The reason why I switched to all-natural mosquito repellent is that I don’t trust the DEET in commercial insect repellents.
There’s absolutely no need for it to use on our bodies! People live in mosquito-infested tropical zones without using DEET repellents, and they can survive.
I went to humid, tropical parts of Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula with my own homemade insect repellent, and I was totally fine.
In fact, my friend was using repellent that she had bought in the United States, and she got bitten far worse than me.
By the way, I’ve always heard that if you eat lots of garlic, the bugs will be less likely to get you, but if you eat lots of sugary foods, they will be drawn to you. Just a little tip.
Before I started making my own natural mosquito repellent, I did buy the Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellent and it worked really well.
(Unfortunately, the nozzle squirts out rather than sprays out evenly, so I had to squirt into my palms and rub into my skin. Oh well, no big deal.) But at eight dollars per 4 oz bottle, I just couldn’t afford it anymore.
Man, but I loved this stuff, and I didn’t want to switch to cheaper commercial products. I had been reading on the internet about how bugs hate citronella, and I mixed it with witch hazel and let it sit in a bottle for a few weeks.
It was a pretty effective repellent! But I guess I didn’t make it strong enough, because some bugs would get me. So I did some more research.
And I found out that citronella isn’t so effective on its own, even though it’s really well known for its insect-repelling qualities.
I fortified my formula with rosemary and lemongrass (which are precisely the main ingredients in the Burt’s Bees formula!) I also add cedarwood essential oil, and my, what a lovely smelling spray I get.
I usually hate the smell of mosquito repellents, but I could wear this as a perfume (maybe).
Anyway, back to the Burt’s Bees, if you aren’t considering making your own mix, it contains rosemary oil, lemongrass oil, cedar leaf oil, peppermint oil (which I heard is another good insect deterrent), citronella oil (which is actually related to lemongrass, I’ve just learned), clove oil and geranium oil.
About the geranium oil, I’ve read that it’s super effective. Plus, the oil smells quite lovely, so you can wear it without smelling like typical bug spray.
It’s totally chemical-free, which is very important to consider when buying a mosquito repellent, or anything you put on your skin, for that matter. Our skin is our largest organ, so whatever you put on it will be absorbed by your body.