I've been doing a lot of experimenting with insect repellents this summer. See, I'm one of those people who mosquitos just LOVE. I have 2 children that way too. And being that I try to live a more natural lifestyle and eat organic/natural foods and use organic and natural products, I've found a few I've been using that have NO chemicals in them.
For me, they work about the same as the other ones I've used with Picaradin and IR3535 however, this is not deep woods camping or jungle trekking. Regardless of the speculation over DEET, if I were hiking through the rainforest or deep woods, I'm sure I'd use it.
But this is my backyard at night.
Or watching my son at soccer practice for 45 minutes.
I'm not out for 8 hours.
So I've been using sprays made with essential oils. You can actually make them yourself but then you won't have these pretty little bottles.
These are 2 I've tried and liked so far.
Bumble and Bee makes a small bottle, all ORGANIC which contains soybean oil as a carrier and the essential oils known to ward off the bugs like lemongrass, cloves, peppermint, geranium and rosemary. I do find it a little oily so I make sure to rub into my skin and not get it on my clothes. I use it on my kids too. It's totally chemical -free so if you are looking for a safer alternative to chemicals for your kids, definitely check it out. Doesn't it look cute in my planter? Which is not where I usually keep it trust me. This little baby stays in my purse and another in my beach bag. It's a nice size to carry. Bumble and Bee can be bought online or at various stores and farm stands around the country.
Sweetly Citron is another one I use. I keep this on my patio. This one is water-based which is fine for going over clothes and skin without any worry of oil stains. However I personally don;'t know the difference between water and oil based as far as staying power. Sweetly Citron smells good and is totally safe for kids. It lasts up to 4 hours (but if you're like me, you'll re-spray every 15 minutes)
It uses lavender, lemon, and citronella essential oils. Like my pic near my pool? You can grab it on Amazon
If you are interested in ESSENTIAL OILS, like I am, check out the company I am proud to say I am part of. Not only do they make award winning organic skin care, but a fabulous growing line of natural essential oils and a guide everyone needs to teach you all about the therapeutic and beauty uses of essential oils.
My go-to favorite? LAVENDER! I use a few drops on my pillow each night and on the kids pillows too (it's sleepy medcine for the soul) Also works great for headaches!
See what's on my night table? LOVE this stuff!