There are two types of mosquito repellent:
- Synthetic mosquito repellents
- Natural mosquito repellents
Which type to choose depends on need and preference:
- If you are prone to being bitten and will be spending a lot of time outdoors during mosquito season, you should always choose a synthetic mosquito repellent (because it provides the most protection against mosquitoes).
- If, on the other hand, you're not prone to being bitten and just need a mosquito repellent for general use, a natural product will suffice.
See also our article on homemade mosquito spray here.
Synthetic mosquito repellents
Synthetic mosquito repellents are much more effective than natural repellents. Their duration of action is also significantly longer. All of the products below are approved by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, which means, among other things, that they are safe for health and effective against mosquitoes. These mosquito repellents have a deterrent effect on mosquitoes.
We recommend the synthetic mosquito repellents below because they are highly effective and relatively safe for your health:
The mosquito repellents in the Autan Active product range are based on HIPC (hydroxy-isobutyl piperidine carboxylate), while the product from MyX is based on p-menthane-3,8-diol.
Natural mosquito repellents
Natural mosquito repellents are based on essential oils and are completely chemical-free. They are less effective and have a shorter duration of action than the synthetic products above. These mosquito repellents camouflage our body odors to the mosquitoes.
We recommend the natural mosquito repellents below:
Treatment of mosquito bites ('post-bite')
If you have been bitten by a mosquito, you should use a 'post-bite repellent' to reduce the swelling and itching of the mosquito bite. You should always bring a repellent with you if you're going to be in the outdoors for an extended period of time (such as survival hikes, camping, canoeing, etc.).
We recommend these post-sticking agents:
How often should you apply mosquito repellent?
As a general rule, always follow the instructions on the mosquito repellent packaging and remember to read them carefully.
If you have applied the mosquito repellent correctly and still start to get mosquito bites, you should reapply it (continue to follow the instructions on the packaging).
Keep in mind that each product has an individual effect on different people - so even if a product is very effective on your partner, for example, it may not be as effective on you. In addition, some people simply attract more mosquito bites than others.
8 tips for applying mosquito repellent
Always read and follow the instructions on the mosquito repellent packaging. In addition, you should follow these general rules when using mosquito repellents:
- Areas at riskOnly use mosquito repellent on skin exposed to mosquito bites (i.e. uncovered skin such as hands, neck, etc.) or on clothing. Never use the product under clothing.
- Heat radiationIt is especially important to protect the areas where the body radiates heat, because this is where mosquitoes will typically bite. In practice, this includes the ankles, wrists, neck and face. Wearing thin clothing that doesn't keep body heat in can also attract mosquitoes.
- Damaged skinNever use mosquito repellent on sensitive, irritated or damaged skin. This of course also applies to wounds, cuts, etc.
- The face: Mosquito repellents containing DEET should not be used on the face. Other products can be used sparingly on the face but should not come into contact with the mouth or eyes. Use only sparingly around the ears. Never spray mosquito repellent directly on your face - spray it in your hands and then apply it sparingly on your face.
- Children'sDEET-containing mosquito repellents should not be used on children under the age of 3 (this also applies to some other mosquito repellents). When applying to children, always spray the product in your hands first and then apply it to the child. It should not come into contact with children's hands as they may put it in their mouths, eyes, etc. Do not let children use mosquito repellents and keep them out of their reach.
- Quantity: There is no need to overuse mosquito repellent; use only enough to cover the exposed skin areas with a thin layer and spray a small amount on clothing if necessary. Excessive use will not provide better or longer-lasting protection against mosquitoes.
- Washing offWhen you are no longer exposed to mosquitoes - such as when you return home from being outdoors - you should wash your skin with soap and water. This is especially important if you use insect repellents for several days in a row.
- Rashes: If a rash, irritation or other skin reaction occurs, you should immediately stop using the mosquito repellent and wash it off your body with mild soap and water. You can also call a doctor or similar if you feel that the skin reaction is severe and/or extensive.
Which mosquito repellents are legal in the UK?
In Denmark, you can only sell and market mosquito repellents that have been approved by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency. The main criteria for approval are that the mosquito repellent:
- must be effective against mosquitoes
- not be harmful to health
All insecticides sold in Denmark must have the following text on the label: "Omfattet af Miljøministeriets bekendtgørelse om bestrijdingelsesmidler".
Always read and follow the instructions on the mosquito repellent packaging. In addition, you should follow these precautions:
- Children under 3 years oldDo not use DEET mosquito repellents on children under 3 years of age. This also applies to some of the synthetic and oil-based mosquito repellents.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women: Apart from the precautions on the packaging of the mosquito repellent, no special precautions apply to pregnant or breastfeeding women. However, you should always ask your retailer if the mosquito repellent is suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women before buying it.
- Sunlight: Mosquito repellents based on essential oils can in some cases cause skin damage if left in direct sunlight after application. This is because these products can amplify the sun's effect on the skin and create a so-called phototoxic reaction. Therefore, care should be taken when staying in the sun when using products based on natural oils. In cases where the risk is present, it is usually also indicated on the packaging of the mosquito repellent.
- Sunscreen: The phototoxic reaction above has given rise to an unfounded fear of using sunscreen and mosquito repellent together. In general, you can do so, as long as you remember to read the product instructions for both the mosquito repellent and the sunscreen. It is usually best to apply the sunscreen before the mosquito repellent.