The one product I rely on for protection against dengue is citronella bug spray. The brand I use is Human Nature, a Filipino social enterprise which manufactures other health and toiletry products. You can learn about Human Nature here and here.
First off, I issue this disclaimer: I am not paid or perked to review on Human Nature. I am simply making an informed choice given what I have learned so far about mosquitoes, mosquito repellents and the product.
I choose this product mainly because I know that the essential oil of citronella is documented as a biopesticide with no known health hazard. You can read more about citronella oil here. Citronella essential oil is the main ingredient in Human Nature Citronella Bug Spray, though there are two other essential oils that are mosquito-repelling as well—rosemary and lavender oils. The fact that these oils are pure and all-natural, as opposed to synthetic, is what got me.
If you ask me why I am sure this product has pure and natural oils rather than synthetic ones, I would say I just trust the company. And to convince you, I urge you to visit the company website, take an online tour through it, read up on its advocacies on health, the environment and the Philippines, for then you will understand why it’s a trustworthy company.
Now back to the product. I also love the fact that the base oil used in this product is organic Cocos nucifera oil, or coconut oil. Again, I refer you to my previous articles on coconut oil to know why I am all for this oil. This product, then, has nothing but 4 essential oils—all of which, when absorbed through the skin, are not only mosquito-repelling but are health-promoting and nourishing as well.
If you factor in the fact that all citronella, rosemary and lavender oils have long been used in aromatherapy, then you get the added benefits of aromatherapy, too. You may want to read my article on aromatherapy here.
No Synthetic Chemicals
There are no other additives in Human Nature Citronella Bug Spray—no artificial colors and preservatives. Only tocopherol, the natural and most bioavailable form of Vitamin E, is added for antioxidant or preservative function.
Best of all, this product does not contain the dreadful DEET of conventional mosquito repellents. DEET is an insecticide advertised as kid-friendly but may actually accumulate in the body to toxic levels.
Packaging and Pricing
Human Nature Citronella Bug Spray comes in 2 sizes—50 ml and 100 ml. Both are in handy plastic bottles. The smaller 50-ml bottle sells for about 100 pesos and the bigger one, which is twice the size, sells for 150 pesos. You can easily tell which is the better buy.
Though advertised as a “spray,” it is not an atomizer spray but rather a pump dispenser which gives about, I think, 1 ml or less, of oil per pump. I use the product by spraying a little oil onto my palm and massaging the oil on the exposed body parts of my kids. A single spray or pump is enough to cover both arms and legs of my 1-year old kid. Two sprays or more would suffice for me.
As advertised, it really works. It keeps mosquitoes away for an average of 2 hours, slightly less if your kids are sweating. Just have the mindset to reapply after every hour or so.
Now if we do the math—and I always do the math because I am all for frugality—if a single pump dispenses 1 ml of oil, then there would 100 pumps out of the 100-ml bottle. Therefore, a single pump (which I said, could cover the arms and legs of my 1-year-old child) costs only 15 centavos.
I used up my 100-ml bottle in a month or so, and my whole family of 5 uses it. It’s that frugal. And I would have gladly spent more for it as it is very safe.
You can buy the product online via the company website. Did I tell you that I have no income whatsoever from this? It’s just a product I use and believe in.