Pros: Bugs hate it! It contains moisturizing lotion.
Cons: Probably doesn't last as long as a product with deet.
Bugs like me. I have the skin all the bugs want, and it's that time of year again. It's springtime and all the insects are after me. Apparently I passed this trait on to my son, because after one evening outside, he's covered in bug bites as well.
For a long time, I used OFF insect repellent. I remember my mom using that stuff on me when I was a kid. It came in a can with an aerosol spray and it was really stinky. I hated that stuff, but there didn't seem to be an alternative.
I started hearing people say that Avon Skin-So-Soft lotion prevented bug bites, so I bought some. It didn't work. I later realized that there was an actual bug repellent by Avon called Bug Guard and Bug Guard plus. They only carry the latter now.
The Whole Package
The Bug Guard plus doesn't come in an aerosol can. It is available in a 4 oz. pump-spray bottle or 4 oz. tube of lotion. It is also available in original scent or gentle breeze. Both have a fairly pleasant smell for a bug repellent, unlike that nasty OFF smell. Bug Guard plus also comes available with or without sunscreen. Avon also makes some bug repellent especially for kids. It looks like the regular package, only the bottle is blue. The bug lotion is also blue unless you purchase the disappearing color version, which goes on blue, but the color disappears right before your eyes. I suppose this color stunt is supposed to make your child want to sit still long enough to rub the stuff on.
This brand is Deet-free. If you're like me, you probably have no idea what that means. Deet is a bug repellent, so it would only make sense that the Avon brand might contain such an ingredient, but it doesn't. It is my understanding that some people might have allergic reactions to deet, and therefore they are unable to use it. The active ingredient in Bug Guard plus is IR3535.
I decided to do some checking up on deet. I found a deet fact sheet from the CSPA (Consumer Specialty Products Association) at www.deet.com. According to the fact sheet, deet is relatively safe for people of all ages and few people experience allergic reactions to it. It also provides the longest duration of protection against bugs. Even the World Health Organization, US Army, and the CDC all recommended using deet. They will even send you an educational brochure and provide additional information if you call 1-888-NO BITES.
Avon always has sales going on. The regular price for Bug Guard plus is $12, but at the beginning of bug season, it goes on sale for $4.99. After the craze is over, it usually runs about $6. I usually stock up for the summer when it is $4.99.
Deet or no deet, Avon Bug Guard plus works. It repels insects and prevents bug bites for hours. It has a pleasant scent, and it is easy to apply whether one uses the lotion or the pump spray. It is available with or without sunscreen protection, and is easy to use on children. I suppose the best reason to use deet-free bug repellent would be to avoid any possible deet allergies. I use Avon's Bug Guard plus because I like the smell and it is easier to apply on my child than an aerosol spray.