It’s taken a little while for me to write this down because I’ve been experimenting with recipes and making sure it worked on my mozzie-magnet, our youngest child. He’s the one who gets bitten like 25 times on the side of the leg and they blow up into huge welts. So you can see why I was motivated to find an effective, simple and entirely natural mozzie (Aussie for mosquito) repellant.
It works so well, and we use it so often, that I’ve begun to make double quantities. It’s great to have it on hand, and be able to use it with abandon without worrying about the cost.
The evidence that supports this recipe can be found here. Of particular note is that Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil has been shown to be as effective as DEET, a man-made chemical insect repellant commonly used in conventional commercial insect repellants.
Note that I use coconut oil in this recipe, but you can use any skin-friendly oil really like jojoba. Olive degrades quite quickly, but if you are a frequent user then go ahead, it’s not going to sit around long anyway.
I make my sprays in a glass spray bottle sourced from a local supplier, and I find the dark glass is better for the stability of the mixture. Again though, don’t fuss too much if you are going to be churning through it quickly.
You will need
100ml spray bottle (preferably dark glass, but see above for notes on this)
20 drops lemon eucalyptus oil (or lemongrass if not available)
10 drops eucalyptus oil (sold at most Aussie supermarkets)
12 drops terra armour blend (from doTerra – substitutes listed below*)
5 drops clove oil
5 drops ravintsara oil (doTerra supplies this also, substitutes listed below**)
A splash of witch hazel (or strong vodka)
120ml (approx) Fractionated Coconut Oil (the one that remains in liquid form)
120ml (approx) cooled boiled water, or distilled water
Add all the essential oils carefully dropping straight into the bottle.
Squeeze a generous splash of witch hazel in and mix all around. Leave it sit for a while if you wish, but honestly even if you don’t it’s not a drama.
Fill the bottle half and half with the coconut oil and the water – I find the oil helps disperse it on the skin when you apply it and prevents the spray from evaporating as soon as you apply it. It makes it last a little longer on the skin.
The oils I use are ethically sourced, and food-grade, which means I feel better about using them directly on the skin (which will absorb them).
If you are using on very young children, you will need to dilute it significantly.
And that’s it! Couldn’t be simpler, and I find it really effective. If you need help sourcing any ingredients just comment below.
SAFETY NOTE: Always patch test small amounts to ensure no reaction occurs, and never allow oils within reach of children. They are highly potent and poisonous in their pure form.
*Instead of Terra Armour you could use any blend of citronella, cypress, rosemary, geranium according to personal preference)
** Instead of ravensara oil you could use Rosemary, inula, eucalyptus, thyme, or tea tree
Alena Turley is a founder, mentor, ethical content creator and mother of three based on Sydney's Northern Beaches. She is equal parts loved and fired up to support mums in making deep and lasting changes inside and out. We at the Soul Mama Hub acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we live, learn and create and invite you to feel deeply and tread lightly.