oils and creams as mosquito repellents

You’re out of mosquito repellent, the nearest store is 40 minutes away and the mosquito swarm has started a takeover of your house. This is your nightmare.

But wait! What if I told you that you didn’t need that mosquito repellent? What if there was a way that you could repel those mosquitoes with nothing but some baby oil and a dream…and maybe some persistence?

Well, you’re in luck, because as it turns out, you can repel mosquitoes with some special creams and oils that you may have lying around your house right now! Time to crack open that skin lotion because you’re about to rejuvenate a mosquito-free house!

Quick side note: commercial mosquito repellents use DEET, a chemical known for repelling even the most stubborn of mosquitoes. While some creams & oils will be effective, they won’t match the caliber of DEET-based repellents; these solutions should be used only in emergencies or if you’re in an area that doesn’t provide easy access to DEET repellents.

Avon Skin-So-Soft – Does it Work?

Our Conclusion: Yes

Why it Works

Avon’s Skin-So-Soft product line isn’t only good for keeping your skin soft, but it’s also good as a mosquito repellent! As it turns out, Avon products contain icaridin, a chemical that isn’t dissimilar to DEET, though it’s not quite as effective.

And while Avon’s effectiveness is proven through solid evidence—so much so that Avon has their own repellent brand called Bug Guard—the longevity is questionable. Multiple studies pin time of effectiveness anywhere from 40 minutes to 5 hours. To be safe, expect a result somewhere in the middle of that range.

Our Thoughts

Out of all the non-commercial repellents you can use, Avon Skin-So-Soft is one of the best options, even if the longevity of said product is questionable. And, if Avon is embracing the repelling nature of their products, I’d bet it’s safe for us to as well.

To learn more about Avon Skin So Soft, its uses, and the research surrounding its effectiveness as a mosquito deterrent, here.

Johnson’s Baby Oil – Does it Work?

Our Conclusion: Maybe

Why it (Probably) Doesn’t Work

If you’re hoping for some solid scientific research into the effectiveness of baby oil as a mosquito repellent, you’re out of luck. However, there are a bunch of internet articles claiming it works, so that means it does, right?

Not necessarily. The Cleveland Health Council published a 1924 study that proved that baby oil does work against mosquitoes, but as a larvae killer, not a repellent. There was also one 1990 study that outright stated that “baby oil did not repel mosquitoes”.

Our Thoughts

While the odds seem stacked up against baby oil, there are still people that preach it’s repelling ability, and many of these claims were for a specific type of baby oil: Johnson’s Baby Oil.

I would tell you to try it out yourself, but there’s one small issue: Johnson’s doesn’t sell Baby Oil anymore. So, with the only praised product being out of stock everywhere, I recommend giving baby oil a hard pass when it comes to your repellent needs. I refer you back to Avon for your repelling needs.

To learn more about Johnson’s Creamy Baby Oil, its uses, and the research surrounding its effectiveness as a mosquito deterrent, click here.

Should You Use Creams & Oils as Mosquito Repellents?

I will always advocate the use of DEET-based chemical repellents, however, you may not have easy access to those. If this is the case, then there are, by far, worse options out there.

However, one product I will not advocate the use of is baby oil, Johnson’s or otherwise. You’re much better off using something like Avon Skin-So-Soft or Bug Guard. Plus, I’m willing to bet that more households have skin creams than baby oil, though that’s only my hypothesis.

But you know what’s not a hypothesis? The effectiveness of some of these products against mosquitoes. Go ahead and test it out yourself!