Perhaps you’ve noticed—mosquitoes have been extremely bloodthirsty in New York. Even those who don’t usually get bitten (namely men with their thick skin) are being attacked. And the only thing that seems to fend them off is DEET and that’s not a healthy way to go.
If you're a mosquito magnet, there's help. Sag Harbor, NY company Fedorenko Holistic Skin Care has created Dr. Fedorenko True Organic Bug Stick and Bug Bar, organic, DEET-free repellents that repel insects while nourishing the skin.
Clinical herbalist/holistic doctor Dr. Julia Fedorenko who became concerned with Lyme disease after finding a tick embedded in her son’s neck after a hike in the woods, thought there was a need for a better and safer preventative repellent. With the help of a team of chemists, scientists and doctors, including her mother, dermatologist Dr. Larissa Fedorenko, she came up with a product that is chemical free and organic yet repels ticks and mosquitoes, while also having the benefits of aromatherapy.
Dr. Fedorenko True Organic Bug Stick and Bug Bar are 100% natural and free of synthetic fragrances, colors, chemicals, DEET, parabens, phthalates, dairy and soy. What the product does contain are the essential oils of citronella (known for repelling mosquitoes) and catnip, (which is reportedly 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET). It also contains geranium (balances the mind and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties), atlas cedarwood (a mild astringent that also repels insects) and rosemary (antibacterial and healing properties) essential oils, plus shea butter and jojoba oil, well known as great skin moisturizers. All ingredients are certified organic, with the exception of vanilla infused oil.
The Bug Stick ($30, 2.6 oz) has a roll-up design, similar to deodorant. The first time I used the Bug Stick, I was in a garden at dusk and started to get eaten alive. A friend, who recommended the product, informed me that you have to put a lot of the product on. When you read the directions, it actually does say to apply liberally and evenly to exposed skin for best results and to reapply every 2-3 hours as needed. Admittedly, I was in a rush and probably didn’t apply enough nor did I apply it evenly. The next time, I did, and for the most part remained bite free. A few mosquitoes have also gotten into my apartment at night and I’ve applied the repellent on exposed skin before going to bed. (Not sure the company would actually recommend this – but it certainly worked. Without it I was waking up with bites on my face and neck.) Fortunately it doesn't have the typical scent of bug spray. So it's not bad if you're OK with the scent of citronella and lemongrass. In fact, I found the scent soothing.
The only negative is the cost. Since you do have to apply a lot of the repellent, this could become expensive. It's costly no doubt because the product contains pure essential oils (it’s not diluted with cheaper ingredients) so if you’re more concerned about the health of your body and skin, it’s worth it. The Bug Bar ($20, 2.6oz) is in balm form and is better for use on the face and neck.
Dr. Fedorenko True Organic Bug Stick and Bug Bar can be purchased at www.drfedorenko.com.