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How to choose the right insect repellent?

With travel restrictions in place, are you heading out more often than usual to explore our sunny island? However, in a tropical region like Singapore, our hot and humid weather creates the ideal breeding ground for mosquitos and other insects. You wouldn’t want pesky pests to ruin your outdoor fun – and that’s why you should always bring an insect repellent along to keep the bugs at bay.

Scroll down for some useful tips in choosing the right insect repellent.

  1. Make sure it contains active ingredients

Insect repellents come in many forms, including sprays, lotions and wipes. Regardless of the product form, it should contain approved active ingredients such as DEET, IR3535 or Picaridin that can effectively ward off insects. There are also plant-derived formulations such as oil of lemon eucalyptus or citronella oil but make sure to follow the instruction of use in the label since these are not regulated by NEA.

NEA advises the use of repellents containing DEET, Picaridin or IR3535. In rare cases of allergic reactions from DEET, DEET-free repellents should be used instead.

  1. Choose a repellent that provides adequate protection time

Choose a repellent which protection time fits your activity. You would want to use a repellent with long-lasting protection if you will be outdoors for several hours.

  1. Avoid gimmicky products

There are some devices such as ultrasound devices and mosquito traps that claim to be able to repel insects. Claims of such devices should be taken with a pinch of salt as their effectiveness is limited.

  1. Avoid products that combine insect repellent and sunscreen

Sunscreen and insect repellent are both effective and safe when used separately, but if mixed, certain risks may arise and their efficacy might be lost. If unavoided, it is recommended to apply sunscreen first, then an insect repellent, following the product instructions for each.

When it comes to using insect repellent safely, it’s important to read the label and follow all directions and precautions. As a rule of thumb, apply just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing and never apply it on wounds or irritated skin.

If you’re looking for a DEET-free formula, look no further than Zappy Insect Repellent Wipes which are formulated with the proven active IR3535. Enriched with moisturiser and essential oils with insect repellent efficacy, Zappy Insect Repellent Wipes offer effective and long-lasting protection against Aedes mosquitoes and other stinging and biting insects for up to 8 hours, while still remain safe and gentle on the skin.