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Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellent


Pros: works great if you don't sweat or stand in the rain; non-toxic; recyclable can; smells pretty good

Cons: wears off super-fast, especially if you're sweating or get rained on; oily unless rubbed in really well (can stain fabric)

This product has a thick oil base with a peculiar quality. While you have to rub it in really, really well (or the oily residue stays slippery & can stain your clothes), it rubs off really quickly when it comes in contact with water (re: rain or sweat).

We've tried it in two places: Chicago and Guatemala.

For BBQs in Chicago, it works fine, although you do need to re-apply after an hour and a half or so. A big plus in that environment is that the smell is much better than traditional repellents--it's even a mite fresher than basic citronella.

For hiking through the rain forest in Guatemala, this product was pretty much worthless. The reason seems to be that it "washes" off almost immediately if you get rained on or--and this is the kicker--if you sweat. (And try not sweating while hiking through the rain forest in long pants!) We would find that the first 5-10 minutes with it on was effective. After that, it seemed to have no effect at all.

To be fair, though, NONE of the oil or cream-based natural repellents we tried in Guatemala (we brought 3) helped us there (probably for the same reason as above). We finally gave up and actually used a co-traveler's DEET (and it worked very well, although it melted the plastic face of my husband's watch, and we will probably both die of cancer). We heard later that Repel's natural repellent is supposed to be the best natural option in that kind of circumstance.

Bottom line: good for casual BBQs if you're willing to put up with the oiliness. NOT good for high-humidity/high-exercise environments.

Tip: I've heard it works well for keeping bugs (i.e. ticks & flies) off dogs. Haven't tried it yet (our can was left in Guatemala), but I would be leary about letting the pup on the sofa for a bit after using it, lest I end up with a dog-shaped oil stain.


Pros: pleasant smell (for an insect repellent), natural ingredients

Cons: oily, doesn't quite cut it

I was REALLY hoping this stuff would work. I brought it, along with a few other brands of natural repellents, on a trip to El Salvador. With fair skin and juicy blood (apparently), my body requires liberal coverage of sunblock and insect repellent under necessary circumstances.


I was on a volunteer expedition with Habitat for Humanity in July in Central America. Translation: nasty amounts of mosquitos and other biting insects, INSANE humidity, a good amount of sweat, daily thunderstorms. I was eaten alive. I believe I counted no less than 33 bites on my body at any given time during the trip.


In all fairness, I have yet to find an effective potion for my sensitive (and tasty!) skin. I tend to stay away from the DEET monsters until after putting faith in an all-natural alternative. Then I pretty much bathe in DEET when I'm a red, itchy mess. But, I really can't stand the chemicals so I'm hoping and praying for a natural and EFFECTIVE product.


We shall see...


Pros: smell, natural

Cons: need to reapply frequently

I HATE insect repellents but had to use them when I traveled in the Amazon jungle in South America. I used the strongest, nastiest stuff while I was there and still got eaten alive! And all the while I was soaking in chemicals! When someone gave me this to try I was incredulous but kind of enjoyed the smell and it was a nice change from Jungle Juice. Use it generously and you will see results. Here is the deal: it is oily (just like all insect repellents) and you need to reapply often (just like all repellents) and you will be bitten occasionally (just like with all repellents), so why not use this one which is natural and smells nicer?

Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellent

100% Natural ~ Safe and Effective "The Defender" Bans the creeping, crawling, winging, stinging, sucking, bugging, biting beasties. Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellent is safe enough to apply with confidence to children and pets. Not tested on animals. Please recycle this bottle with your aluminum cans.

Size4 oz
Additional Features
TypeInsect repellent
Release Date
Percent Natural
Percent Organic
Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database Rating
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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