beat bugs with these buys
Avoid painful bug bites and chemical-laden topicals in one fell
swoop with these products featuring natural repellents.
DIY bug bite soother
For irritating bites, try this natural
solution from 101 Easy Homemade
Products for Your Skin, Health
& Home (Page Street, 2016).
Lavender soothes pain and
itchiness while also serving as
a mild insect repellent.
½ cup sunfower oil
¼ cup dried lavender fowers
1 tablespoon tightly packed
beeswax, grated or pastilles
2–4 drops lavender essential oil
chemical ingredients DEET and Picaridin remain among the
EWG’s top picks for safe and efective protection, if you’re
concerned about their potentially toxic nature, one natural
option stands out as being most efective: lemon eucalyptus oil.
When put to the test, lemon eucalyptus oil was as efective
against mosquitos as low concentrations of DEET, according
to a 2008 study by the Department of Health and Human
Services. Te EWG recommends looking for a product with a
concentration of 30 to 40 percent to protect for long periods of
time (although it shouldn’t be used on children younger than 3).
Soybean oil, too, has been proven to protect from bites for
between fve and eight hours. But remember: You may need to
use natural products diferently than chemical ones, according
to Risa Barash, founder of Fairy Tales Hair Care, which has
recently added natural insect repellents to its line of lice-control
hair care for kids. “Natural products tend to need to be applied
more frequently than conventional repellent formulas,” she says.
“While the research has shown soybean oil to be efective for
fve to eight hours, it is best to continue to reapply after one hour.”
For protection during an afternoon barbecue or an evening
on the porch, Alper also recommends looking for citronella
candles, buckets and sprays. “Te scent from the citronella
plant itself is your best bet in keeping the mosquitoes away,
since that provides the strongest protection. Citronella’s
strong smell tends to mask your scent, making it harder for
mosquitoes to fnd you.” Other essential oils known to repel
insects: clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus, cedar,
lavender and mint, she says.
1. Infuse sunfower oil with lavender fowers.
2. In a heatproof glass jar or container,
combine 3 tablespoons of the lavender-infused oil and the beeswax. Place jar in a
saucepan surrounded by 1– 2 inches of water,
forming a makeshift double boiler. Place
pan over medium-low heat until the wax in
the jar is melted. Stir lavender essential oil
into the wax; pour melted wax into lip balm
tubes or miniature containers. Chill to set.
3. If it’s too soft or too frm, just melt the
ingredients again and add more beeswax
(for a frmer product) or oil (for a softer one).
4. Dab on bee stings, bug bites and other
itchy spots as needed.
Fairy Tales Bug Bandit
Your next summer day can have a happy
ending, thanks to a powerful combo of
citronella, plus lemon eucalyptus, soybean,
peppermint and rosemary oils, aimed at
repelling mosquitoes, fies, feas and gnats.
Quantum Health Buzz Away Extreme
This DEET-free spray deters bugs for up to
four hours with star ingredients soybean and
geranium oils. Alper arms her boys with it for
protection during summer camping trips.
All Terrain Herbal Armor
Also taking advantage of the powerful
herbal blend of soybean oil and citronella,
All Terrain’s “armor” comes in a convenient
3-ounce travel size that’s perfect for your
next summer adventure.