Zika-Fighting Bug Sprays That Don't Smell Like Trash
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Zika—it's scary! And confusing, which makes it scarier somehow. Even if it hasn't reached your state yet, it's just one more reason you really, really don't want to get a mosquito bite this summer. (If you haven't heard The First Case of Female-to-Male Zika Transmission Was Found In NYC.)
Which brings us to: bug sprays. When it comes to Zika avoidance, or really any mosquito bite prevention, the CDC calls out four insect repelling ingredients that have proven to be safe and effective. Those are DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535.
If you're like most people with the sense of smell, your nose is already puckering at the sound of most of those bug fighters. But there's good news: Bug spray doesn't need to smell harsh and synthetic. Start with these.
Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin
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Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent
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This spray ($15, amazon.com) has an intense smell, yes. But the strong scent smells natural, not like the nose hair-scorching odor of DEET.
Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus IR3535 Expedition
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The classic Skin So Soft scent will take you back to your childhood. Plus, this spray ($14, avon.com) has SPF 30, so you're killing two birds (er, mosquitos) with one stone every time you spray it on.
Coleman SkinSmart Insect Repellent Spray
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If you prefer fragrance-free over even a pleasant odor, Coleman's SkinSmart spray ($4, amazon.com) is for you. The odor vanishes once it dries—along with the bugs.
Bug Off! Essential Oil Blend
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This super-natural oil ($14, rockymountainoils.com) contains eucalyptus citriodora, a fancy way of saying oil of lemon eucalyptus, one of the ingredients proven to repel mosquitos—plus cedar, lavender, and thyme, for a pretty-smelling blend. But you'll need to mix it with a carrier oil, like jojoba, before using, since it can irritate skin if used straight.