Last Update: June 9, 2023
Summer means splashing in pools, hitting the sand, savoring stone fruits, backyard barbecues, and … figuring out how to prevent mosquito bites! Nature’s smallest creatures love to come out and play during the hottest months of the year, which makes bug spray an essential skin-care item for every member of the family.
Whether it’s gnats, mosquitoes, wasps, or fire ants, keeping bugs away often becomes the focus of any outdoor summer activity. The good news: There are lots of natural bug-bite prevention options to try!
Some of the best essential oils for bug repellent are inside this DIY recipe.
3 ounces witch hazel
1 tablespoon jojoba oil
20 drops Thrive Market Organic Cedarwood Essential Oil
20 drops Thrive Market Organic Lemongrass Essential Oil
20 drops Thrive Market Organic Citronella Essential Oil
20 drops geranium essential oil
20 drops Thrive Market Organic Peppermint Essential Oil
20 drops Thrive Market Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil
Blend all ingredients in a small spray bottle and shake to combine.
We’re pretty fanatical about natural bug bite prevention—no DEET here!—and have a handful of safe picks to keep your whole family covered.
A host of essential oils (like geranium, cedarwood, rosemary, and peppermint) work together to effectively repel summer’s insects. The water-based formula is non-greasy and can also be sprayed on clothing or gear.
“So happy to have found a natural bug repellent that works! Once I started spraying my son down with this before going outside to play, he stopped coming home covered in bites.”
Keep your outdoor lifestyle bug-free with All Terrain’s natural insect repellent. This DEET-free option mixes six essential oils and features 26 percent active ingredients to keep pesky insects at bay.
“I used this on a backpacking trip in Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula. It works! I slept in it and it caused no irritation to my skin or nose.”
Cruelty- and paraben-free, Quantum Buzz’s mosquito repellent features plant-based oils with soy bean and geranium oil to protect your skin from mosquitoes for up to four hours.
“This kept mosquitoes away from me and I like that it does not have a strong odor or sting.”
Try this plant-based spray with a refreshing lemon and eucalyptus scent. Made with Citriodiol, a clinically proven plant-based repellent, it’s both good for your family and the planet.
“I bought this after being bitten twice within 15 seconds of standing in my backyard. Once I applied it to all exposed skin on my arms and legs, the back of my neck, and the brim of my hat, I was able to stand still in the same area for five minutes with no bites.”
As much as bug sprays help keep the bites away, sometimes we still get one (or two). When a red bump surfaces, treat it quickly with these natural itch relief creams. (Our Thrive Market members rave about them.)
The name says it all—All Terrain helps you ditch the itch with its soothing relief spray formulated with colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and neem oil.
“I keep it in a travel bag for summer trips.”
For bug bites, dry skin, or cracked heels, this vegan lotion from ACURE is formulated with lavender and colloidal oatmeal to hydrate and nourish your skin.
“This has become my new before-bed lotion, thanks to the lovely lavender scent.”
This small jar packs a big punch against bug bites, bumps, and scrapes. A little goes a long way—just massage the olive oil and beeswax-infused cream into your skin for instant relief.
“I use this on my kids’ mosquito bites and it’s like magic!”
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