Mosquitos are blood-sucking, fun-squelching pests that can make any outdoor adventure into an itchy mess.
Think about it: There’s a lot of prep work involved in a family hike. You have to check the weather, pack lunches and snacks, and corral the kiddos into the car—and that’s all before you even get to the trail!
You do this planning because you want your kids to remember having a good time in nature and enjoy the beauty they see along the way. Don’t let mosquitoes ruin your experience by leaving your family with itchy bumps that last for weeks.
At The Natural Patch Co., we are all about educating parents on family-friendly products that can protect your kids from mosquitoes and make the outdoors fun again.
Keep reading to learn more about mosquito repellent lotion and why it might not be the best option for your family.
Types of Mosquito Repellent Lotion
Generally, there are four main types of mosquito repellent ingredients.
First, we have lotions containing DEET. DEET is a dangerous chemical compound used to repel mosquitoes that is used in a variety of products.
Next, there’s a compound called Picaridin. Picaridin isn’t as widely used as DEET, and it’s not the best option, either. While Picaridin is a little less harmful than DEET, it’s still full of potentially harmful chemicals.
Another option is sunscreens that contain bug repellent. While this two-in-one product might help save time in the morning, it may include those same nasty chemicals that you’re trying to avoid at all costs.
Finally, families can use natural lotions to keep the mosquitoes at bay. There's a fairly wide range of natural products like lotions and more that are made with essential oils and other naturally-occurring products that can prevent bugs from hanging around. As parents, we love natural ingredients, but lotions are still a bit of a sticky situation (literally).
Let’s learn a little more about your bug-be-gone options (and why it might not be lotion) so that you can confidently protect your family.
DEET lotions are readily available at most stores that sell outdoor equipment. However, if you find yourself in a country like Canada or Denmark, DEET has actually been banned from use due to health and safety concerns.
We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty sure Canada and Denmark have the right idea. Remember that bug spray from your childhood camping trips that made you want to gag? Yeah, that’s DEET.
Now, you might be thinking: “Those sprays smell awful. Does the lotion smell like that too?” Unfortunately, yes.
Most DEET-based lotions have a similar scent to those bug sprays whose scent is permanently ingrained into your brain. Worst of all, DEET is a harsh chemical that’s been known to cause skin irritation, among other issues.
While DEET-based lotions are effective in repelling pests like mosquitos, gnats, ticks, and fleas, it comes at a price. So, like with all insect repellents, we encourage you to do your own research into what product is best for your family.
If you decide that DEET products are not your cup of tea, no worries. There are plenty of other options to choose from.
Picaridin is a DEET alternative that imitates natural substances that repel mosquitoes. Like DEET, Picaridin relies on potentially dangerous chemicals to repel bugs.
The EPA’s toxicity program says this chemical may produce a “mild or slight irritation within 72 hours,” which can be a concern for parents with kids that have had reactions to chemical products in the past.
Even if your kiddo isn’t prone to skin reactions, these harsh chemicals can still be a concern. Our skin is one of the body’s largest organs and first layers of defense, and it’s exactly what we’re trying to protect from those pesky mosquitoes—so why would we slather it in toxins?
As with any product, we recommend looking into the research behind this ingredient a bit more before making a final decision. Always read the product label for active ingredients that may cause skin irritation and other side effects.
Sunscreen-Mosquito Repellent Hybrids
Who wants to spend time slathering more than one product on their squirmy kiddos?
Clearly, we’re not alone. There are several lotion products that contain bug repellent and SPF products all in one.
Sun exposure is no joke, and it is always essential to protect your children from those harmful rays.
While some of these products overlap with the “Natural Insect Repellent Lotion” section below with products like zinc, peppermint oils, and oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), many of them rely on the same harmful chemicals we’re trying to avoid when preventing bites.
Plus, you may not always need both sunscreen and repellent. Sunscreens with zinc tend to be pretty heavy, so if you’re looking for a light coverage repellent lotion to use when the sun goes down, this might not be your product of choice.
Why Natural Ingredients Matter
It’s no secret that so many products contain words that are hard to pronounce, much less recognize. We don’t know about you, but if we don’t want to cover our bodies with chemicals and substances that are hard to recognize.
Parents like to know what products they are putting on their childrens’ skin. We often say that our children are like little sponges (especially when repeating those swear words they definitely weren’t supposed to hear). But our children are sponges in more than that way. Human skin has the ability to absorb creams and lotions and send them coursing through our bodies.
In 2005, the Environmental Working Group published two studies that showed that chemicals rubbed onto pregnant women’s skin posed a bigger threat than scientists previously assumed. They tested for 400 toxic chemicals; 287 of these toxic substances were found in their child’s umbilical cord.
But, how do you stay away from toxic chemicals when looking to protect your little ones from mosquitoes?
Natural Lotion Repellents
Tons of natural products can effectively prevent mosquito bites without harming your precious little ones. These lotions are made from a variety of combinations of essential oils and natural products, including lavender, lemongrass, cinnamon, geranium, citronella, and tea tree oils.
Guess what? That list sounds a lot like what you’re probably already using around your house! You trust essential oils to make your home smell amazing, ease you into sleep, and clear your sinuses. Essential oils are powerful, but lotions are just so… ugh. Our kids hate being slathered in sticky creams.
A Patch To Buzz About
We feel the same way. That’s why we decided to make a mosquito repellent made of natural ingredients… no sprays or lotions required. With BuzzPatch, your kid can stick a fun patch—or several—on their body to keep mosquitoes away with the gentle ingredients that are kind to their skin and the environment.
Final Thoughts: Is Lotion Repellent For You?
From citronella candles to rosemary to lemon eucalyptus oil, there are many ways to avoid those dreaded mosquito bites. Mosquitoes can carry viruses like Zika virus, West Nile virus, and even Dengue fever, so it's important to keep your family safe.
While there are tons of mosquito repellent options on the market, only you know what’s best for you and your kids.
The Natural Patch Co. has your back with our MagicPatch Itch Relief Patches. These are like little band-aids that contain itch relief medicine the whole family will love.
This formula can stop mosquitoes in their tracks and keep your kiddos from fussing due to itchy bites.
Double up on protection with one of our BuzzPatch stickers. They will give you peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are protected even more, and they're easy to store in backpacks, your pants pocket, or your hiking gear.
Mosquito repellents come in all shapes and sizes. You don’t have to create a cloud of bug spray to protect your kids from those blood-suckers or rely on stiff fabrics and long-sleeved shirts.
With the fun and powerful stickers from The Natural Patch Co., you can bid goodbye to sprays, lotions, and most importantly, mosquitoes.