug bites, try soaking in a cool, chamomile bath. For just one or two spots, saturate a washcloth with the tea and use it as a cool compress.
5. Aloe Vera
Plain aloe is always an option too. Dr. Tanzi explains that pure aloe vera gel has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, perfect for naturally soothing bug bites. If you can, apply aloe gel to your bite straight from an aloe leaf.
6. Ice Pack
If you don't have any treatments on-hand and just need some immediate relief though, Miglino says an ice pack will do to cool down your bite and alleviate some of the itchiness.
7. Hydrocortisone Cream
Try: Cortizone 10 Anti-Itch Cream, $7, Target
To help guard against long-term itchiness and inflammation, Miglino says a hydrocortisone cream is really the best solution. And once you've calmed down your bite with any of these treatments, it'll be easier to conceal.
8. Color Corrector
Try: L'Oreal Studio Secrets Anti-Redness Primer, $13, Target
After the swelling has gone down, Miglino suggests dabbing on a green color-corrector before concealer. This, she says, will help "eliminate the red tone of the bite."
Try: MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, $22, MAC Cosmetics
Next, apply a full-coverage concealer in the same shade as your skin on top of the bite. Miglino recommends using your finger to blend the concealer for an even finish.
Try: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Loose Powder, $36, Make Up For Ever
If you'll be venturing back out into the heat, Miglino adds that it's best to top off your concealer with a quick dab of translucent powder using a sponge. This, she says, will help ensure your concealer stays in place.
Because even though bug bites may not always be avoidable, at least they're easily treatable.