19 May 2013

Insect Repellents

Hello All

Sincere apologies it has been a while since I last posted. Some of you may be aware that I have recently just returned from Jamaica (again) as I had to attend the funeral of my Grandad, who passed away peacefully a few weeks ago. It was only 10+weeks ago I saw him whilst on holiday, and although he wasn't too well then I was hoping that he would pull through but God was ready to take him home. Anyway, I am now back and ready to blog again. The topic I thought I would blog about is something I always battle, fight with when ever I visit Jamaica, and that's mosquitoes/biting insects in general.

Jamaica as many of you have seen from holiday brochures, TV adverts, family/friends photos is a beautiful island. Glorious sunshine, amazing food, great culture and etc. However the small 'annoying' downside is the biting insects which are an absolute pain in the 'freaking' derriere! When I was holiday back in Feb/March, I only escaped with just a few which I feel is down to a 'trick' my mum and I mastered. However this time I wasn't so lucky due to having to fly out so quick. 

If you've ever been observant you will see in supermarkets and highstreet stores, the holiday section is always fully stocked with insect repellent products; usually ranging from store brand to expensive brands, such as Jungle Formula. Now I won't lie these products sure do carry the price tag, but let me tell you they work! I decided to go a bit mad and just pick up a selection of products to try, as each of them all have something a little different.

Boots Repel Once Insect Repellent Lotion 60ml £7.95

My mum absolutely swears by this product and I can see why. This product comes in the form of a white lotion, which is quite thick in consistency, with a little bit going along way. I found the smell of this product to be quite strong but that soon wore off. I often applied this first thing in the morning (after my shower), and I found I didn't have to apply again until the evening time (2nd shower). Of course with the heat, my skin often got sweaty, or I got wet from going into the sea, but the product has great staying power and certainly does beat the biting insects. A trick my mum and I sussed was to start applying this product at least one week prior to travelling to your holiday destination. What my mum and I discovered, by doing this it actually enables the product to work into your skin, and by the time you get to your holiday destination the insects don't really bite. Of course, areas you miss/don't apply product, the insects will 'sniff' out and 'nip' you one. But on the whole, I found this product to be amazing. Will I be repurchasing? Absolutely.

Jungle Formula Maximum Insect Repellent Pump Spray 75ml £8.30

I remember my mum using this product on my brother and I when we were children, and back then it seemed to work. Jungle Formula is a few pennies more than the Boots own brand insect repellents and seems to be rather popular with many travellers. I did find this product to be quite effective in deterring the insects but I found it incredibly strong to the point where I was choking. It smells incredibly strong, although this does fade with time. I did find however due to its oily properties (deet), that it was best sprayed either into the palm of your hands or lightly onto the skin and then rubbed in well to the skin. In comparison to the Boots lotion, I did find myself applying this product a lot more during the day due to its not so good staying power. This is a good product but if I am being honest I don't think I'll be repurchasing this in a hurry!

 Jungle Formula Maximum Insect Repellent aerosol 75ml £8.15

As with the pump spray, this is exactly the same apart from in aerosol form. Again, found it very strong to the point of choking, and I often sprayed into my hands and rubbed on my skin. I did find this one however had a bit more staying power than the pump spray and it wasn't as oily. That aside, would I purchase it again? I'm not sure.

In a bid to try and prevent the bites from developing into blisters, and treat those that were sore and itchy, I picked up 2 products that would deal with both issues.

After Bite 14ml £3.99     Anthisan 25g £4.09
After Bite is a product my mum discovered in Boots a few years ago. This is a little pen which contains Ammonia (smelling salts), which biting insects do not like. Dab this on the affected area/bite, and it'll instantly vanish (no kidding). But the trick with this product is the minute you get a bite, you have to apply it in order for it to work. The pen contains 14ml which does last for quite sometime as all you're doing is dabbing the bite, and a little does go along way.

Anthisan is a cream raved about by many to soothe bites and stings. My mum use to use this and I decided to follow pursuit but if I am honest, it did absolutely nothing! If anything, I got more relief from Hydrocortisone cream or applying ice to the affected area!

Other products used:

Boots Repel Once Aerosol 125ml £9.25
Boots Repel Insect Repellent Pump Spray 120ml £7.25
Iodine (antiseptic)

 . .And there you have it! With the holiday season about to 'kick in', I hope many of you have found this blog post helpful in someway shape or form. I do urge you however to check you're up to date on your immunisations, and research holiday destinations for tropical areas with high risk of the following:
  • Malaria.
  • Yellow fever.
  • Dengue fever.
  • Other insect transmitted diseases. 
 If in doubt, seek medical advice from your Doctor's surgery.


  1. Kate Musgrove21 May 2013 06:59

    I found you on the blog hop and now following you :)

    Kate - Sparkle dust x

    1. Serenity of Beauty21 May 2013 17:21

      Thanks for following :) Hope you enjoy my blog.

      Heading on over to yours . . .:)

  2. Small Town Gal21 May 2013 17:12

    Mosquitoes LOVE me and mosquito season just began here in Canada. I have been using insect repellent religiously for years. Have to see if I can find the brands you mentioned. I use Anthisan for afterbites and sometimes when my lips are a bit swollen from allergies.

    New follower from the blog hop :)


    1. Serenity of Beauty21 May 2013 17:22

      Mossies in Canada? Really? Gosh, I didn't think they were over there - I was in Canada few yrs ago, and I didn't get 1 bite at all. Must've been lucky. Yes, the Boots own brand one is the best imo, especially the cream - amazing stuff. Also the pen is fantastic :)

  3. I got bit 5 times last week on my holiday in Malta! I didn't bring any insect repellants (forgot to pack and the ones at the airport were ridiculously expensive!) so I can hardly complain. Absolutely love After Bite though, always does the trick for me :)

    1. Serenity of Beauty25 May 2013 02:01

      Yes, Airport prices are ridiculous especially when it comes to insect repellents. After Bite is amazing though lol Even buying smelling salts (contains Ammonia, main ingredient in After Bite), works an absolute treat! :)

  4. Cat @ OutsideBeautyInsideHealth24 May 2013 13:27

    Great post lovely! So handy come holiday time! I use the Jungle Formula one when I go travelling and have to agree that the smell is very overwhelming... I used to have to do it outside otherwise I would choke on it. Thanks for your comment on my blog btw :D


    1. Serenity of Beauty25 May 2013 02:02

      Jungle Formula is so so strong. I often went outside as well to spray it on my body. But other than that, it does work. :)

      Ahh no worries - great blog post :)