The Best Essential Oils to Help Repel Mosquitoes
While it’s damp and in the 30's here today, it was less than a week ago when I was sitting out on the patio on a warm evening with my husband. I found myself swatting away the mosquitoes already. It took me back to my childhood and I could clearly remember my mom spraying me like crazy with Deep Woods Off. I can almost taste that horrible smell and taste 30+ years later.
No one wants to be nibbled on by bugs. Keeping mosquitoes away is important to me. My younger son, Ben, is actually allergic to mosquito bites. It’s not that common of an allergy, but we need to be vigilant with him because bites have triggered reactions such as hives and his eyes swelling shut.
Standard insect repellents may be harmful to your health.
The bulk of popular mosquito repellents contain an ingredient called DEET. The chemical name for DEET is N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide. While this is proven to be effective at inhibiting mosquito bites, it also has been proven to be harmful and is linked to ailments as minor as nausea and vomiting to major injuries such as neurological damage, even coma and death.
DEET may be quite harmful to children as well.
As there is more awareness concerning the hazards of DEET, alternative ingredients are in products these days. One popular DEET alternative is derived from chrysanthemum and is called Pyrethrin. While one would assume this naturally-derived ingredient would be safe, it is potentially harmful as well. Think of it like this--Pyrethrin is used to kill bees and a small amount of this can be toxic to fish. Many studies show that this ingredient is potentially toxic to cat as well. If this natural, plant-derived ingredient can kill so easily, it may not be safe to use regularly on yourself. Breathing in pyrethrins may have major health implications down the road.
Today I'd like us to look at the MSDS of one of the most popular aersol spray insect repellents. The source for this information is the Consumer Product Information Database :
50-60% Ethanol (SD Alcohol 40)
Clearly, you don't want to be inhaling these ingredients. So what can you do to prevent mosquitoes from biting you and your family?
Consider natural essential oils to repel mosquitoes.
Essential Oils to repel bugs? Yes! Now before I go on, please be aware that I am not saying that products with essential oils will prevent all mosquito bites or that essential oils are as effective as DEET. We all need to be careful, especially with news about the Zika Virus. However, there is a continued interest in natural ingredients to cut down on the use of more harmful counterparts. In fact, there are more than 850,000 results on Google for the search “natural mosquito repellent.”
Which essential oils are most effective as a natural insect repellent? Three to note that we offer here for our Custom Blends include:
When creating your next Seed Custom Blend, why not try a blend of the three oils above? It’ll smell great and just may provide you with a bit more protection outdoors!
- Malar J. 2011; 10(Suppl 1): S11. Published online 2011 Mar 15. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-10-S1-S11
- Bioresour Technol. 2008 May;99(7):2507-15. Epub 2007 Jun 20.
- Malar J. 2007; 6: 101. Published online 2007 Aug 1. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-6-101
- Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr;1(2):85-8. doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(11)60001-4.
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Also in Lately I've been paying more attention
Summer is officially here! After a long, very unusual spring, it is nice to get outside and relax in the summer sun.
I love the feeling of soaking up the rays, but sun smarts are essential for your skin.
The sun's UV rays can greatly impact the condition of the skin. While sitting with our faces toward the sun makes us feel so good, it is important to remember that we have to be vigilant about our sun care.
My 25 year background in skin care has shown me just how important protecting our skin from UVA and UVB rays truly is. I practice what I preach. I wear sunscreen. I moisturize. I remove my makeup at night.
I am human, though, and I make mistakes. Yesterday was one of those days. It was unusually hot here. I finished up my work after lunch and noticed that the outside temperature was 96 degrees. I was skimming the pool and made sure to put on more sunscreen before jumping in.
I was so comfortable just floating on my raft. Floating around just relaxing felt so good! I planned to be in the water for about an hour when my 14 year old jumped in. We had a blast playing baseball with a beach ball and pool noodle, making a whirlpool, and playing games. If you have a teenager, you will understand what a treat it is to enjoy one on one time just having fun with that child who normally would rather be doing something else. This extra time together during the pandemic has been a gift, because there is much more family time. We had so much fun — and before I knew it, I had been in the water for nearly three hours.
I was careful to reapply my sunscreen everywhere — but I neglected my back. And boy did I learn my lesson. I now have a blistering sunburn on about 40% of my back and it is incredibly painful. In addition to being concerned about the potential for lasting damage and cellular changes done to my skin, I am finding it hard to get comfortable. This was preventable, though.
I cannot change yesterday’s mistake, but I can help alleviate the pain and I thought I would share how you can, too, should you finding yourself in need of some sunburn relief.