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Is Coconut Oil a Natural Insect Repellent?

 
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: January 16, 2017
Is Coconut Oil a Natural Insect Repellent?

Coconut oil is an awesome natural oil made from the abundantly available coconuts all around the world. Coconut oil is widely used as a deodorant, anti-acne treatment, after-shave lotion and skin ointment, and a fantastic agent to improve skin and hair health. But recently, we found another good use of this oil, which is to repel bugs and insects. People in different parts of the world use coconut oil as a natural insect repellent too. In this OneHowTo.com article, we are going to find out: is coconut oil a natural insect repellent or not?

You may also be interested in: Natural Repellents for Ants

How coconut oil is made

Coconut oil is a 100% natural oil made out of the meat of full-grown coconuts. Dry extraction method is used to extract oil from the coconut, the process during which they extract coconut meat from the coconut shell and leave it to dry in sunlight. The coconut meat that we get after drying is known as Khopra. This Khopra is pressed excessively to extract oil from it. After extracting the oil, a mash which is high in fiber and protein is left behind. It is widely used as food for the livestock and you can make homemade coconut oil yourself at home.

Why coconut oil makes a good insect repellent

Coconut oil is a non-toxic, 100% natural insect repellent that is free of chemicals that most other commercially available insect repellents have. Lemon and some other citrus oils can also be used to repel insects, but they have a property of photoxicity to them, due to which they cause serious damage to the skin if exposed to UV light. Coconut oil does not have this property, due to which it can be applied on your skin and you can freely move out in the sun, in fact, coconut oil is a good sunscreen too. The added benefit is that you can keep smelling herby and fresh with coconut oil, instead of smelling like an insect spray all day.

Coconut oil is also a fleas and ticks repellent for dogs. Discover how to use it!

Is Coconut Oil a Natural Insect Repellent? - Why coconut oil makes a good insect repellent

How to make coconut oil insect repellent at home

The recipe given here is enough to make ½ a cup of coconut oil insect repellent balm, though you can double or triple it as per the amount of balm you want to make. This will make a soft balm which will be easy to apply, but if you prefer to make a firmer balm, increase the amount of beeswax as per your desired texture.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of coconut oil
  • 1/8 cup of shea butter
  • 4 tsp of beeswax granules
  • 12 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 8 drops each of rosemary, cedarwood, lemongrass and eucalyptus essential oils
  • Double boiler, a metal whisk, a metal spoon and a jar for storage

Procedure

  1. Bring water in a double boiler and slow down the heat.
  2. Add shea butter and coconut oil and whisk them until both of them melt.
  3. Add beeswax granules into this mixture and whisk until all of them melt.
  4. Use the back of a spoon to check the texture of the mixture. Dip it in the mixture and let it cool to see its real texture. Test some on your skin and be happy with its texture. Add Once you have achieved your desired texture, remove it from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Then whisk in all the essential oils and mix properly.
  6. Pour it in the jar and let it cool before capping.

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