After years of leaving late-summer barbeques covered in mosquito bites, you’ve finally learned to slather yourself in bug spray.
But if you’re worried about the side effects of traditional repellents–long-term exposure to DEET can prove toxic, plus nobody likes smelling like a Girl Scout–we’ve found a few all-natural (and effective) ways to keep the buzzers at bay.
Before heading outdoors, apply Farmaesthetics’ Tansynella Bug Screen ($18) to exposed skin. The subtle, sweet-smelling oil–made in Rhode Island–contains proven bug deterrents like eucalyptus and rosemary oil, and works just as well as the sticky, drugstore versions you’re used to. We also like Real Purity’s herbal insect repellent ($14) for its no-hassle spray bottle and lemon-lavender notes.
Once you’ve ventured into the treacherous wild (or your patio), keep mosquitoes away with a lovely tableau of Yankee Candle’s Conceal tea votives ($10) which repel bugs sans chemicals or citronella. Or, for a sneaky DIY option, spritz the air around you with Listerine–its primary ingredient, eucalyptol, is kryptonite to bugs.
But should you end up with a few nasty bites, relieve the itch (and the swelling) with Burt’s Bees all-natural calamine alternative ($3). And whatever you do: don’t scratch.