I have tried two natural bug repellents, and would like to share my findings. The first I tried was Herbal Armour DEET-FREE Insect Repellent. The ingredients include: oil of citronella, oil of soybean, oil of peppermint, oil of cedar, oil of lemongrass, and oil of geranium. Herbal Armor comes in a spray bottle or lotion form.
Honestly, I don’t have much good to say about it. It did keep mosquitoes away, but it attracted bees, which wasn’t so fun! It also smells STRONGLY, to the point where people where making fun of my scent. Also not so fun. When you come indoors from using it, you really need to shower immediately to get the scent off of you, or it will get on your furniture.
I used Herbal Armor all last summer and made the switch this year to JASON brand bug repellent called Quit Bugging Me. It contains soybean oil and geranium oil, and has a light scent that doesn’t stay with you. I put it on the boys when they go out to play and they don’t stink of bug spray when they come in. They also haven’t had any bites while wearing it. It also ranks a 1 for safety on the EWG Skin Deep site. I definitely would recommend this one!
Many people make their own repellents using essential oils. I have not tried this yet, but if you have, please share what has worked.