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The Best Mosquito Repellent Lotions

Mosquitoes are not only an annoyance but can also pose a danger to your health since they can carry many nasty viruses. That’s why you should wear insect repellent when you know that you’re going to be visiting an area with a large mosquito population. If you don’t want to use a regular bug spray, there’s another option out there for you: insect repellent lotions. So, in this article, you can learn more about mosquito repellent lotions, how to choose the best lotion for your needs, and when it’s safe to use them. We’ll also give you a list of some of the best bug repellent lotions currently on the market.

Home » How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes » Mosquito Repellent » The Best Mosquito Repellent Lotions

Mosquitoes are not only an annoyance but can also pose a danger to your health since they can carry many nasty viruses. That’s why you should wear insect repellent when you know that you’re going to be visiting an area with a large mosquito population. If you don’t want to use a regular bug spray, there’s another option out there for you: insect repellent lotions. So, in this article, you can learn more about mosquito repellent lotions, how to choose the best lotion for your needs, and when it’s safe to use them. We’ll also give you a list of some of the best bug repellent lotions currently on the market.


Sawyer Picaridin Repellent

This topical insect repellent lotion contains 20% picaridin, which will provide the longest-lasting protection.


Avon Bug Guard Plus

Combining an insect repellent with sunscreen, this lotion will work great as both a bug spray and as SPF 30 sunblock.


Repel Sportsmen Max

This product, with 40% DEET, will provide lasting protection against mosquitoes and a multitude of other biting insects.


Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • Since you have to wash your hands after applying, your hands will be unprotected and can be bitten.

Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent Review

Sawyer’s dedication to providing an insect-free life for as many as possible has allowed the company to become became the number one choice for bug repellents in retail stores. Sawyer shows that same dedication to health and comfort with its Picaridin Insect Repellent. This product really sets a new standard for topically applied insect repellents.

With 14 hours of effectiveness against ticks and mosquitoes as well as 8 hours against chiggers, biting flies, sand flies, and gnats, you can finally spend the summer evenings out on your patio free from pests. You also won’t miss the oily feel of DEET on your skin. This lotion uses fewer chemicals and you won’t have to walk around smelling like bug spray all day. It’s a win-win!

Unlike DEET, which is infamous for damaging gear, you can use this lotion when backpacking without it harming anything. Also, it’s not as toxic as DEET (you still don’t want to get it in your eyes or mouth, though) and picaridin has outperformed even strong DEET products in tests.

If you live in a place that is hot or humid, you’ll know all about mosquitoes. No matter what type, how annoying or aggressive, you no longer need to experiment with repellents. This Picaridin Insect Repellent lotion is probably “the one”. Try it and see for yourself.


  • Active Ingredients: Picaridin (20%)
  • Target Insects: Mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, gnats, chiggers, and sand flies
  • Kid-Safe: Yes
  • Residue: No
  • Other Features: Consumer Reports’ top-rated pick for insect repellent


Avon Bug Guard Plus


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • Not water resistant

Avon Bug Guard Plus Review

A brand with the innate ability to constantly reinvent itself, Avon has been able to keep up with modern times. Its skincare and personal healthcare portfolio is now one of the best in the world. This company makes use of innovation while remaining reliable and paying attention to the needs of the market. This Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus insect repellent lotion is a prime example of just that.

Dealing with insects and bugs in the outdoors is not an easy task. That’s why you need an effective bug repellent. Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus is a triple-action mosquito repellent lotion. It moisturizes your skin, protects you from the sun, and repels a number of different bugs – all at the same time. Its SPF30 sunscreen protection is unmatched on the market.

Do you want to protect your children from bug bites and the sun without damaging their skin? Then this is the product for you. With its highly potent active ingredient, this lotion is effective against mosquitoes, gnats, black flies, and biting midges. It’s also DEET-free and PABA-free, ensuring that your children won’t be harmed in any way while using this product.

Finally, Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus is a perfect moisturizer thanks to its aloe and vitamin E content. Despite being a moisturizer, it’s not greasy and leaves your skin soft and smelling like a gentle breeze. What more could you ask for?


  • Active Ingredients: Beta-alanine, n-acetyl-N-butyl-, ethyl ester*/carboxylic acid (7.5%)
  • Target Insects: Mosquitoes, deer ticks, black flies, gnats, no-see-ums, and biting midges
  • Kid-Safe: Yes
  • Residue: No
  • Other Features: Non-greasy; contains vitamin E


Repel Sportsmen Max


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • Too potent for some users

Repel Sportsmen Max Review

Repel is a company that focuses on the needs of those who love the outdoors. That’s why it produces insect repellents of all kinds and for all purposes. Its high-quality products are made to last as exemplified in Repel Sportsmen Max. When you get outdoors, this lotion will ensure that you have an adventure, but a positive one. Your happiness and comfort matter and Repel’s got you covered, literally.

With this insect repellent, there’s no need to give in to the demands of the mosquitoes out there. But it doesn’t just work on mosquitoes. This product keeps a wide array of pests away. If you’re planning on a trip to the woods or up into the mountains, rest assured that this lotion will be all you need. You’ll be protected from the bites of mosquitoes and other insects along with any of the accompanying sicknesses.

Not only does it keep the insects at bay, but it also does so for as long as 8 hours from application. This means you won’t have to keep reapplying the lotion. Use your time to enjoy your adventure instead of worrying about keeping the pests away.

Unlike other insect repellents, this product doesn’t leave any greasy feeling behind on the skin. Many lotions can feel sticky after application, but not this one. It feels as if you weren’t wearing anything and isn’t heavy on the skin. Just put a small amount on your hands and apply the lotion to any exposed skin – not under clothes – and you’ll be good to go. It’s great to feel so free!


  • Active Ingredients: DEET (40%)
  • Target Insects: Mosquitoes, chiggers, fleas, ticks, biting flies, and gnats
  • Kid-Safe: Yes, if they are two months and older.
  • Residue: No
  • Other Features: Not greasy; a small amount goes a long way

Other Products to Consider


Sawyer Ultra 30% DEET Insect Repellent


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • Can be used on sensitive skin, but if overused it could trigger an allergic reaction

Sawyer Ultra 30% DEET Insect Repellent Review

Sawyer Products has had a place in homes and travel bags since 1984. In all that time, it’s never once failed to offer the best, most innovative solutions. Its products offer guaranteed protection from the sun and bugs. The company even provides reliable first-aid solutions as well. For a company like this, with the needs of its consumers at heart, it’s safe to assume that its Ultra 30 DEET Insect Repellent is a top-notch bug repellent lotion.

Using a liposome base, this 30% DEET lotion is odorless, sweat-proof, non-greasy, non-staining, and very comfortable to use. To provide such comfort, the liposome envelops the DEET. It’s then slowly released over time so that the protection of the lotion can be extended for up to 11 hours. That’s more than enough time for a simple hiking trip. But since it comes in an easy-to-carry bottle (3 fl. oz./89 ml), there really isn’t any reason to leave it behind.

If you want serious protection without any smelly, oily residue, this is the product for you! It looks and feels like sunscreen, dries in seconds, and is great for people with sensitive skin. While the lotion itself doesn’t contain sunscreen, it’s very easy to use sunscreen along with this DEET-based lotion. First, apply your sunscreen. Wait 10 minutes and then apply the insect repelling lotion and you’ll be good to go.

If you’re planning to use sunscreen, a controlled-release insect repellent lotion like this is the most compatible topical repellent you’ll find. When you go on vacation, Sawyer wants you to be able to sit outdoors in the evenings. With this product, you can achieve just that.


  • Active Ingredients: DEET (30% )
  • Target Insects: Mosquitoes, ticks, flies, chiggers, fleas, and no-see-ums
  • Kid-Safe: Yes
  • Residue: No
  • Other Features: Controlled-release formula


Off! Botanicals Insect Repellent


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • The smell may be too strong for those with sensitive noses.

Off! Botanicals Insect Repellent Review

After more than a century on the job, you can be sure that SC Johnson has found its way into almost every home with its products. This company believes that the goodwill of its consumers is the only legacy that any business should strive for. That’s why it offers products that work to build healthier, cleaner, and better lives for consumers all over the world. Off! Botanicals Insect Repellent is a prime example of that.

The packaging of this bug repellent looks much more like a lotion than an insect repellent. If you love nothing else about this product, you have to love the name. It is exactly what you’ve been longing to scream into the teeny ears of those pesky little bugs for so long, “Bug off!” While you enjoy the refreshing feel of eucalyptus on your skin, Off! Botanicals Insect Repellent will allow you to stay hidden from mosquitoes, ticks, gnats, black flies, and chiggers.

Do you live somewhere with a lot of mosquitoes or the dreaded black flies? Then you know that not only are they annoying, but they’re also some of the most relentless insects on the planet. With this insect repellent, you can keep those black flies away. They might buzz around, but they definitely won’t bite. In the end, they’ll thankfully have no option but to leave you alone.

Bugs like mosquitoes and ticks spread diseases. But, have you considered what those strong chemical repellents could do to you if used season after season? You can always use a DEET-based product if you are trekking through the rainforest. If you are hanging around the house during no-see-um season, it’s best to opt for this botanical blend. As if that weren’t enough, OFF! Botanicals Insect Repellent is much kinder to your skin than other products. Its unique plant-based formula uses a natural repellent found in the eucalyptus plant. If you want to use a sunscreen as well, you just need to apply it as you normally would and then apply the insect repellent a little while after.


  • Active Ingredients: p-Menthane-3,8-diol (10%)
  • Target Insects: Mosquitoes, black flies, gnats, ticks, chiggers, and no-see-ums
  • Kid-Safe: Yes
  • Residue: No
  • Other Features: Plant-based; all-natural


Ultrathon Insect Repellent


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • Products with more than 30% DEET are not recommended for use on children.

Ultrathon Insect Repellent Review

For more than a century, 3M has dedicated itself to using scientific breakthroughs to change the world. This brand knows the challenges faced around the world and gives its scientists the platform they need to solve them. Its products, including this Ultrathon Insect Repellent, have been used in the harshest conditions around the planet with excellent results.

The only thing that can spoil a nice family vacation is a group of pesky bugs and insects out to ruin your day. That’s why having a mosquito repellent is very important to protect you and your family. This mosquito repellent is one of the best on the market. Designed for military use, this product is definitely more than ready to repel any bugs you might encounter on your adventures. It will comfortably take care of mosquitos, biting flies, ticks, fleas, deer flies, and gnats.

A very strong mosquito repellent, it contains 34.34% DEET. This is more than enough to take care of your insect-repelling needs. People often search for repellents that can work effectively throughout the day without needing to be reapplied. This 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent does just that. Its controlled-release technology guarantees that this product will provide continuous protection for up to twelve hours after application.

Most repellents are alcohol-based and lose their potency when the alcohol evaporates, but this 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent doesn’t have that problem. Finally, it weighs less than a pound, meaning it can be carried around in a backpack easily.


  • Active Ingredients: DEET (34.34%)
  • Target Insects: Mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, chiggers, gnats, fleas, and deer flies
  • Kid-Safe: No
  • Residue: Yes
  • Other Features: Time-release technology


R&R Lotion Insect Repellent


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • Doesn’t contain sunscreen or moisturizer, so it’s not as versatile as others on the list

R&R Lotion Insect Repellent Review

R&R Lotion is a brand that does whatever it takes to create the best products for its customers. Since founding, R&R has stayed true to this mission. That’s why it has continued to offer top quality products year after year. This R&R Lotion Insect Repellent is at the top of the bug repellent performance ladder.

The active ingredient in this product, IR3535 (also known as 3-[N-Butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester), is considered a biopesticide by the EPA. This is a naturally derived organic plant substance, not a synthetic chemical pesticide like Picardin or DEET. You can be sure that it’s still quite effective at repelling insects, though!

Alcohol-free and non-flammable, this product won’t damage clothing or plastic. There are no toxic or harsh chemicals in this lotion, so it’s safe to use on your skin. With this lotion by your side, you can get involved in as many outdoor activities as you want. You won’t need to worry about any smell because this lotion is completely fragrance-free. You don’t even have to wash it off your skin if you don’t want to.

Some other products might make you feel sticky after application, but not this one. One application can last up to 8 hours, thus offering superior protection against insects. You can reapply this lotion for up to 3 times in 24 hours thanks to its extended protection. As with every other insect repellent, make sure that you keep the bottle out of the reach of children. Don’t get it in your eyes or mouth either. It shouldn’t cause any skin irritation, but if it does, you stop using it immediately and consult a doctor.


  • Active Ingredients: IR3535 (10%)
  • Target Insects: Mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, bees, wasps, flies, chiggers, and other insects
  • Kid-Safe: Yes
  • Residue: No
  • Other Features: Non-greasy; odorless


OFF! FamilyCare Insect Repellent


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • Not a natural repellent

OFF! FamilyCare Insect Repellent Review

Established in 1886, SC Johnson is still a global leader when it comes to household products. It has consistently released products that customers love and respect. This OFF! FamilyCare Insect Repellent is no exception. It may not be a true lotion (if you want the lotion version of this product, see #5 Off! Botanicals Insect Repellent) but it deserves a mention. This pump spray offers great protection whether you just want to lounge in your backyard, do some work in your garden, or play outside. You simply need to apply this repellent and it’ll be as if you had put on an anti-insect shield. That is from the insects’ perspective, of course.

The insect repellent contains aloe vera, which is good for moisturizing and softening the skin. So, while you’re using this formula to ward off insects, you’ll be doing something great for your skin, too. That’s a win-win! This spray will keep you protected for up to 2 hours. So after that time elapses, you can reapply as often as needed to enjoy non-stop protection.

This repellent spray contains 5% DEET, making it highly effective while the DEET concentration remains low enough to cause no serious damage to your skin. Even though this product contains a small amount of DEET, it won’t leave any residue behind and won’t stain your fabrics. It’s not sticky and dries quickly so you can be sure that this repellent will keep away any mosquitoes that may carry diseases. Since this formula is unscented, it doesn’t have a strong smell, so that only bugs stay away, not humans.

As always, keep this away from children so they won’t play with it. Be careful when spraying to prevent it from getting into your nose and mouth. If you want to apply to your face, spray it on your palms first and then rub it in. Be sure to keep it away from your eyes.


  • Active Ingredients: DEET (5%)
  • Target Insects: Mosquitoes, gnats, flies, no-see-ums, and chiggers
  • Kid-Safe: Yes
  • Residue: No
  • Other Features: Easy-to-apply packaging


Sunsect Insect Repellent + Sunscreen


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • Contains DEET, which can irritate sensitive skin

Sunsect Insect Repellent + Sunscreen Review

Iguana LLC was a first-hand observer of the harsh effects that overexposure to the sun and insects can have on the skin through its work with the military. That’s why Iguana has made sure that its products, including Sunsect Insect Repellent + Sunscreen, are perfect at alleviating those issues. Recommended by dermatologists and health care professionals around the globe, these products offer reliable protection from insects and sun rays.

It’s hard to quantify the damage that mosquitoes and other insects can cause to your skin if left unchecked. While outdoors, it’s essential to protect yourself from pests. That’s exactly where a good sunscreen with mosquito repellent will come in handy! One of the best of these two-in-one products is this insect repellent + sunscreen from Sunsect. An essential part of any US soldier’s survival pack, this product has already proven its worth in Kosovo, Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

With 20% DEET, this potent formula is a nightmare for insects while protecting you from the sun with its SPF15. It’s soft on your skin while offering hours of protection without any inherent skin irritation. Because there’s less than 30% percent DEET in this product, it’s safe to use on children that are older than two months of age.

Sometimes outdoor activities can take place in the water or in rainy areas. That’s why this mosquito repellent is water-resistant. It dries without any residue and will work for hours without any need to reapply. It’s odorless, so you don’t have to worry about having any smell annoying you either. This product is simply perfect for your adventuring and vacationing needs.


  • Active Ingredients: DEET (20%)
  • Target Insects: Mosquitoes, gnats, ticks, chiggers, no-see-ums, and biting flies
  • Kid-Safe: Yes
  • Residue: No
  • Other Features: Water repellent; non-greasy


Babytime Mighty Shield


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • Doesn’t seem to work on no-see-ums

Babytime Mighty Shield Review

Babytime is a brand dedicated to products formulated specifically for kids. It uses natural ingredients that are safe for use on babies. Most of its products, including Babytime Mighty Shield, are plant-based. This allows you to rest assured that this an environmentally-aware brand.

This Babytime Mighty Shield insect repellent is one of the best on the market. We all know that a baby’s skin is delicate and can’t tolerate harsh chemicals. That’s why the makers of this product have committed themselves to using all-natural ingredients. The essential oils in this lotion combine with the skin’s natural defense mechanism to keep it protected, moisturized, and healthy. So, you’re not only protected with this lotion, but you’re also helping your skin get the vital nutrients it needs.

Perfect for use by both adults and children, even children that are less than one year old can use this lotion. That proves how gentle this product really is while still being quite effective at repelling insects. This DEET-free product is estimated to be as effective as other repellents with 20% DEET. With this lotion, it will truly be “baby time” as it will pamper your skin and keep you protected with all it’s got.

Since this protective lotion is full of essential oils, there are no synthetic fragrances needed. It has a naturally delightful scent that will make you want to keep it on your skin all day. One application can last up for up to 90 minutes. After that, you can reapply, if you want, and go another 90 minutes with no mosquitoes bothering you or your loved ones.


  • Active Ingredients: Castor oil, lemongrass oil, linseed oil, rosemary oil, and cedar oil
  • Target Insects: Mosquitoes, ants, and bees
  • Kid-Safe: Yes
  • Residue: No
  • Other Features: DEET-free

About Mosquito Repellent Lotions

Mosquitoes are one of the peskiest pests out there. The worst part is that they don’t just bite you and leave. They also have the potential of infecting you with malaria, dengue fever, and many other debilitating diseases. One mosquito can also keep on biting you, leaving itchy spots all over your skin.

That’s why mosquito repellent lotions are an absolute necessity. You see, they are easier to use and carry around than some other mosquito repellents. If you’re going on a camping trip with your family or on a hike with friends, you won’t have to worry about mosquito bites, even if the place is filled with them. Your mosquito repellent lotion will have you covered, literally.

However, before we get ahead of ourselves with the buying guide, let’s look at when to use mosquito repellent lotions and what types are out there.

When should I use a mosquito repellent lotion?

Mosquito repellent lotions are a thoughtful invention. They eliminate the need to constantly use sprays.

Lotions are great because sprays can be difficult to apply outdoors, especially if it’s windy. Some ingredients in insect repellents can cause eye irritation. Even though they don’t kill mosquitoes, repellents are a good way to keep everyone safe and secure when in a mosquito-infested area.

In the summertime, when the air is humid and the weather is warm, mosquitoes are in their prime. Since some sunscreens contain some form of bug repellent, you might be tempted to choose one of them as a two-in-one power combo. But a sunscreen with bug repellent may not do the job as well as a mosquito repellent lotion on its own and sunscreen must be applied more frequently than insect repellent should be, for safety reasons. While the main focus of the former isn’t repelling bugs, that is the main focus of the latter.

How safe are mosquito repellent lotions?

No matter how fantastic these lotions are and how much peace they offer, you probably want to know how often you can apply them. If you live in an area where mosquitoes abound and have been looking for ways to keep the pests away, mosquito repellent lotions might seem like the answer to all your prayers. You might feel tempted to go all out and use the lotion constantly.

You should know, though, that all mosquito repellent lotions (and everything else in the world) contain chemicals. Some contain synthetic chemicals while others contain plant-based, or natural, chemicals. If they repel mosquitoes, they could possibly affect you, especially if overused. DEET, for example, is a common synthetic ingredient in a lot of mosquito repellents. But even though it works like magic, DEET is known to cause skin irritation if applied too heavily or left on for too long. Citronella, an oil derived from grasses, may irritate your eyes. Both can be dangerous if ingested.

You also have to know what you’re allergic to. No matter how safe a repellent claims to be, you still have to check with your dermatologist. It’s a good idea to be doubly sure, especially if you’re allergy-prone. If you notice any reaction to the lotion, stop using it immediately. Just because a friend or neighbor uses a product doesn’t guarantee the same will be true for you because every type of skin is different.

In addition to the above, if you’re pregnant, consult your doctor before using new products. Anything your skin absorbs can reach your unborn child. DEET has been shown to be safe for use by pregnant women, but it’s always best to let your doctor recommend an insect repellent for you.

Mosquito Repellent Lotion Buying Guide

A wide variety of mosquito repellent lotions are available on the market and all of them claim to work better than the rest. Most are effective and will make you a very unattractive buffet option for any mosquitoes. But, before you choose a mosquito repellent lotion, you need to ask yourself a few things.

What are the active ingredients?

DEET received a bad reputation in the past. However, as it is regulated by the EPA, it has undergone multiple safety tests. At certain concentrations, it is safe for adults (including pregnant women) and children older than 2 months of age. It is also highly effective.

Be sure to choose a product containing between 25 and 30% DEET. A higher concentration has no greater benefits and may lead to irritation or worse side effects, including seizures.

Do not use a lotion that contains permethrin (you shouldn’t be able to find one anyway). It should only be applied to your clothing, not the skin. It is both an insecticide and repellent and can cause a burning sensation on skin contact.

Plant-based repellents can be made from picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, neem, eucalyptus, peppermint, and citronella. They have variable effectiveness and, just like synthetic chemicals, can have unpleasant side effects. Only picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are recognized as insect repellents by the EPA. As such, they are regulated and safety tested. Both citronella and neem can be skin and eye irritants. Keep in mind that the terms “natural” and “plant-based” do not mean “SAFE”. After all, ricin and arsenic, two well-known poisons, are both natural. Ricin is even plant-based: it comes from castor beans.

Do you have any allergies?

If you have any allergies, you may need to check with your doctor before you use any mosquito repellent lotion. No matter how safe it is on average, it’s not safe if you end up with an allergic reaction. Seek professional advice and find out what you need to avoid. Otherwise, you’ll get rid of one problem only to start battling another.

Are you pregnant?

Pregnancy means a lot of things are restricted. As mentioned, just check with your doctor before using any new products while you’re pregnant. EPA-regulated repellents are considered safe for pregnant women, but it’s always better to double check.

Are you breastfeeding?

Since your baby has to put their mouth on your skin to breastfeed, applying a mosquito repellent nearby is not a wise choice, though mosquito repellents should never be applied underneath clothing. While babies feed, they tend to touch their mother’s skin and may then end up putting their hands in their mouths. Even if you avoid applying the product to your breasts, they could ingest it from sucking their fingers. If you do use a lotion, make sure you wash your hands and breasts well before feeding and choose a product that is safe for both you and your child.

The buying guide doesn’t contain everything you need to know about mosquito repellent lotions, sadly. But it should go a long way in helping you pick out the mosquito repellent lotion that is best for you.


We hope that we’ve increased your knowledge of mosquito repellents. You should now know what to look out for to choose one that matches your needs. All of the mosquito repellent lotions on our list are products that you can rely on. All that is left is to make up your mind and choose the one that is best for you.


James Simms

thank you for the information. My wife and I was wondering if there any mosquito repellent lotions made. Again thank you for the history , pros and cons and price comparing.

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