It’s that time of the year, and the horrible nasties are lying in wait! I wait all year for these warm days of summer (never mind that this summer has been uncomfortably hot, wet, dry, stormy and HOT.) Even still, when mid-summer arrives and I’m finally sure my windows can stay open at night and I can put away my couch blankets, there is this irritating problem of flying, buzzing, stinging insects to deal with.
Therefore, one of the natural, handmade soaps I am proudest of developing is one that is most-often requested at this time of year. Bye Bye Bites is really good at keeping the awful insects away from your sun-kissed arms, legs, ankles and ears. It’s especially good for making it possible for the little ones to play outdoors in the evening without layers of DEET covering their little bodies. Mothers with young children make up the biggest buyers of this excellent handmade soap, and come back from year to year for more.
Is It Really That Good?
In spite of the fact that I do not like to make medicinal claims, I have to say that positive reports from so many people have convinced me that this handmade soap is a great help. Mothers of little children routinely report they are able to allow their children to play outdoors in the evenings without worrying about multiple insect bites. And campers or hikers report the same — this soap was a must-have on their excursions into woods and over trails. And to back it up, a July 2002 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine published a report that said one of the essential oils in this soap, lemon eucalyptus (E. citriadora) outperformed every other non-DEET insect repellant.
How Is It Made?
We start with a really good all-natural soap, one made primarily of olive oil with a few other oils added for specific qualities such as skin care and lathering. To that we add a combination of several essential oils insects will avoid, including lavender, eucalyptus, thyme, peppermint and lemongrass. The soap has a citrus-y fragrance, but it does not have the harshness of citronella.
Overall, many people like the fragrance, in addition to its use as an insect repellant. There are tricks to using this soap. For example, the essential oils build up on the body as it is used over the summer. However, wimp that I am, I always advise people who have plans to be outdoors during the dusk hours to lightly rub the dry bar over their exposed skin before venturing outdoors. For me, it was with the greatest pleasure that I noticed one evening the biting creatures approaching me as normal, and then turning away without even a nip. Over the years, we’ve even developed the same insect-fighting formula into a lotion and spray. Some miracles are even more miraculous than others!