I spend a lot of time abroad, a big part of it in the tropics.
Hot sunny weather, jungle, beach and palm trees? Yes please.
Unfortunately these places often come with something I enjoy less: mosquitoes and other insects.

In the past I used to be safe; while my boyfriend would have bites all over his body, mosquitos didn’t bother me much. It seemed as if they didn’t like my blood so much as his. Lucky me.

Well, those happy days are over now. I don’t know how flattered I should feel about it, but I am back in favor, so I really had to find something to protect myself with. This DIY essential oil insect repellent with coconut oil makes a big difference. It helps keeps bugs at a distance as they don’t seem to like the smell of it.



Natural protection


Earlier this year we spent a month on the beautiful coconut island Koh Samui in Thailand.
We stayed in the mountains overlooking the ocean, surrounded by jungle.
My work space was an open air terrace with magnificent views. It was truly amazing.
The only downside to it was that there were tons of bugs.
I never really had to worry about them in the past, but now I suddenly found several bites all over my body.

As you know I avoid using synthetic products as much as I can and am all about toxin-free living.
Luckily there are many natural alternatives to most mainstream beauty and household products.

If you want to keep mosquitoes at a distance without the harsh ingredients from many store-bought insect repellents, this natural alternative is a great option.

It contains coconut oil which has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-viral properties.
Scientific research has even shown that coconut oil compounds are more effective at repelling insects than DEET.
At the same time it is very gentle on the skin.



DIY essential oil insect repellent with coconut oil



1 cup / 250 ml coconut oil
50 drops of essential oil


Use coconut oil in liquid consistency as a carrier oil.
Virgin coconut oil is always the best option, but in this case a good quality organic refined oil (make sure it’s expeller pressed) will do just fine.

Mix the coconut oil with your choice of essential oils.

Strong smelling oils such as citronella, eucalyptus, rosemary and clove are always good options.
You can use a mix of 1-2 or more of the following essential oils:

Tea tree


Pour the mix in a spray bottle or other container and apply it to your skin before and whenever you are exposed to bugs.

Reapply after swimming or when you sweat a lot.

Note: this recipe is made for warm temperatures, which naturally keep the coconut oil liquid.
It will get solid in colder climates. This is ok, because it has the same efficiency, but you will need a different container for it.



Which essential oils to use?


There is a lot of choice when it comes to essential oil brands, which is great.
The variations in quality depend on factors such as the production method and where the oil was sourced. The price will often reflect this.

I personally put a lot of importance in the following:


– The oil should be 100% pure, without any synthetics, aromas or other additions.

– The production method should be gentle to ensure that all properties are preserved as much as possible. Good options are for example steam distillation and cold pressing.

– The company should be very transparent and you should get a good idea of what they do and stand for from their website.
If they are also environmentally conscious and reflect this in their business, it’s a big plus.

– I prefer buying organic, however sometimes the certification process is a bit more complicated, especially when you source from different countries. Sometimes a product isn’t certified organic, but it still is organic.

– Price : quality should be balanced. Like you, I love good quality, but I also appreciate paying a fair price for it.

– What will I use the oil for? If it’s for a DIY recipe that I use in my mouth such as for these Ayurvedic oil pulling cubes, the oil should be therapeutic grade. For external uses, it’s less relevant, although you still want a good oil.


A high quality and affordable essential oil brand is Plant Therapy.
Their oils are 100% pure and verified by third party testing, with the results published on their website.

They offer a broad selection of oils such as Citronella, Clove and Lemongrass which are excellent for this DIY essential oil insect repellent with coconut oil.
Their prices are great and the oils are therapeutic grade, so you can also use them internally.


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I only link to products that I love, would use myself and have researched. Thank you for your support! 


Happy travels!




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Homemade essential oil insect repellent with coconut oil