Warm weather is here and so are those annoying mosquitoes! I love outdoor activities and refuse to allow these little critters to keep me indoors this season. Not only are they a nightmare to deal with, they can also carry diseases and serious viruses (i.e. West Nile).
Although several of them have already enjoyed my blood for dinner and a midnight snack, I refuse to apply the commercial bug repellents to my skin which, as we all know, may contain harmful chemicals and additives.
So I did some research for us and found that the natural carrier and essential oils we already use on our hair and skin are also great for repelling mosquitoes! Gotta love multi-purpose products! And here’s the good news, these oils are safe, non-toxic alternatives to commercially manufactured repellents and they smell amazing!
What’s the difference between carrier and essential oils?
Carrier Oils (CO) are also referred to as base oils or vegetable oils. They are used to dilute essential oils and absolutes before applying to the skin. They “carry” the essential oil onto the skin. They are generally cold-pressed vegetable oils derived from the fatty portions of the plant. Examples include: jojoba, avocado, apricot, olive or sweet almond oil*
Essential Oils (EO) are liquids that are distilled (by steam or water) from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots or other elements of a plant. They are highly concentrated and therefore often diluted with a CO. Examples include: peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, citronella, lemongrass, lemon, tea tree, thyme, rosemary, cedarwood.
You can find both carrier and essential oils in the A4N favorite picks store or your local health food store.
*IMPORTANT: Do not use sweet almond oil if there’s a concern with nut allergies in your family. Consider using a different carrier oil.
Okay, remember the oils I listed on the natural oils and herbs page and the A4N product details page? Yes, those are the ones. We’re going to use some of those same carrier and essential oils to make our own natural mosquito repellent blends. Wanna know the other good news? You can safely use the blends on children*.
So let’s get started with two simple and natural repellents:
1. Oil Blend Repellent
Here’s what we need:
- A Carrier Oil (any light CO will do)
- Essential Oils (Click link to see more essential oils that are good mosquito repellents. →Experience Essential Oils)
- Jar or bottle
I used jojoba as my CO and lavender and eucalyptus as my EOs. You may need to experiment with different oils until you get the combination that works best for you. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 3 different EOs in your blend.
- Pour 2 tbsp of a CO into a bottle or jar
- Add 20 drops of EO (I used 15 drops lavender oil and 5 drops of eucalyptus oil)
- Shake gently
- Pour a small amount of the oil blend into your hand, gently rub it together and massage it into your skin before going outside
That’s it! Simple right? I tried this blend the other day and so far the mosquitoes have kept their distance. It’s non-greasy and absorbed quickly into my skin. Since I already had several mosquito bites before finding this natural option, I discovered during my research that rubbing diluted lavender EO on the bites can help with the itching. It worked like a charm. All better now. 🙂
2. Water Blend Repellent
Here’s what we need:
- Distilled or spring water
- 2 ounce travel size spray bottle
- Fill spray bottle about 3/4 of the way from the top
- Add 10-15 drops of EO(s) of your choice (more if desired)
- Shake gently and spray lightly on exposed skin
Super simple and effective.
A4N Tip: On extremely hot days, place the water repellent in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before spraying the skin. You’ll enjoy a cool, refreshing mist. While at a picnic or backyard BBQ, place the spray bottle in the ice cooler.
Other Points to Remember:
- Label and date each repellent appropriately
- Do not apply essential oils directly to the skin. The concentrated strength could cause irritation or burning
- If you are pregnant or nursing, please consult your physician before using these blends as the essential oils could pose a risk
- If you or your children are outside for more than 3 consecutive hours, you may want to re-apply as needed. You may also need to re-apply after swimming or other outdoor water activities
- When not in use, store the oil blend in a dark jar in a cool, dry place.
- Do not allow the oil blend to sit for months. The carrier oil can become rancid (old and stale) over time. Only make enough to last through the season or just mix as needed.
There you go. You’ve just created your own mosquito repellents with all natural ingredients! You should be proud.
Until next time,
Always aim 4 natural,
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Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice nor does it replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Aim 4 Natural LLC takes no responsibility for any injuries or illnesses which may occur from reading or following these suggestions. The Reader should use his or her own discretion when deciding to use the suggestions offered.
Which natural insect repellents have you tried?