How does a natural mosquito repellent work?
While there's no official body that decides whether an insect or mosquito repellent is natural or not, industry standard is that the repellent is DEET free and are usually powered by essential oils that repel the mozzies rather than kill them. Despite this, the Australian governing body APVMA do have jurisdiction over the phrase 'insect repellent' so any product that wants to use that name must go through their testing and display the APVMA Approval Number on the products. Most of the mosquito repellent brands in store have gone through that expense, including Natural Wonders with their Good Riddance range.
In this post, we're going to focus mainly on Good Riddance, because they have two different formulas with different active constituents, and they both work.
How does Good Riddance Tropical Insect Repellent work?
Good Riddance Tropical is the 'full strength' formula, using the most popular and effective natural active, lemon tea tree oil. No, it's not citronella like most people assume. It was formulated in Darwin, tested in the Kakadu and has gone through all the clinical testing it needed to go through to get its APVMA registration. While there are many sprays on the market, and we sell some of them, Tropical is a rich shea butter and beeswax cream base. It not only holds the essential oils longer, but the beeswax gives an extra physical barrier against the midges and sandflies too. Patch testing is advisable, but for most, this is suitable for children over 2 years of age.
How does Good Riddance Sensitive Mosquito Repellent work?
Good Riddance Sensitive is suitable for babies over 3 months, for pregnant women and those with sensitive skin or eczema, the active has been swapped in the Sensitive range to Lavender essential oil instead of Lemon Tea Tree. It's in the same creamy base as the Tropical.
You can be confident with either of these formulas because of the comprehensive testing they'd had to go through to get their registered status with the APVMA.
Vanilla Mozi Bite-Proof Cream
The makers of Vanilla Mozi explain their formulation in the following way. They call their product a Bite-Proof Body Cream. Using the term Biomimicry, Vanilla Mozi have created a proprietary fragrance blend, that when applied to the body, mimics the scent of flowers that various bugs don't like, including mosquitoes. They do not disclose exactly what's in there because they other brands will copy them, but we can tell you what's NOT in there.
Vanilla Mozi is:-
- DEET free
- Citronella Free
- Palm Oil Free
- Paraben Free
- Cruelty Free
- Natural & Organic
- Pesticide Free
Why has using citronella in natural mosquito repellent gone out of favour?
For many, it's not the most pleasant of essential oils to smell. While it's a cousin of lemongrass, it doesn't smell as nice. If you choose to diffuse this essential oil or even use a candle, it's important to do it in a well ventilated area. It's rare that people diffuse citronella indoors as it's usually used to keep mosquitos at bay when you're outside.
If you have dogs, it's really important to know that citronella essential oil is not safe for dogs. You should not apply human insect repellent to dogs that contains citronella (and anything else you should check as well as there are several essential oils that are toxic for pets), you should not diffuse citronella around dogs or burn candles around them either.
For humans, if you're not in a well ventilated area, citronella can be irritating to the eyes when it's diffused and to the skin when it's applied topically. We recommend you patch test any topical product with citronella in it before applying to your whole body.