Every summer I welcome the warmer days with open arms until I remember…the mosquitoes. I am unfortunately one of those human beings that mosquitoes love to prey on (you’re welcome). So I am always on the lookout for a bug repellent that works well and is also safe for me to use. Luckily, I work for a company that makes many Certified Organic and 100% natural DEET-free bug repellents! (Seven to be exact.)
So how do I choose between each product? Read on to discern which Badger Anti-Bug products are right for you and to find out which ones are my favorites.
How to use each product
Long lasting and moisturizing: Anti-Bug Balm (Including the 2oz and .75oz tins as well as the 1.5oz and .6oz sticks)
If you’re looking for the biggest bang for your buck, this product is for you. The Anti-Bug Balm has been lab-tested to repel mosquitos for 3.5 hours, and the base of organic olive oil and beeswax makes this super moisturizing and long-lasting. Apply directly to exposed skin (be careful around those eyes!). This balm comes in two stick and tin sizes. My favorite of the four packaging options is the travel stick: I carry it with me everywhere I go and love using it on my neck, wrists, and ankles.
Easy to use: Anti-Bug Shake and Spray (Including the 4oz and 2.7oz spray bottles)
Our spray is by far the most popular Anti-Bug option, and I’m not surprised. It is so easy to use! Shake this product first to mix the essential oils and distilled water, spray all over the body, clothes, and hair, and you’re good to go! What I love about this spray: it does not stain, it’s long-lasting (it has been lab-tested to repel mosquitoes for 3.5 hours), and comes in two different convenient sizes. I use this product in tandem with the Anti-Bug Balm, making sure that I am fully protected when I need it most.
Convenient 2-in-1: SPF 34 Anti-Bug Sunscreen Cream
For those active Badgers that are on the go, this two-in-one product protects from both the sun and those pesky mosquitos. Please note: while the essential oils are strong enough to repel mosquitos for 4 hours, it is very important to remember this product is also a broad spectrum sunscreen and should be reapplied at least every 2 hours (more if being used in the water). (Check out our previous blog on best mineral sunscreen application tips). That said, because of the convenience factor, this product has been one of my all-time favorite Badger products. In fact, I used this product all the time when working for the National Park Service and have been a fan ever since.
All of our Anti-Bug products have a similar essential oil profile that helps to repel mosquitos for 3-4 hours, smells delightful, and features ingredients that have been used for centuries to naturally repel insects: Castor Oil, Citronella, Cedar, Lemongrass, Rosemary, and Geranium. (Note: the Anti-Bug Shake and Spray also includes the active ingredients of Soybean Oil and Peppermint Oil). It is the base ingredients which differ and give each product its unique application.
Anti-Bug Balm (Including the 2oz and .75oz tins as well as the 1.5oz and .6oz sticks)
Active Ingredients: 10% *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil and Essential Oils of 5% *Cymbopogon Nardus (Citronella), 2% *Cedrus Deodara (Cedar), 2% *Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass), 1% *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary), & 1% *Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium).
Inactive Ingredients (79%): *Olea Europaea (Extra Virgin Olive) Oil and *Cera Alba (Beeswax).
Anti-Bug Shake and Spray (Including the 4oz and 2.7oz spray bottles)
Active Ingredients: 23% *Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, 10% *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil and Essential Oils of 4% *Cymbopogon Nardus (Citronella), 2% *Cedrus Deodara (Cedar), 2% *Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass), 1.5% *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary), 1% *Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium), 1% *Mentha Piperita (Peppermint).
Inactive Ingredients (55.5%): Water, .5% *Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Essential Oil.
Active Bug Repellent Ingredients (15.5%):
10% *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, 2.5% *Cymbopogon Nardus (Citronella) Oil, 1.25% *Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Leaf Oil, 1% *Cedrus Atlantica (Cedar) Wood Oil, 0.5% *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, and 0.25% *Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil.
Active Sunscreen Ingredient:
Non-Nano, Uncoated Zinc Oxide 20%
*Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, and *Cera Alba (Beeswax)
Other notable points
While the essential oils used in our anti-bug products are all found on the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list, we don’t recommend using them on infants. A baby’s skin is quite sensitive, and these essential oils can be too strong. We also recommend using caution when applying to toddlers simply because they are exploratory with their mouths and are therefore at an increased risk of ingestion. Before using on kids or anyone with sensitive skin for the first time, we recommend performing a skin patch test by applying a small amount on a small area of skin and then checking for signs of irritation or other skin sensitivity.
All lab tests aside, in my experience, the Anti-Bug Sunscreen does seem to have the longest staying power, followed by the Anti-Bug Balms, then the Anti-Bug Spray. My routine is to choose either the Anti-Bug Balm or the Anti-Bug Sunscreen for all exposed skin, then to follow up with the spray over my clothing and hair (thank goodness it doesn’t stain!). That’s my head-to-toe Badger Anti-Bug plan.
So go ahead bug punks, make my day. Because, no matter the (bug) situation, Badger has me (and you) covered.
Which Anti-Bug product do you love using most? Share your application tips below!