Studies over the past century have been up and down in regards to whether chemicals found in bug sprays are harmful to health or not. Many studies indicate that the most highly used chemical found in bug sprays, DEET, can have profound effects on the central nervous system and can have an effect an minimizing brain cells, especially if used with other chemicals that function to repel insects.
As is usually the case, if you search the internet looking for something you will almost always find out, so who’s to say that DEET and all other chemicals in bug repellent really are THAT bad for you? Especially if they get the job done and help to prevent the various diseases that come with a bug bite such as West Nile virus, Lyme Disease, etc.
Personally, as soon as something is indicated to be ‘toxic’ or considered a chemical that may have profound effects on my skin or health, I try to take the first step to avoid using it and opt for a more natural product. That’s why when I was thinking about my cottage summer plans, I began to wonder if it’s even worth it to touch all of the chemicals that exist in store-bought bug repellents. I also thought of my previous cottage endeavors with spraying bug repellents and how nasty they smelled and tasted (I would almost always accidentally swallow it). I wanted something that was healthy and wouldn’t be gross if I accidentally ingested it.
I began to research what natural products could be used to substitute for bug repellent, finding that certain essential oils can be used as a natural bug repellent; including oil of lemon eucalyptus and citronella essential oil. Many studies have found eucalyptus oil to be just as effective as DEET, but should be used with caution for children under the age of 3. Not really having a lot of knowledge of essential oils myself, I decided it would be best to contact someone who would.
I spoke to the owner of a lovely Canadian Etsy shop of whom makes natural bug repellent. Her products are all handmade and completely natural without preservatives, as she had started to experience many skin irritations with the chemicals in certain health and beauty products and wanted to make her own that wouldn’t irritate her skin.
Ingredients: Witch hazel, purified water, citronella essential oil, lemongrass essential oil, lavender essential oil, and eucalyptus essential oil.
Witch hazel is beneficial to the skin and has been used throughout history for skin issues. In bug spray it is an excellent base and has a duel purpose to treat itchy skin and even poison ivy.
This all natural bug repellent is safe for the whole family to use and is great for repelling black flies, ticks, fleas and mosquitos.
Containing citronella, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass and witch hazel, this all natural bug repellent is a healthy alternative for you and your family on those summer camping trips, at the beach, cottage, or anytime outside under the summer sun.
I tested this product out first by spraying a small amount on my wrist to ensure my skin wouldn’t react to any of the essential oils (which it didn’t).
I sprayed some this morning as my walk to work from my car involves passing a forested area, and the usual bug swarm I get didn’t come near me today. I will definitely be testing this product further in the summer months ahead when cottage activities are closer.
I’m really impressed with the combination of ingredients that BNB used in this bug repellent, as each oil has a specific function in not only being beneficial for the skin, but of course to keep the bugs away. The nice combination of lemongrass (which has a ton of functions with one to help repel insects) and citronella work to help keep you safe from harmful bug bites.
So the question stands, is this bug repellent really better for you than repellent made with chemicals including DEET? I can’t answer that question yet, but what I can tell you is that you are better off NOT taking the risk. Essential oils used in beauty products are a much safer and much more useful alternative than risking exposure to all of the harmful chemicals that exist in store-bought bug sprays. I’m no scientist but I know a healthy product when I see one!
This awesome homemade bug repellent is only $10.00, and you are supporting a local, small Canadian business to boot!