As June unfolds, each passing day gets warmer, allowing us to enjoy more time outdoors. We break out our tank tops and shorts in hopes of soaking up the afternoon sun, and at night we sit fireside, making s'mores while swaddled in our damp pool towels. However, as we fill our agendas with summer fun, one of the most infamous summer critters has an agenda of its own...
One minute we're laughing at the picnic table, enjoying our BBQ cookout, and the next minute we're slapping our arms and legs in reaction to the pesky insects that we know all too well - mosquitoes. Some afternoons it seems almost impossible to avoid these awful bugs, as they begin to appear in dozens when we least expect it.
Store-bought bug repellent can help to keep you and your family itch-free; However, it is not the most ideal thing to be applying to skin, as it is packed with strong chemicals. But don't lose all hope - We have an all-natural and easily-homemade alternative for you!
Coconut Oil-based Insect Repellent
Mosquitoes don't like the strong aroma of essential oils such as tea tree, eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, citronella, peppermint, or spearmint, so they tend to stay far away when they pick up their scent. Even cooler? Mosquitoes aren't the only ones who stay far away from these smells - spiders, moths, beetles, lice, and even fleas are repelled by them, too! So, as the first ingredient in your insect repellent, go ahead and pick your favorite essential oil. Make sure it's one you like, because you're definitely going to be smelling like it!
Because pure essential oils are very concentrated, applying them directly to the skin may cause dryness or irritation. To prevent this, we combine them with what we call a carrier oil, which is used to dilute the essential oil. Coconut oil, known for its moisturizing and soothing properties, is the perfect carrier oil for a DIY insect repellent because it provides the skin with nutrients as it keeps the bugs away.
Applying a layer of coconut oil on your skin will discourage mosquitoes from latching onto you and biting, because your skin will be too slippery for them to land on! Not only is coconut oil useful for preventing bites, but also for treating them. Rubbing coconut oil on a bug bite can calm the itching within seconds, and bring down the swelling within minutes.
Let's do it!:
Creating your own insect repellent is extremely easy. Grab your coconut oil, a bowl, and a spoon. Spoon out whatever amount of coconut oil you will need in order to completely cover any exposed skin. Mash up the coconut oil in your bowl so that it isn't chunky. Next, mix in a few drops of your chosen essential oil. Try to keep a 4:1 ratio - for every 4 scoops of coconut oil, add one drop of your essential oil. Stir until the mixture is smooth, and then apply it to the skin as you would a lotion. Head for the backyard, and start having some worry-free summer fun!