Here at Eat.Drink.Better, we pay a lot of attention to the toxicity of our food. But what about the chemicals that we put on our skin?
As an avid forager for wild foods, I’m in the woods a lot. I don’t want to be eaten alive while hunting for dinner, but I also don’t like using toxic repellents against ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, and biting flies.
Luckily for me, there are some great natural alternatives to DEET, the most common pesticide in insect repellents. My favorite is All Terrain Natural Herbal Armor.
All Terrain Natural Herbal Armor uses a combination of citronella, soybean, peppermint, cedar, lemongrass, and geranium oils to repel biting insects. It works great against mosquitoes, gnats, black flies, horse flies, and ants.
Unfortunately, Herbal Armor doesn’t do much to defend against ticks, but I have yet to find anything natural that does. The best defense against ticks is proper clothing. Wear closed-toed shoes, tight-weave socks, and long pants. Tuck your pants into your socks (sexy, I know) and tuck your shirt into your pants.
Herbal Armor is fairly sweat- and water-resistant, but I usually need to reapply after going on a long trail-run or taking a swim. It has an intense herbal aroma, which might be problematic for sensitive noses.
I prefer the pump spray version of this bug spray, but it also comes in a lotion.
Find this product at Whole Foods, REI, or on the web.