Eco-Friendly/Green Natural Personal Care Products Review

Buzz Away Extreme Natural Insect Repellent Review (and my Mommy Fail)


I have been meaning to buy some natural insect repellent for the kids for like, forever. But I didn’t. I’m not completely sure why. Mostly because it’s expensive, and I was afraid to pay $10+ for something that wouldn’t work. So what finally pushed me over the edge? Feeling like a total loser of a Mommy when my son was eaten to bits. He’s apparently extra tasty (or it might just be that he’s a messy eater and usually covered in food of some sort!)

On Wednesday the 29th, we were outside playing before bedtime. As we were coming inside, we noticed an enormous lump on my son’s temple area, along with a tiny bug bite on the corner of his eye. I was about 2 feet from him when he was bitten because I told him not to rub his eyes when he had sand on his hands! 🙁 I didn’t take a picture because I didn’t think much of it, but this is what he looked like Thursday morning (you can see a little remaining redness on his temple and the other bite near his eye):

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It got worse as the day went on, and this is what he looked like by the evening (to add fail to fail, he got another bug bite above his eyebrow in the morning, just before we went to buy the bug spray!):

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I actually had two people at swim lessons ask me what happened because he was so swollen! I’m not one to rush off to the doctor, but I did call Thursday afternoon. The nurse told me to expect more swelling, to call if it wasn’t better by Friday, or got better then worse. She also said that I could give him some Benadryl to help with the itching. We had some dye free generic Benadryl from when my daughter had an allergic reaction, so she gave me the dosage and I planned to give it to him before bed in case it made him tired. (It ended up making him crabby, but didn’t make him sleepy, LOL.)

Here was my poor boy before bed:

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Well the nurse wasn’t kidding when she said expect it to be worse in the morning! Look at him on Friday morning. 🙁

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Thankfully by Friday evening he was just about back to normal:

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I chose Buzz Away Extreme because (drumroll please) it was the only bug spray at the organic store! LOL


It really does have natural ingredients. Active ingredients of the Buzz Away Extreme DEET Free Insect repellent are: Castor Oil (8%), Geranium Oil (6%), Soybean Oil (3%), Cedarwood Oil (1.5%), Citronella Oil (1%), Peppermint Oil (0.5%) and Lemongrass Oil (.25%). Inert ingredients (79.75% total) are Purified Water, Palm Oil, Glycerin, Lecithin, Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda), Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (a preservative that is naturally occurring in some foods and chemically produced and added to foods & cosmetics) and wintergreen oil.

It smells like a citronella candle. Not my favorite, but tolerable (except when you apply it, then drive in a car with closed windows, pee-yew!) A little goes a long way (it was $9.99 for a 4 ounce bottle) and it does seem to work. It even kept gnats away. My son has gotten one more bug bite since we bought it, and that’s because I didn’t put it on him (le sigh, when will I stop with the mommy fails?)

If I come across another natural bug spray, I will definitely try it, but for now, this is just fine!

Have you found a great natural bug spray, or do you have a home remedy that works to keep them away?

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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
  • Rachel
    July 29, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Thanks for the bug spray recommendations. My kids have had bite sensitivities too with horrible swelling. I took them to my naturopath and she prescribed the homeopathic remedy Apis. It works like a charm every time! It works great for bee stings too! Hope this helps your family like it helped mine.

  • Delora
    August 9, 2011 at 12:18 am

    I’m a little late to comment, but my all-time favorite natural bug spray is called Bite Blocker and it comes in a purple bottle. I’m pretty sure you can only get it online, but if you google it you should find a bunch of retailers. Don’t bother with the Repel brand one; it’s crap.

    • August 9, 2011 at 8:23 am

      Thanks Delora!

  • Heather M
    July 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Poor thing! I love my EcoSmart bug repellent. It works well.

  • July 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Oh man poor fella my little one got one next to her eye like that back in may it looked awful!!

    • July 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm

      I felt so bad for him!

  • July 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    oh wow! That’s just like my kiddos. they are allergic to mosquitos. they scratch the bites and they get infected. it’s awful! I’m happy that you found that works for you.

    • July 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm

      He had one on his leg that got huge, purple, then oozed and scabbed. Couldn’t figure it out & wondered if it was poision ivy (didn’t look like it.) Looks like he may end up with a scar from it! I wonder if he’s just hyper-sensitive?

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