Dinners at dusk, afternoon barbecues, and sleeping under the stars happen to be as inviting to bugs and mosquitoes as they are to vacationers. Fear not: There are lots of oils that will keep you bite-free—and plenty that will prevent you from smelling like an exterminator.
My power players for summer are ones that are very accessible to find and use, and they’re a great fragrance fix if you fancy something light. There’s spearmint for keeping cool and fresh, which is not as much as a potential skin irritant as peppermint, plus it’s a great antibacterial oil while being very energizing when you are feeling sluggish from the humidity. For a great pick-me-up and refresh, look no further than the citrus family. I’m all about sweet orange and red and yellow mandarin. Why? They’re the safest to use with sensitive skin when exposed to the sun, invoking a ‘lightness’ and uplifting quality. An added bonus is that they blend beautifully with spearmint.
Geranium is probably the best “balancing” oil for moods and skin, so when the summer gets us hot and bothered, or our skin starts acting up from an overproduction of sweat and oil, it can be calming, soothing, and cleansing. It also has some strong antimicrobial action, which is great for helping keep the bugs at bay. Talking of which, Lavender is an oil that should always be included. It helps make every blend smells delicious and can be both cooling and cleansing.