Answer: Yes

By looking at the evidence, we draw the conclusion whether you can help your skin and solve your mosquito problem at once.

Summary of Our Scientific Research

While Avon Skin-So-Soft is not as effective as DEET-based repellents, it still does a decent job of repelling mosquitoes (1, 2).  This is possibly due to one of it’s ingredients, icaridin.

However, the time of effectiveness varies from study to study.  One study showed that Avon Skin-So-Soft worked for 40 minutes, ranking below DEET products (3), while another showed a 5-hour working time (4).  Though it’s unclear if the 40-minute study used Avon’s Bug Guard repellent brand, despite mentioning it in the paper (3).  Also, the 5-hour study used Avon products that contained icaridin, an ingredient found in some lower-tier repellents, at least in Canada (4).

Icaridin works similar to DEET, but it’s adoption is not as widespread.  For example, Canada only allowed the use of icaridin in 2012, a long time after the United States and the United Kingdom did.


Our Thoughts

Since Avon has embraced the repelling nature of their products, there’s no question about the effectiveness of Avon Skin-So-Soft.  However, Avon is not the best on the market due to its lack of DEET, preferring icaridin instead.

Using Avon’s “Bug Guard” is a good solution for a (relatively) cheap repellent that also aids your skin. Regular Avon Skin-So-Soft will work too, but only for a fraction of the time it seems.  Though, it’s better than using other items around your house, such as Listerine.

The good news is that those local news stories about how great Avon products are at repelling insects don’t have to be totally wrong anymore!

Avon could have real money-makers on their hands if they opted to use DEET in their Bug Guard brand.  However, some people claim that DEET is dangerous to the nervous system, though no study has found this to be true (5).  Sure, bad reactions can happen, but that’s with every product.

However, icaridin makes a decent replacement.  If it works, it works. Personally, if it can keep mosquitoes away from me, I’ll gladly suffer any reaction I get from using the product.  You’re telling me that this can of Sprite Zero will repel mosquitoes? Don’t mind if I drink a whole 24-pack within the hour.


Forms of Avon, Where to Get Them, and How to Use Them


Avon Skin-So-Soft comes in many different forms, all with varying levels of reliability when it comes to repelling mosquitoes, but there are 3 types that are touted as being good repellents:  bath oil, lotion, and bug guard.

When it comes to the worst one, the bath oil and lotion are tied for the worst.  Neither one excels at repelling mosquitoes, with both only repelling two types of mosquitoes: Aedes and Culex (6).  Learn more about mosquito species by exploring our site. The oil also lasted only two hours, which is borderline shameful for repellents.

The Bug Guard works the best, which is unsurprising, considering it’s manufactured for the sole purpose of repelling insects.  

You can buy Avon products at any grocery store such as Target, but if you can’t find it in your area, you can easily shop for some online.

When it comes to Avon’s Bug Guard line, all you need to do is spray your exposed areas.  The spray should last long enough to ward off any potential mosquitoes. If you’re using a non-spray Avon product, you can rub the product over the exposed areas.

If you’re ahead of the game and already have some Avon products, then great!  All you need to do is keep applying it like you are already, keeping your skin safe while free from itches.  If you don’t have any Avon, their products are relatively cheap and easy to find, so what are you waiting for?  Get going and keep those pesky mosquitoes away!

And remember:  DEET is perfectly safe to use.  It may sound scary, but all it will do is make mosquitoes plug their long noses and fly away.  When shopping around for good mosquito repellents, or reading through this site, you’ll notice the mention of DEET a lot.  Just think about it as any other ingredient.


1 – academic.oup –  “Generally, products with higher concentrations of deet were found to have longer repellence times. OFF spray and Muskol lotion offered the longest repellence times. However, there was no significant difference in time for mosquitoes to probe among the formulations. Skin-So-Soft lotion and bath oil were not as effective as deet in repelling Ae. aegypti.


2 – –  “Two U.S. military issue deet repellent formulations (75% deet liquid and 33% deet lotion) and Avon Skin-So-Soft were tested against ceratopogonid midges under field conditions in Honduras. Test subjects were U.S. military personnel deployed to Honduras for training. Culicoides furens accounted for 96.3% of all midges collected. The liquid and lotion formulations of deet and Avon Skin-So-Soft provided 97.9, 95.9 and 71.4% protection, respectively, compared with the untreated control. Both deet formulations provided significantly better protection (P less than 0.05) than Avon Skin-So-Soft.”


3 – –  “When tested under laboratory conditions against Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, this product’s effective half-life was 30 minutes. Against Aedes albopictus, Skin-So-Soft oil provided 40 minutes of protection from bites, a duration 10 times less than that of 12.5% DEET (46).”/  “Avon now markets products under the Skin-So-Soft label that contain an EPA-recognized repellent.”


4 – –  “Icaridin is considered to be the repellent of first choice by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Canadian Advisory Committee on Tropical Medicine and Travel for travellers six months to 12 years of age. Products containing up to 20% icaridin[9]are considered to be safe and efficacious. However, in 2013, only Avon products (Avon Products Inc, USA) containing icaridin were readily available in Canada (Table 2).”


5 –   In 1998 the Environmental Protection Agency conducted a definitive assessment of the chemical. The agency turned up 46 seizures and four deaths that were potentially linked to deet exposure. It’s estimated that since 1960, the incidence of seizures with a potential link to deet exposure was one per 100 million uses. “


6 – –  “This time around, the oil provided only about two hours of protection from deer ticks and two kinds of mosquitoes, the Aedes variety (aggressive daytime biters that can spread Zika), and Culex (nighttime biters that can carry West Nile). That would put it among the worst-performing insect repellents we tested: The products we recommend generally protect for upwards of seven hours.”