What to Look For In A Natural Bug Repellant + Zoe Organics Insect Repellent Review
While sunscreen might be the most sought-after summer skincare, those of us with sensitive skin (or with kiddos whose sensitive skin we’re taking care of!) can’t forget about bug repellant. Most bug sprays sold have all sorts of petroluem-based ingredients and irritants that we should definitely avoid, because those potentially hazardous ingredients have a way of making themselves at home by getting absorbed into our bloodstream.
Deet (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide, which you’ve probably heard of, is a good example of this: It’s very harmful, especially for small children—neurological damage, and severe seizures have been reported as side effects of using the blend improperly, and even the medical community has advised that we keep our exposure to it from being prolonged. Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is another common repellant, and is often sprayed on wood decks to prevent bugs from attacking.
Part of the reason these are both considered quite toxic is that they have a great diffifulty of being expelled from our bodies once they get inside. They absorb into our colons and our fat cells and when they linger, they cause disruption of natural functions and may cause disease. In fact, there is new research surfacing these days about how pesticides (which are really insect repellents) are one of the major contributing causes of Parkinson’s disease.
Natural ingredients, however, work more in balance with our bodies and can be excreted easily, without the potential harm of lingering.
You know that we at NMDL love our plant-based oils and bug repellant is no exception. Ingredients that are directly extracted from plants are they themselves made up of potent chemical compounds that synergistically work together to deter insects, in a form that is not going to cause potential long-terms toxicity in our bodies (because they’re easier to get rid of and our bodies understand better how to excrete them when the time comes).
The best oils are high in certain chemical compounds that have been proven to deter insects; they basically act the same as a more toxic chemical compound to mask’s the skin’s natural scent or compound that insects use to find us (kinda crazy, right?). There are a number of oils, especially essential oils, that can do this. Some of the best:
- Oils that come from either eucalyptus or tea tree families, tea tree, rosalina, naiouli, cajeput, lemon eucalyptus or mint eucalyptus
One of my favorites for that I’ve handed off to friends with kids is the Zoe Organics Insect Repellent. It’s a 100% organic blend of botanical oils, in a base of nourishing, non-GMO soybean and castor oils. With geranium, peppermint, lemongrass, clove bud, red thyme and rosemary, it feels (and smells) more like a beautiful, herbal body oil than a bug spray. I’m so sensitive to scents and this one not only smells good, but it actually works without causing me to sneeze or feel overwhelmed by the aroma. Plus, my younger sister used it on her camping trip recently and it kept the bugs at bay, even in a heavily wooded area.
Have you tried a natural bug spray you love? What do you use on your kids? Or is there a DIY recipe we should try?