Bug Bite Spray Recommendations For Eczema

When you have eczema you already have enough irritation going on without having to worry about getting bug bites, too! Unfortunately, it is one of those inevitable occurrences in life being a part of the natural world. Yet, we also don't want to create more pollution when all we really need and want to do is to protect our skin from getting bitten. Here are some tips and bug spray recommendations that I have when it comes to selecting bug bite skin protection for eczema.


My first recommendation in choosing a bug spray for when you have eczema is to choose one without chemical DEET. It is a very poisonous carcinogen that's not only harmful to the bugs killing them but can be harmful to our lungs over time.

Oil-based formulas

Next, I find it best to choose a primarily oil-based formula, this is because it does not contain any chemicals, and oils tend to last longer on the skin than water-based ingredients.

For me, I find citrus oils to be quite drying, but if you don't have any issues with citrus oils then feel free to choose formulas with them. I often like to go for the more aromatic oils that come from oils like thyme, oregano, rosemary, and other essential oils like eucalyptus, tea tree oil, and peppermint which are not only cooling, but they are also antifungal and soothing to inflamed skin. Plus, they kind of double-up as deodorants and air fresheners.


I know that citronella is a popular essential oil that's used in a lot of bug repellent candles and bug sprays, but when I actually tried to use it myself submerged in oil or water I actually did not find it, to be very effective. I had better results when I used tea tree oil. Usually, I do a recipe of 20 to 30 drops of essential oil to 4 ounces of water or carrier oil (most other recipes call for between 5-20, but I like my scents stronger) and find that to work pretty well.

If anyone here has had success using citronella oil, I would be open to hearing any helpful and effective suggestions that have worked for you with this particular essential oil as I did purchase a vial recently. I do quite like the smell of it though, so I do use it as an energizing pick me up spritzer if I'm feeling a little sluggish in the morning.

Store bought bug repellents

Having said that, here are some great ready-made bug sprays that I have found very effective and safe for my sensitive skin while at home and traveling overseas.

  • Goodbye Sandfly - this is a company that I found or traveling in New Zealand. It is a very common and popular bug repellent brand that you can find even at the local convenience store or dairy as they say in New Zealand. Originally a dairy was a place to purchase dairy products, but it also over time became a place that sold convenience items, so it also refers to local convenience stores. Is primarily formulated with various aromatic and citrus essential oils submerged in almond oil, so it is very light and does not feel greasy upon application. If you tend to have dry skin and rashes, this might be a nice formula for you assuming that you're not allergic to any of the essential oils in it.
  • Quantum Health Buzz Away - This formula feels kind of watery but it does offer good protection. It originates from Australia, though I first learned of it in a health food store in San Francisco and I have used it successfully on many a sunny day in the summer. I haven't found it irritating for my skin, but it does contain some effervescent essential oils which might be irritating for some.
  • Moogoo Tail Swat Bug Spray - MooGoo it is another company founded in Australia that I’ve tried and like a lot. Specifically, Perth where I'm currently traveling. This product has a nice, light formula. If essential oils tend to aggravate your skin which they do to many people with sensitive skin, then this might be the bug spray for you. The only essential oil it carries is lemongrass which is very gentle and refreshing.

Have you used any of these products? Or do you have any others that you really love for sensitive skin? Write your comments, suggestions and tips in the comments section below!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AtopicDermatitis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

How much control do you feel you have over your eczema?