August usually means two things: muggy and buggy. It seems like insects, especially mosquitos are out in full force, which can make going outside truly unpleasant. Most often we find ourselves doused in chemical laden sprays and gathered around strong scented “candles” just to enjoy the last bits of summer. But neither approach is entirely natural or entirely effective. So why not try a few alternatives this year and see how they compare. Your skin, and your wallet, will thank you.
Lavender, mint, and basil are all known insect repellents. So make these three plants your dear friends. Get your gardening shoes on and plant whichever suits you! Grow them around outdoor seating areas to naturally repel bugs at all hours, no body sprays or unsightly tiki torches needed. These powerhouses will provide aesthetic beauty and ward of mosquitos particularly well. The oils in the three plants are the main repellent, so if you’re out on a warm sunny day try using a lavender scented mist or towlette on the hottest areas of your body, which also happen to be the most targeted by insects (face, neck, arms, etc.).
Another alternative is making your own sprays. If ticks are of concern in your area you may need the ‘heavy duty’ arsenal of apple cider vinegar and dried herbs. In a airtight quart sized container combine one 32 ounce jar of apple cider vinegar (with the mother), and 2 tablespoons each of dried sage, thyme, rosemary, lavender, and mint. Let this sit in the jar for two to three weeks, shaking each day. Then dilute in half with water and pour in a spray bottle.
Well & Good Studio offers another effective, and gentle, bug repellent. A company called Skincando produces it. It has three standout ingredients, which are: lemon eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, and lemon tea tree oil. These oils, along with a few other ingredients, create a spray that wards off bugs with a comparable effectiveness rate to brands like OFF. The spray is also free from artificial fragrances, making it have a pleasant aroma and safe for the most sensitive skin.