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 seem to bother me much. It seemed as 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. It turned out to be a DIY essential oil insect repellent with coconut oil, which keeps bugs at a distance as they don’t seem to like the smell of it.
Earlier this year we spent a month in beautiful Koh Samui, also known as the coconut island of 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 the abundance of all sorts of mosquitoes.
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. They’re not good for my health or for the environment.
Luckily there are many natural alternatives which I talk about in my article about toxin-free living.
If you want to keep mosquitoes at a distance without the harsh ingredients used in many store-bought insect repellents, this natural bug repellent is a great option.
It also contains coconut oil which has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-viral properties.
At the same time it’s very gentle on the skin.
To make this insect repellent you need 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, clove and rosemary are good ones.
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 going for a swim 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, so if you need it for the cold, it’s better to use a fractionated coconut oil which always stays liquid.
Fractionated coconut oil is a processed oil that often requires chemicals to remove the Lauric acid (which is what makes the coconut oil solid when it’s cold). Since the whole idea is to avoid using chemicals as much as possible, I really recommend researching to find out how a particular product has been made. Always try to use the most natural option.