The Best Mosquito Repellent

Updated on 19 September 2022

After 14 hours comparing 20 popular mosquito repellents and testing 5 of them, we determined that Tropicare Care Plus spray offers the best choice at the moment.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best mid-range

Tropicare Care Plus (100 ml)

This spray is not only suitable for the whole family thanks to its composition based on natural active ingredients, but also provides effective protection against mosquitoes and other insects in both temperate and tropical areas.

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Care Plus Natural

This product is formulated with 30% Citriodiol, an active ingredient extracted from lemon eucalyptus essential oil. This natural repellent offers 4 to 6 hours of protection, both at home and in tropical regions, where it repels mosquitoes carrying dengue, Zika or malaria. It is also effective against ticks and mosquitoes. It is also suitable for the whole family (babies from 3 months, pregnant or breastfeeding women, sensitive skin). In our tests, it was effective even for an 8-hour night. In spray form, we found it easy to apply and its texture was not sticky. The fragrance is quite strong on application, but dissipates quickly. Note that the brand also offers a 50% DEET version.

 

 

Best budget

Autan Family Care (100 ml)

Suitable from the age of 2 years, this spray with a more discreet fragrance offers 4 hours of protection against mosquitoes. Very liquid, it is easy to apply and can be used on sensitive areas such as the face.

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Autan Family Care

Ideal in our regions for serene outdoor activity, this icaridin-based lotion (10%) protects for up to 4 hours. In our tests, no new bites were detected after several nights of sleep of about 8 hours, which proves its effectiveness. The brand recommends 6-7 sprays per forearm, but in our tests, 2-3 sprays were more than enough. We particularly liked its discreet scent (the best of the products in the selection). This makes it a good choice for noses sensitive to strong smells. Although its texture is much more liquid than others and requires a little more effort to penetrate, it leaves a cooling effect on the skin.

 

Best high-end

Moustimug Tropical Roller (50 ml)

Ideal for high-risk areas, this roll-on protects adults from 4 to 12 hours thanks to its 30% DEET formulation. Easy to apply and carry, it is a safe ally when travelling.

£ 10.59 on Shop pharmacie

The product is intended for adults and adolescents from 13 years of age due to its concentration of DEET. It offers safe protection against many insects (mosquitoes, flies, horseflies, ticks), both in Europe and in tropical areas where there is a risk of yellow fever or malaria. Its roll-on format is highly appreciated for its practicality and compactness. It is the product we recommend if you want reliable protection in high-risk areas, but we advise you to avoid it if it is not necessary.

 

Mid-range alternative

Pranarôm Aromapic Roller (75 ml)

This pack includes a repellent spray and a soothing roller to apply after bites. With this, you will be perfectly equipped to deal with European and tropical mosquitoes for 7 hours.

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Pranarôm Anti-Moustiques

Composed of organic essential oils and Citriodiol, this spray proved its effectiveness during our tests (7 to 8 hours). It is easy to apply, and the finish is neither sticky nor greasy. The smell is quite natural but strong. On the other hand, it should noted that it is not recommended for use on young children (30 months to 6 years) and pregnant or breastfeeding women of at least four months. Other than these specific cases, it can be applied anywhere (except the mouth and eyes, like all products of this type). We were also able to test the roller, which proved to be somewhat reassuring.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best mid-rangeBest budgetBest high-endMid-range alternative
Tropicare Care Plus (100 ml) Autan Family Care (100 ml) Moustimug Tropical Roller (50 ml) Pranarôm Aromapic Roller (75 ml)
This spray is not only suitable for the whole family thanks to its composition based on natural active ingredients, but also provides effective protection against mosquitoes and other insects in both temperate and tropical areas. Suitable from the age of 2 years, this spray with a more discreet fragrance offers 4 hours of protection against mosquitoes. Very liquid, it is easy to apply and can be used on sensitive areas such as the face. Ideal for high-risk areas, this roll-on protects adults from 4 to 12 hours thanks to its 30% DEET formulation. Easy to apply and carry, it is a safe ally when travelling. This pack includes a repellent spray and a soothing roller to apply after bites. With this, you will be perfectly equipped to deal with European and tropical mosquitoes for 7 hours.
£ 16.99 on Amazon £ 12.99 on Amazon £ 10.59 on Shop pharmacie £ 22.27 on Amazon

 

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How did we test?

To test the mosquito repellents, we put them on ourselves to check how easy they are to apply (not too liquid, penetrating quickly…). We also verified how they felt on our skin after application (greasy, sticky, light, unchanged…). During these stages, we also judged their smell (strong, light, classic, unpleasant…).

Although we also tested in winter, most of the tests were carried out in summer, during the night, to see if the product was effective for at least 7-8 hours. In addition, we have also used each mosquito repellent during barbecues or outdoor outings. Finally, we analysed the composition of each product and the type of insects it repels.

 

How to choose your mosquito repellent?

Choosing a mosquito repellent can be very difficult: not only are there a wide variety of products but many of us faced with the dilemma of choosing between applying more aggressive chemicals or risking being bitten by a disease-carrying mosquito.

Anti-moustique

To help you in your choice, it is first necessary to know the different types of the most popular repellents available on the market:

  • Sprays, roll-ons, lotions and balms: are the most common products and are usually used directly on the skin. Carefully applied, they provide even protection to the body. Some sprays can also be applied to clothing. Both synthetic sprays, which can be harmful to health and the environment, and natural sprays are available on the market.
  • Bracelets: coated with essential oils, their smell repels mosquitoes. Practical for those who prefer to avoid applying a chemical product to the body, they are also more environmentally friendly than a spray (as they are often refillable). However, not everyone believes that they are really effective.

Anti-moustique

  • UV lamps: are designed to attract and kill mosquitoes. They are powered by electricity or solar energy and do not emit chemicals. However, they are quite controversial, as they do not seem to attract all types of mosquitoes and are also quite destructive, as they trap many other insects (flies, butterflies, etc.).
  • Scented candles and incense spirals: for outdoor use, their efficacy is controversial. Although some people are convinced that they work, these products are often not recommended by specialised websites. Moreover, according to some researchers, the smoke given off by some coils could be toxic.
  • Mosquito nets: this is one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect against those little winged beasts. No more nights ruined by that nasty constant buzzing in your ears. And, of course, they pose no health risk. Wearing appropriate clothing (jeans, long sleeves, high shoes, etc.) will also help protect you from bites.

Anti-moustique

Whichever type of body product you choose, it is essential to find out what it contains:

  • DEET: this chemical is the most effective mosquito repellent. It is a controversial component because of its potential toxicity, although no studies appear to confirm, to date, a real danger of use. For the record, only products containing a maximum of 30% DEET are allowed in Canada. Therefore, long-term or daily use is not recommended.
  • Icaridin (or picaridin): is an odourless, clear chemical that has only relatively recently been used in repellent products. It is about as effective as DEET, although less irritating. However, always follow the instructions for use, as it is not suitable for young children.

Anti-moustique

  • IR3535: is a repellent molecule effective against mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other flies. Less effective than DEET, its use is not controversial. It is not inadvisable for pregnant women or children, but it is advisable to check the instructions on your product to be sure.
  • Essential oils: these are the most common natural alternative to synthetic repellents. Citronella essential oil is probably the best known. It is as effective as DEET at the same concentration but evaporates much faster. Oils of lemon eucalyptus (from which the highly potent molecule Citriodiol® is extracted), peppermint, lavender and basil are also effective in keeping vampire insects at bay. Although natural, they can be toxic if used in too high a dose.

Before deciding on your choice, you should also consider which format is easiest for you to apply and carry:

Anti-moustique

We recommend you read the instructions and conditions of the use of a product before using it.

Naturally, you can adapt your type of protection to your travels and activities: it is probably not necessary, for example, to douse yourself with potentially irritating chemicals for a simple barbecue or gardening session in areas where there is no risk of dangerous insect bites; in these cases, a more natural solution is usually sufficient.

On the other hand, stronger protection may be essential for more distant travel, especially in tropical countries.

 

Other recommended mosquito repellents

Paranix Tropical and Infested zones (£15.38 / 90 ml upon publication): an alternative for tropical areas. With no less than 50% DEET, this spray targets high-risk tropical areas. It is effective against disease-carrying mosquitoes, ticks, horseflies, blowflies and other biting insects. However, as this component is potentially toxic, it is best avoided if you do not go to these areas.

Insect Ecran (£14.99 / 100 ml upon publication): a cheap alternative with 50% DEET. Although DEET is controversial because of its likely toxicity, in our tests we found it to be effective. We found no trace of bites in the morning after applying it at night outdoors the day before. It repels mosquitoes for 8 hours (or more, according to our tests) and ticks for 7 hours. On the other hand, although it is easy to apply, its smell is more chemical than others. It can be applied from the age of 2 years.

Puressentiel Bite & Sting (£17.40 / 50 ml upon publication): a natural solution in roll-on format. Thanks to the presence of eucalyptus, this roll-on leaves a fresh effect on the skin. Easy to apply, its scent is quite classic for a product of this type and remains on the skin for about 1 hour. Repellent against mosquitoes, ticks and other biting insects, we found it a little less effective during our tests. It is effective for 7 hours. Its formula, although natural (99.9%), is not recommended for children under 3 years of age.

 

Translated by Ramsés El Hajje

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