If you've ever found your body polka-dotted with mosquito bites after stepping outside on a summer evening, you'll agree that insect repellent is nothing to play around with. You want it, and you want it STRONG!
Except that conventional bug sprays, powerful as they may be, are equally dangerous to your health. Desperate to keep away bugs and with no alternative in sight, I've applied a formula with DEET, a known carcinogen and neurotoxin, and immediately regretted it. This stuff smells toxic! I shudder at the thought of it sinking into my skin! It's my guess that it repels humans as well.
What's the natural alternative? In addition to several non-toxic bug sprays from brands like Kiss My Face, Badger (Badger bug repellent balms are certified organic) and Sunfeather, you have the option of mixing your own blend of bug-repelling essential oils, exactly to your liking. Essential oils known to ward off insects include citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree. Dilute a few drops in vegetable oil and dab around your body (especially on pulse points) or mix the same amount into a spray bottle of purified water, witch hazel or vodka (cheap vodka works) and spray over your skin the same way you would with a conventional repellent. Remember to do it your way. If you absolutely can't stand the scent of citronella, choose others from the recommended list.
If those biting bugs continue to single you out for their next meal (you know who you are!), you might look at your diet for any regular sources of sugar, fruit or fruit juice that could be making your body chemistry sweeter than others'. This may only be the remedy some of the time. Other advice: try recommended supplements to support your natural bug repellent, B1 (thiamin) and garlic.