Summer is here at last, with the promise of leisurely evenings spent outdoors under the stars, eating grilled meats and catching up with friends. The yearly mosquito scourge hasn’t arrived in France as the weather has been unseasonally cool, but it’s time to start thinking about natural remedies and protection that do not involve DEET.
DEET (N,N-diéthyl-3-méthylbenzamide) is a registered pesticide classified in the US as “slightly toxic”. It is a member of the toluene chemical family, an organic solvent used in rubber and paint removers. Between 9 % and 56 % of DEET is absorbed through the skin, mostly within two hours following application. Neurological problems have been linked to DEET exposure and research in rats has revealed that high levels of DEET can kill neurons in areas of the brain that control muscle movement, learning, memory and concentration .
Here’s a list of alternatives available in France. Most can be purchased online:
Anti-Pique by Abiessence.
In this unpressurized atomizer, a blend of essential oils of lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, peppermint, geranium, lemongrass, sage and cinnamon provides lasting protection from mosquitoes. Spray generously at 20 cm from the skin and massage lightly. Re-apply several times a day.
Abiessence, La Source. 33-4-77646488
Mousticare from Végébom.
Composed of purified geraniol extracted from citronella, this spray can be used both on clothing and curtains, tents, strollers and cars. The manufacturer says it is effective for six weeks, and requires re-application after each wash.
MoustiCare, Végébom. 33-1-45004629
Outdoor lotion with citronella, from Druide.
Certified by Ecocert, this citronella-based lotion from Quebec’-based natural cosemetics firm Druide is safe to use on children from two years and upwards. It contains citronella, terpenes, aloes, betacarotene and tea tree oil.
Lait Hyrdatant Citronelle by Druide. Available at biocosmeo.
Répulsif insectes volantes from Gravier.
At night, try putting this mixture of lavender and cloves and geranium and citronelle into a diffuser for some bug-free beauty rest.
Répulsif insectes volantes, Gravier. 33-4-72443868
via Quelle santé magazine