I never gave much thought to the cosmetics I used until I had kids. Then something as simple as selecting a bug spray became a great battle of conscience. I imagined my infant daughter’s chunky, little arm with a big, red Horsefly bite or a nasty tick nestled amongst the sprigs of downy hair.
I was terrified of her getting some illness from a bug bite, but at the same time, I’d seen OFF literally melt the plastic fibers of a baseball cap. It felt a little too much like being saved from a shipwreck by cannibals in canoes so I began researching alternatives. It began with a blog post about rose geranium oil for keeping ticks away. Soon I was gathering supplies and making my own bug spray. And it turns out I’m not the only one. In October of 2015, Grand View Research reported that the essential oil market is expected to reach 11.67 million by 2022. This is driven largely by consumers who, like me, are becoming increasingly aware of the hazards of conventional cosmetics.
I wasn’t sure how well my bug spray worked until my daughter’s daycare provider asked me for the recipe. I’ve tweaked it a bit as my oil repertoire has grown but the basics are largely the same.
Bug Be Gone Spray
4 0z Witch Hazel
15 drops each
- lemongrass essential oil
- lavender essential oil
- peppermint essential oil
- rose geranium essential oil
- citronella essential oil
- rosemary essential oil
- tea tree essential oil
8 oz spray bottle (glass or metal, not plastic)
distilled water (or tap water that’s been boiled and cooled)
- Count drops of essential oil as you drip them into the spray bottle.
- Measure 4oz of witch hazel and pour into the spray bottle using a funnel.
- Top off with distilled water.
- Shake and spray on clothing and exposed skin before enjoying the great outdoors.