The summers worst predator is not the heat for me; they’re the invisible bugs that host family reunions on my arms and legs. Every year, approximately one-third of the U.S. population is expected to use some sort of insect repellent. Drug Stores, Grocery Stores and Department Stores are filled with various insect repellents that come in a variety of liquids, lotions, sprays, and impregnated materials. Off! Skintastic IV is one of the many products registered with the EPA designed to repel insects. As advertised, Off Skintastic IV, Insect Repellent Unscented repels mosquitoes, biting flies, ticks, no see-ums, gnats, and chiggers.
Now you and I know putting on an insect repellent can be a pain right? Well the old fashioned way of putting on military issued repellent sucks. The stuff I was issued in while on active duty not only smelled awful, but it actually burned my skin.
The 6 fluid ounce spray pump bottle of Off Skintastic IV, Unscented is easy to apply. Simply follow the directions on the back of the bottle, hold the container 6 to 8 inches from your skin or clothing and spray in a slow sweeping motion you don’t have to drench yourself. It’s not recommended that you spray your face, spray the palm of your hand and gently rub it on. If you use just enough to cover your exposed skin, you’ll be fine. For what ever reason, even if go outside with your body totally exposed, never, ever spray it or rub it on your private or sensitive areas! Ouch!
My skin had no allergic reaction; the spray dried quickly leaving no messy oily residue. After returning from outside, just shower off your skin with soap and water and the Off! dissipates quickly. Although the order of the repellent is not pungent, you can still smell the Off! odor. When I go outside without Off! on hot summer nights, I’m in trouble. Off! did a good job of keeping the bugs at bay.
Off! did not stain my clothing when I sprayed it on my shirt, pants, and socks. The Off! smell quickly dissipated after laundering my treated clothing. The manufacture recommends that you do not apply Off! to rayon, acetate, spandex, synthetics, furniture plastics, leather, watch crystals, painted or varnished surfaces including your car.
The first major problem to this plastic spray pump bottle is reading the manufacturers recommendation on the back label. The production information and directions on how to use it is written in tiny orange writing, I had to hold the bottle under the lamp and still have difficulty reading the label; finally I used a magnifying glass.
Although it’s manufacturer S.C. Johnson Wax advertises that it repels insects for 2 hours from treated skin and clothing, this time frame is to specific and may not be equal depending upon your environment, skin type and a number of other factors including the weather. For example if it rains, this could reduce the repellants power to protect you from various insects.
I’ve bought several bottles over the years and some leak and some don’t. The bottle I currently have, leaks when lying on its side. The orange top is extremely difficult to take off (no pun intended) I took off the top to let some air into the bottle because the bottle began contracting.
S.C. Johnson Wax engages in a little propaganda when it comes to their claims of Off! Skintastic being “Unscented”. It’s a mystery why a product would boldly slap “Unscented” on the front of the bottle and in small print under content list “Fragrance.” Perhaps I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but “Unscented” and “Fragrance” no matter how delicate the scent, don’t add up. Also on the back label you will find another oxymoron “Unscented Off! Skintastic IV has a fresh, clean fragrance”. Trust me, there is a fragrance and if you’ve ever smelled the original Off! then you’ll quickly pickup the scent.
This is one of the main reasons why I make sure I hold the container 6 to 8 inches away from my skin and clothing and spray in a slow sweeping motion, per the manufactures recommendation. If this stuff gets in my nose, I start sneezing immediately.
There are active and inactive ingredients in Off! Skintastic, the active ingredients chemical names include, n, n-diethyl-meta-toluamide which is the active ingredient in many insect repellent products. Off! Skintastic contains 6.65% of the chemical n, n-diethyl-meta-toluamide, which is also called Deet. Off! Skintastic also contains 35% related isomers, and 93.00% inert ingredients.
The inactive ingredients are Ethyl Alcohol, N, n-diethyl-toluamide, the fragrance, and Aloe. With this many chemicals it’s important not to use this near heat or open flames. Also if this gets into your eyes flush with water. If irritation continues then get medical attention immediately. As with all chemicals with these types of ingredients keep this out of reach of children and store it in a fairly cool place.
There is also a precautionary statements on the label that reads the following: “Hazards to humans-Caution: Causes eye irritation. Avoid contact with eyes and lips. Use sparingly on small children. Do not allow use by small children without close adult supervision. Do not apply to excessively sunburned or damaged skin. May cause skin reaction in rare cases.”
Now for those that are literally eaten up by insects, you’ll be happy about the relief offered. In conclusion, If you can handle the smell and your skin is not sensitive to Ethyl Alcohol, N-Diethyl-Toluamide, Aloe or the fragrance the you will find that the Off! Skintastic is a great deal. Compared to the military strength insect repellent I was issued in the Air Force, Off! Skintastic is the better choice. Although it’s a little pricey at $5.99 for a 6 fluid ounce bottle, it's really a deal since I hate mosquito bites, at least I won’t spend my time itching and scratching outdoors.
If you would like additional information about Off! Skintastic Insect Repellent Spray you can call 800-558-5252 Weekdays from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm eastern time or snail mail them at Helen Johnson, S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., Racine, WI 53403-2236.
If you suspect that you or your child is having an adverse reaction to this Off! Skintastic, discontinue use of the product, wash treated skin, and call your local poison control center or physician for help. If you go to a doctor, bring the Off! with you.
If you are allergic to insect repellants try eating garlic or a garlic heavy meal before going outdoors. When your pores release its odor, insects take cover. Your breath will be like thunder! but you won’t be scratching. When dressing to go outdoors or camping stay away from wearing red, blue, or black; those colors attract mosquitoes and bees.
Finally, if you have been bitten for most bites, you can apply ice to slow itching and cortisone cream to reduce pain, other bites may require further treatment please consult you’re your physician for additional information regarding serious insect bites.
Have a wonderful and bug free summer!
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