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Using natural bug sprays instead of chemical ones can indeed be a safer and healthier option for protecting yourself from pesky insects while on holiday or spending time outdoors. Chemical bug sprays often contain ingredients such as DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), which can pose risks to human health and the environment.

Here are some reasons why using natural bug sprays, like the “No See ‘Em” Bug Spray mentioned in my book “The Baby Boomers Beauty Bible”, can be beneficial:

  1. Safer for your health: Natural bug sprays typically utilize plant-based ingredients and essential oils to repel insects. These ingredients are generally considered safe for human use and do not pose significant health risks. In contrast, chemical bug sprays may contain synthetic compounds that can irritate the skin, cause allergic reactions, or even have toxic effects if ingested or inhaled.
  2. Environmentally friendly: Natural bug sprays are generally biodegradable and less harmful to the environment compared to chemical alternatives. Chemical bug sprays can accumulate in soil and water sources, resulting in adverse effects on beneficial insects, plants, and wildlife.
  3. Effective insect repellents: Essential oils used in natural bug sprays, such as citronella, thyme, lavender, pine, peppermint, and cedarwood mentioned in the recipe, have been known for their insect-repellent properties. They can help deter mosquitoes, flies, ticks, and other bothersome bugs.

Here is a tried-and-tested recipe that I have personally used during my camping trips in the woods.

“No See ‘Em” Bug Spray


  • 5 ml Cider vinegar
  • 5 ml Witch Hazel
  • 100 ml Distilled water
  • Essential Oils:
  • 8 drops Citronella
  • 4 drops Thyme
  • 4 drops Lavender
  • 4 drops Pine
  • 4 drops Peppermint
  • 3 drops Cedarwood


  1. Mix the essential oils (citronella, thyme, lavender, pine, peppermint, and cedarwood) into the cider vinegar and witch hazel. Gently shake the mixture to ensure they are well combined.
  2. Add distilled water to the mixture and continue shaking to create a uniform solution.
  3. Store the bug spray in a glass bottle to maintain its potency and prevent any chemical leaching that may occur with plastic containers.
  4. Before each use, shake the bottle to ensure the ingredients are well mixed.
  5. Apply the bug spray by spraying it on exposed areas of the skin, especially the arms and legs. Pay attention to the tender areas around the ankles and feet, as insects tend to target these areas.

Remember to reapply the bug spray as needed, especially after swimming or excessive sweating, as natural bug sprays may require more frequent application compared to chemical alternatives.

By opting for natural bug sprays, you can protect yourself from insects while minimizing your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. However, it’s important to note that individual reactions and sensitivities to specific ingredients may vary, so it’s always advisable to test a small area of skin first before applying it more extensively.

In addition to using natural bug sprays, it’s important to be mindful of the sun protection products you choose for your skin. Sunscreens, despite being commonly used for sun protection, can contain potentially harmful chemicals. Some ingredients found in certain sunscreens have been linked to hormone disruption, skin irritation, and environmental damage. To learn more about protecting yourself from the sun and making informed choices when it comes to sunscreens, I recommend referring to my recent article on my website. It provides valuable information on alternative sun protection methods and natural sunscreen options that can help safeguard your skin without compromising your well-being.

Remember, taking care of your skin and protecting it from both insects and the sun is crucial, especially during holidays or outdoor activities. By opting for natural bug sprays and being cautious with sunscreens, you can enjoy your time outside while minimizing potential risks to your health and the environment.

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