Today I am giving you a recipe that is a little different. It’s for bug spray (not so tasty..). I’m down to the single digits now before I leave for Bali for my Yoga Teacher Training so I’m making sure I’ve got all my basics covered. I’m currently detoxing to make sure I’m feeling 100% and am sorting out any cravings (using my detox program), I’ve sorted out my massive supply of coconut oil to use as my sunscreen, conditioner, and moisturiser (key to packing is taking multi-use items and coconut oil is so versatile!), I’ve got my bag pretty much packed (when did I become my mother??), and I’ve been making up homemade natural insect repellent.
The thing I like about the recipe I am using is that it not only repels bugs and creepy crawlies, but it also doubles up as a skin soother. Most bug sprays out there are loaded with nasty chemicals and can leave you feeling greasy, stinky, and like a walking toxic mess.
One of the most common nasty bug spray ingredients is a chemical called DEET. According to the site ‘Green Your Body’ DEET is:
“One of the most widely used ingredients in store-bought conventional bug sprays for personal use is N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide, or DEET, as it’s commonly known. DEET, which is designed to repel, rather than kill, insects. DEET is used by an estimated one-third of the US population each year. Although DEET is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is a known eye irritant and can cause rashes, soreness, or blistering when applied to the skin. Additionally, DEET has been linked to neurological problems; according to the EPA, at least 18 different cases of children suffering adverse neurological effects, as well as the deaths of two adults, have been associated with DEET. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that DEET causes diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats.
DEET has been shown to have a negative impact on wildlife and water sources in production and during use. DEET is toxic to birds and aquatic life. DEET has been found in approximately 75 percent of U.S. water sources, including the Mississippi River.”
Thankfully this recipe is all natural so you get to avoid any chemical shit-storms.
This recipe uses witch hazel as the main base to help it stick to your skin (you cant actually feel it all over you though which is nice compared to normal sprays). Witch hazel has natural cleansing and healing properties and so many different uses, but in regards to how it benefits your skin (as that’s where this recipe lends it to end up) some of the benefits include: it works as a skin toner as it removes excess oil from the skin, helps heal acne and blemish prone skin, fades bruises, helps soothe any bug bites/itches and helps ease sunburn (I wish I had discovered this sooner!).
Then the recipe uses certain essential oils which help ward off the bugs. For my mix I like a combination of tea tree and lavender as I find these smells work well together, they soothe my skin, and I love the smell of them. Other oils that helps ward of the bugs are Rosemary, Citronella, Clove, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Lemongrass, Catnip, and Mint.
So moving on to actually making this you will need:
- Witch hazel (you can pick this up cheap at chemists) – you can also use vodka if you cant access witch hazel and for those of you who are really brave and don’t care about smelling a little vinegary you can sub this for apple cider vinegar to make it even more potent (although I am in a group of 20 odd people and don’t want to be singled out as the smelly kid).
- 50+ drops of your essential oil mix – the more you use the stronger it is.
- Water (distilled or boiled and cooled if possible)
- Spray Bottle
- Pour in to a spray bottle (I am also filling the witch hazel bottle up as back up supplies) the base of witch hazel and water. The ratio of witch hazel to water can be anywhere from 50:50 onwards. Because the bugs (and humidity) are in rich supply in Bali I made mine 80:20 (witch hazel: water – to help make it more sticky).
- Then add your combination of essential oils. For this blend in my 70 ml spray bottle I put 25 drops of tea tree and 25 drops of lavender – in the larger 200ml bottle I put 40 of each
- Leave a little space in the bottles so you can shake it up as the oil does tend to stay at the top.
Spray spray spray!
Natural beauty solutions are a must for me and my sensitive skin (there is a whole module on it in this!) – get on this simple recipe and let me know your essential oil combos that you use.