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NOTE: A few weeks back, my recipe for bug repellent was featured on the CoconutOil.com website. Since there are still some high days of summer left and the bugs are in full swing, I wanted to share my recipe for non-toxic bug repellent on here too!

by Jessica Espinoza
CoconutOil.com 

Looking for an all-natural, non-toxic insect repellent that doesn’t contain the chemicals (like DEET) that most of the commercial brands do? There are many natural, non-toxic ingredients that can be used to make a bug repellent that won’t harm you and your family. Most homemade bug balms and bug sprays utilize the strength of essential oils. The most common essential oils used as bug repellents are:

  • Catnip
  • Cedarwood
  • Cinnamon
  • Citronella
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Patchouli
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Tea Tree

Note: Some citrus oils, like lemon, also have strong bug repellent properties, but are also considered “phototoxic”, meaning that the skin could damage or burn easily if those oils are applied to the skin and then exposed to any source of ultraviolet (UV) light. In the case of phototoxicity, it depends on the type of oil and how the essential oil has been processed as to whether the oil could cause a phototoxic reaction. Because of this, it is advised to use caution when adding citrus oils to your bug balms and sprays, even though they are strong repellents. If you do add citrus oils to your bug repellents, you should always keep your skin completely covered to avoid UV exposure.

Natural bug repellents are not going to be 100% bugproof, nor are they going to last all day. Rather than spraying yourself once with a commercial DEET-based repellent, you may need to reapply the repellent, depending on how much time you spend outside and how many pests you have in your vicinity. The benefit is that you will avoid exposing your skin and respiratory system to harsh, toxic chemicals that could harm your body. You also gain the benefit of smelling fresh and herby, rather than smelling like bug spray all day. When possible, use standard biting insect precautions, like wearing long sleeves, pants, socks, and shoes, as well as avoiding the times when insects like mosquitoes are most active (dusk to dawn).

Recipe Ingredients – Delicious Obsessions Trusted Product Recommendations

I am always asked about my favorite ingredients and what I use in my own kitchen. I have linked to the products from my affiliate partners that I personally use and recommend. And now, here are the special coupon offers that select affiliate partners are currently offering:

  • Thrive Market: If you sign up through this link, you will get 15% OFF your first order.
  • Amazon, of course, has everything you need for this recipe. Their prices are often very good, though I love to shop around and sometimes find that Thrive Market has better deals. If you like saving money, it’s good to shop around! 🙂
  • I get all of my herbs and spices, butters, waxes, and clays from Mountain Rose Herbs. I have tried so many other brands and have never found the quality, flavor, and aroma to be as good as the herbs I get from Mountain Rose.

For more information about the essential oils I use for myself and my family, click here.

 

Sources:

Learn more about skin care from my videos!

Since I am a fanatic about keeping my skin and body care non-toxic, I get a lot of questions about what my routine is and what products I use. I created this video to discuss all of that and more. The video below that features a lot of the hair care products that I use, including henna and my favorite clean shampoo.

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