If you are looking to make your own personal care products, then you might consider making your own homemade mosquito repellent. Store-bought insect repellents are expensive and filled with toxic chemicals that are both unhealthy for you and your children and bad for the environment.
This recipe is all natural and made from essential oils. Although you will initially have a small investment in the essential oils necessary to make this product, you can then use the leftover oils to make other homemade products you can use around your home, such as homemade household cleaning products.
To make your own mosquito repellent you will need:
1 c. witch hazel
20 drops citronella oil
20 drops lemon eucalyptus oil
10 drops lavender oil
10 drops peppermint oil
Small empty spray bottle
Use a small funnel to pour the witch hazel into the clean spray bottle. Add the drops of essential oil, replace the top of the bottle, and shake until blended.
Some recipes call for distilled water instead of witch hazel, but the oils really blend better with the witch hazel. You can find witch hazel next to the hydrogen peroxide at your local drug store. It costs only about a dollar a bottle. Rubbing alcohol can also be used in the place of witch hazel.
Spray this solution on yourself every couple of hours. Be careful of spraying too much on your clothing or the oils could possibly stain your clothing.
Do not spray directly on your face. Spray on your hands first and then wipe on face, trying to avoid your eyes, nose, and mouth.
This solution is not recommended for children under the age of 3, as some of the oils may have an adverse reaction in young children.
This natural mosquito repellent is also effective for repelling ticks. The lemon eucalyptus oil works great for tick prevention. You can also use this spray on your dogs to help prevent ticks.
When using on your dog, test a small area of your dog's skin first to make sure that your dog is not allergic to any of the oils. Some dogs can have a reaction such as seizures when exposed to some essential oils, and reactions vary by dog and dog breed. Also do not apply to your dog's skin immediately following a bath.
It is also a good idea to test a small area of your own skin before spraying it all over if you do not know if you are allergic to any of the essential oils. Even if a product is natural, you can still be sensitive to any of the ingredients, and allergic reactions can vary from person to person.
If you are curious what the different oils are for, here are some short descriptions of each oil.
Lavender oil is considered to be a great insect repellent all on its own, although when applied without the other oils added it will only last for about 30 minutes on your skin. It is also used to repel fleas on dogs.
Peppermint oil also works as a insect repellent on its own and is also safe for pets.
Citronella oil and lemon eucalyptus oil are both well known for the insect repelling properties. The lemon eucalyptus oil has the added benefit of repelling ticks. None of the other oils listed here repel ticks.
The biggest benefit of mixing the different oils together is that fact that you will be able to repel more types of insects (mosquitos, fleas, ticks, etc.). The different scents also combine to create a nice smelling herbal spray.
If you are tired of using personal products full of toxic chemicals, then give this easy recipe a try. If you don't have access to all the oils listed, use the ones you can find and see what works for you.
Copyright 2012, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.
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