Mosquitoes are a pain in the summer, but many conventional bug sprays and insect repellents contain unnecessary or harmful additives. We’ve compiled a list of four easy ways to keep bugs away safely and naturally.
Burn Citronella Candles
Citronella is an essential oil derived from various species of lemongrass. It’s one of the most popular ingredients in natural repellents and you can often find it in candles, which provide a continuous release of oils into the air. Citronella candles are easy to find and can also be made at home, too. Make sure to look for candles that utilize essential oils and not fragrance oils!
Keep These Plants in Your Garden
Many plants can help keep mosquitoes away just by growing in your yard. Plants like lavender, rosemary, marigolds, catnip, basil, and lemongrass are known for their repellent qualities. Keep a potted plant on your patio or incorporate them into garden beds to keep the mosquitoes away! For an extra boost, try burning sprigs of rosemary or lavender outside, or throwing a handful onto a bonfire.
Avoid Using Products with Artificial Fragrances
Artificial fragrances found in body products like perfume, shampoo, and hairspray have been known to attract mosquitoes. Try using unscented products through the summertime, or natural products that are scented with essential oils - especially ones that are known to repel bugs, like lavender, rosemary and peppermint.
Use Essential Oils
There are many essential oils that repel insects naturally! Try diffusing peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus or lemongrass essential oils at the edge of patio areas. For a spray, try using a natural insect repellent that utilizes essential oils as active ingedients, such as our Don't Bug Me! with peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, geranium, pink grapefruit, lemongrass, citronella and cedarwood. Essential oils smell great and mean you can repel insects without having to resort to harmful chemicals!
Activated carbon (or as it is most commonly called, activated charcoal) is a form of charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to make it more porous and adsorbent. It is produced as a very fine powder that has a very high degree of microporosity. This porosity creates a huge surface area to which other molecules are attracted. (Just one gram of activated carbon is said to have a surface area in excess of 32,000 sq ft!). Activated charcoal is used in all sorts of filtration systems and is commonly used as an oral treatment for poisoning because of its ability to quickly adsorb toxins before they are digested and enter the bloodstream. It has become an increasingly popular ingredient used in natural skincare for those same reasons! When added to soap, activated charcoal is able to attract and absorb dirt, oil and other impurities, helping clean and purify your skin. This creates a deep clean without over-drying, like harsh chemical or alcohol-based solutions. Soaps made with activated charcoal are perfect for the body, hands and face, and especially good for those with oily or acne prone skin. We have also found charcoal soaps to be great in the kitchen, as they easily remove grease and oils and neutralize any leftover odor from pungent foods!
Find out about our new charcoal bar soap, made with activated charcoal and four different essential oils to create a strong yet gentle cleanser.
Citrus oils have a bright and invigorating aroma and their wide range of benefits makes them familiar ingredients in natural cleaning products, fragrances, and culinary dishes. Here at Glenn Avenue, we use different citrus oils in many of our skincare products, including Bandit’s Oil foaming hand soap, Not A Brown Trout bar soap, and our Foaming Face Wash. In this first in a series, we're highlighting three of our favorite and most commonly used citrus essential oils so you can learn more about their properties and uses.
(Enjoy the benefits of these three citrus oils in our brand new foaming hand soap fragrance, Citrus Blossom)
Lemon (Citrus limon)
Lemon is one of the most popular citruses in the world. It is known for its antibacterial, antiviral, and immunostimulant properties, which make lemon oil a common ingredient in natural hand soaps and surface cleaners. Its astringency tightens your skin, closes your pores and prevents wrinkles. Lemon oil is also naturally analgesic (pain relieving).
Lemon oil is known to reduce tension in your body and relieve mental depression and stress. It uplifts your mood and energizes your body, revitalizing and stimulating your senses. In aromatherapy, lemon essential oil blends well with cedarwood, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, and other citrus oils.
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
Sweet Orange essential oil is derived from the fresh rind of its fruit, as most citrus essential oils are. Like Lemon, Sweet Orange oil is also antibacterial and antiviral. It is a natural detoxifier and digestive aid, cleaning out toxins and blocks in your digestive tract. It also stimulates your immune system, making it an extremely helpful oil to have in winter.
Sweet Orange oil is used in aromatherapy to refresh mind and spirit and is often used in blends used to combat depression and stress. Its fragrance pairs well with patchouli, peppermint, clove and other citrus oils.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Bergamot is a lesser known citrus fruit, but is frequently used in aromatherapy and fragrances. Its most common use, surprisingly, is in Black Tea. Bergamot oil is often used to flavor Black Tea - and this mixture is more commonly known as Earl Grey! Like Lemon, Sweet Orange and other citrus oils, Bergamot oil has anti-fungal properties and is included in many holistic fungal infection remedies. It is also a natural sedative, used in aromatherapy to relax the muscles and calm the nerves as a sleep aid.
Bergamot is emotionally uplifting, similarly to the Lemon and Sweet Orange essential oils. It reduces anxiety and is naturally restorative. Its fragrance mixes well with cedarwood, rosemary, jasmine, and other citrus oils.
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