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Got Sensitive Skin? These Bug Sprays Help Keep Mosquitos, Ticks and Other Pests Away

Protect allergy-prone skin from itchy bites and mosquito-borne diseases with these safe, DEET-free bug sprays.

What’s more irritating than dry, itchy skin? Being unable to prevent bothersome bug bites because of said sensitive skin. It’s not hard to find a good bug spray that can help you avoid getting bit by mosquitos, ticks, and other insects, but if you’re prone to allergies, then it’s important to find an effective bug repellent without ingredients that will do more harm than good. That’s where the best bug sprays for sensitive skin come in.

If you don’t have the option to bring a bug zapper (for instance, if you’re fishing or traveling) or you’re in an area where you could potentially get infected with mosquito or tick-borne diseases such as dengue, Lyme disease, malaria, Chikungunya virus, Zika, or West Nile virus, a good bug repellent can be effective in staving off tiny pests.

What Makes a Good Bug Spray?

Here are some things to consider when shopping for the best insect sprays for sensitive skin.

Coverage time: Some of the best bug sprays last up to 12 hours before you need to reapply. If you’re looking for something that will last longer, consider lotion-style insect repellents, which can last upwards of 14 hours.

Activity level: Are you fishing or running in mosquito territory, or planning on enjoying the great outdoors in your own backyard? Depending on your activity, you’ll want to choose the right bug spray that can withstand sweat and the elements.

Sunscreen: If you’re worried about biting bugs, you’re probably spending some time outside. If that’s the case, consider sunscreen bug sprays that offer SPF protection without the need to apply another layer of product.

Find Danielle Directo-Meston's full list of best bug sprays here.


May 6, 2022

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Rolling Stone

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Depending on where you travel, you may want to pack bug spray, too. In places like Florida and North Carolina, summers get buggy, and you’ll be happy to have packed a spray on nights when you want to sit on the porch or dine outdoors.

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As a veteran of the Iraq War, I found myself struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder from which greatly impacted my mental health. In 2016, I came across the film “Wild,” an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir about healing by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

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Sawyer Permethrin Premium Insect Repellent is used on clothing, not skin, and it provides long-lasting protection against ticks.

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