Swap Out your Bug Spray!

bugrepel2With summer and mosquito/tick season being only a week away, I figured our swap today would be of bug sprays. I consider personal care products to be “food for your skin,” so that’s why I would consider this a food swap.

Being that we all take in so many toxins from a variety of sources on a daily basis, the next best thing we can do to minimize exposure, other than choosing clean foods, is to use toxin-free personal care products.

Did you know that your skin is your largest organ, and can absorb chemicals that you apply to it? If you currently buy most of your products from a typical drug store, then you are applying multiple chemicals to your body every day.

Just take a look at those labels. Most of us have brands we trust, and don’t think we need to look at labels because why would a company use one that might not be safe? But they do. And if you’re using the same products for months, or years, just think how much you’ve been exposed to.

The summer months bring two of the most challenging products to swap out: sunscreen and bug spray. A couple of weeks ago, I did a sunscreen swap in case you missed it. Now, onto the bug spray and then we’ll get back to real food for the next post!

A good friend of mine lives in a wooded area and is outside in the midst of it often, so she needs a bug spray that will really work. She’s been relying upon one that contains Deet and wanted to swap it out. So, I did some research for her.

Turns out that Consumer Reports just did an investigation to find out which bug repellents were the most effective; and for the first time ever, a couple of safer, milder, plant-like chemicals were found to work better than Deet based ones! Plus, they have fewer side effects. The recommendations were disclosed within a Today article and video.

The top rated ones, tested to last at least 7 hours, are:

To round out the top 5, one with 15% Deet beat out one with 25%:

Of course the best protection against ticks is to avoid tall grassy, wooded areas in the first place! For mosquitos, we know not to store anything with standing water on our property and to avoid being out during the early morning and evening hours, when the sun is not too strong and the air is still.

There’s also a homemade, natural solution for those who’d like to avoid chemical based bug repellents as much as possible. Some claim that a certain essential oil is a natural tick repellent, and there has even been some research done which suggests it could very well be an effective tick repellent. What is it? It’s rose geranium oil. The botanical name is pelargonium capitatum x radens. You can find out how it works and how to best prepare it and apply it to your pet at the Primally Inspired blog.

For pet protection, there are also a variety of non-toxic products available on Dr. Mercola’s site. I am going to try these on my dog this year!

Please note that I have included my Amazon affiliate links for your convenience, in case you can’t find a product at a local store. If you make any purchases through any of the links, I may receive a small commission, which will be used to offset the cost of maintaining this blog.

So, what do you think? Will you give one or more of these products a try?

Here in NY, it is supposed to be an especially heavy tick season, being that we had such a cold winter. I would think the opposite would be true! But that’s not what “they” say.

I hope you enjoy much time out in nature this summer! By taking just a few precautions, we can all relax more easily and concentrate on having a good time. Here’s to creating wonderful memories for summer 2015.

For further reading:

Tick Prevention and Management, by Mother Earth News



About Dawn

As a Certified Health Coach, I provide motivated individuals with the resources, tools, support and encouragement they need to make the gradual changes in food and lifestyle that could completely transform their lives. Contact me.
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