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How to Use DEET-Free Repellents

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What are the alternatives to DEET?

DEET has been the go-to insect repellent since its discovery over half a century ago. Nowadays there are alternatives to DEET that are becoming increasingly popular. The main two alternatives are Saltidin® and Citriodiol® (Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus) both of which are approved for use as insect repellents under the Biocidal Products Regulations (528/2012). Their main advantage compared to DEET is that they don’t affect plastics, synthetic materials or strip off nail varnish. Often parents with young children, prefer the DEET-Free alternatives for family use.

Our DEET-Free options are Repel Natural (Citriodiol®), Repel Midge (Saltidin®), and Repel Sensitive (Saltidin®), all of which give long lasting protection for up to 8 hours with the exception of Repel Natural which gives up to 10 hours of protection. Understanding how to apply insect repellents correctly is essential to get the best protection possible.

  • Try and wear a long sleeve top and trousers where possible as this reduces the amount of exposed skin and the amount of repellent needed.
  • Only spray exposed skin, trying to avoid damaged and sunburnt skin, and do not spray onto clothes.
  • When applying to your face, spray onto your hands first and then apply to face, avoiding your mouth and eyes.
  • When applying to young children spray onto your hands and then apply to your child.
  • We recommend washing skin where repellent was applied before going to bed.

Can I use DEET-Free repellents with sunscreen?Sunscreen

Yes. New advice from the International Society of Travel Medicine suggests that you should apply an insect repellent first and then the sunscreen. Re-apply the sunscreen as necessary. The sunscreen may affect the duration of the insect repellent by around an hour, re-apply when insects start coming closer to you again.We advise against the use of products that combine the two, as sunscreen should be applied much more frequently than an effective insect repellent.

Should I re-apply after I’ve been swimming?

Yes. We even recommend that you re-apply insect repellent if you have been caught in a heavy rain shower and you should also consider re-applying after perspiration.

I have sensitive skin, which repellent should I use?

For sensitive skin we recommend Repel Sensitive which contains 20% Saltidin® and is gentle on the skin, non-greasy, and has a pleasant smell. It is suitable for pregnant women and children aged 2+. For sensitive skin we would always advise applying repellent to a small amount of skin first to test for irritation or allergic reaction. Discontinue use if an allergic reaction occurs. 

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Written by Stefan
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