DIY natural insect repellent.
By Amy Crawford
I’ll hazard a guess and say that the vast majority of those reading this post have, at some point in their lives, sprayed that shall-not-be-mentioned-brand of insect repellent all over their exposed skin... and face. Is your hand up? Yes, I thought so.
I’ll be honest, as a passionate beach goer I loved the stuff. Along with barbecued sausages, it was one of the smells that defined an Aussie summer for me. But that was at a time when I was far less educated on its ingredients and the cumulative impact of toxic chemicals on my skin.
These days I know there are far better alternatives. The insect repellent I’m sharing today will not only keep the bitey-flyie bugs away, but will add all the therapeutic properties of its ingredients to your life (and skin!) too. It’s a win-win.
There are many different essential oils purported to repel insects. These include Lavender, Basil, Thyme, Pine, Vetiver, Bergamot, Peppermint, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus (including Lemon Eucalyptus). Nothing too exotic here so you can very simply create your own concoction according to what you have available.*
But, before we begin...
Please make sure you are only using 100% therapeutic grade essential oils. Essential oils are super easy to find in your local stores, however, many will contain synthetic fillers (and who knows what else!) - so you are looking for 100% pure!
See the foot of this post for information around how to purchase my oil of choice, doTERRA, at wholesale prices.
Whatever the case, if you’re going to the trouble of making this recipe, do make sure you use quality ingredients.
Your very own insect repellent
It's not all about the essential oils for this remedy. Witch hazel helps to disperse the essential oils through the distilled water but is also a natural astringent and has an abundance of skin soothing benefits. In the absence of witch hazel you can use vodka.
I have added jojoba oil for its moisturising effect but you can omit this entirely or use a different carrier oil. Fractionated coconut oil or almond oil would be good substitutes.
You will need**:
¼ cup boiled or distilled water
1 tablespoon witch hazel or vodka
1 teaspoon jojoba oil
25 drops peppermint oil
15 drops tea tree oil
15 drops lavender oil
15 drops Eucalyptus oil
- Find yourself a small glass spray bottle, hopefully a recycled one! (I now save all of my glass skin care product bottles for these types of occasions.) Because we are working with precious oils, it is highly recommended that you use a dark-coloured bottle to better preserve your concoction. Go for blue or brown glass.
- Combine all of the above ingredients. You can use the essential oils in the list of ingredients or any combination of those listed above as good insect repellents.
- Shake well before each use and apply to your skin and/or clothing, Make sure to keep it away from your eyes. Reapply every couple of hours as necessary. Store your bottle in a cool place, away from sunlight.
No need to bust out the cork hat, folks! Your very own all-natural insect repellent is as easy as that. You can now enjoy the outdoors this summer without a horde of troublesome flies and mosquitoes bothering you and treat your skin well at the same time.
*Pregnant or lactating women, and very young children – please do your research prior to using essential oils. Not all oils are suitable for you.
**This oil is heavily diluted, however, if you have sensitive skin start with a skin test, just to make sure!
Do report back and let me know what essential oil combination you like the most for this remedy and what works for best for you?
Where and how to buy therapeutic grade essential oils (at wholesale prices).
My essential oil of choice are the doTERRA certified pure therapeutic grade oils - they have a reputation for being the safest, purest, most beneficial oils on the market. You will of course find many different essential oils on the market - just be very sure they are 100% pure.
If you would like to buy any of the oils mentioned, you can have them delivered to your door by shopping online here. At 'enroller ID' enter my ID number: 1346532 and then click verify, it should show you my name.
However, my best tip? You can choose to purchase your oils retail by hitting SHOP, but if you are buying more than a couple of oils or would like to purchase some as gifts, I highly recommend you pay $35 and set up a wholesale account (by hitting JOIN & SAVE) so that you can enjoy wholesale prices (25% discount) and even earn loyalty rewards for the oils you purchase. There is no obligation at any point to purchase oils.
If you need any help at all deciding which oils to purchase or further information around setting up an account, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I hold free 30 minute Skype wellness consults for those looking to establish wholesale accounts.