One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Beat it! Natural & Herbal Insect Repellent (DEET Free)

Ever since I was a child there was just something about me that mosquito's loved. On my first trip to the south I remember being covered from head to toe in mosquito bites by day 2 and soaking in a bathtub of Avon's Skin So Soft to try to relieve some of the pain and swelling (needless to say that didn't work). As a child and even as a young adult it never occurred to me to even use any type of insect repellent. But, after I woke up one morning looking like Quasimodo with a big swollen mosquito bite over my right eye I decided it was time to take some action.

I started using all the popular brands you find in convenience stores. I used sprays, lotions, wipes, the whole gamete. They worked fine but I soon realized why my mom had kept these things from me my entire childhood. They were full of DEET, a known carcinogen. The EPA says that if you use products with DEET as the label says then you should be fine. Well, that wouldn't solve my mosquito bite on the eye issue. For years I had been slathering this stuff all over my face, behind my ears, and on every nook and cranny of my body to make sure that I stayed bite free. According to the EPA you shouldn't even put it on your hands! So after I completely freaked out and threw out everything in my house containing DEET I started searching for alternatives.

A lot of natural insect repellents tend to leave you smelling like a huge citronella candle. And that just isn't very sexy to me. Plus, somewhere in my mind, I wasn't 100% convinced that a natural/herbal product could do the same work as the heavy chemicals. When I saw Beat it! I figured I would give it a try. After all, the label claimed that it was "Jungle Strength" so that had to be some good stuff right?

I tested Beat it! in every scenario possible. Hiking trails, backyard BBQ's, the Costa Rican rainforest. Wherever I went, Beat it! went with me. And I have to say that, in my opinion, it worked even better the conventional brands of insect repellent. Plus, since it is a herbal formula, you can spray it on your clothes too, creating a nice barrier between you and the bugs that love to bite you.

Another huge advantage of using Beat It! is that it works great on animals too! I spray it on my dogs, goats and even my rabbit when he's outside. It gives me one more layer of comfort in knowing that I'm protecting my dogs from mosquito's and heartworm while not using toxic chemicals on them.

Beat it! is carried in some natural food stores and Whole Foods but can always be purchased online at


  1. thanks for the review! I have awful times with mosquitos so I will try this.

  2. Great review. I've also had success with Buzz-Off.

  3. Thanks for this post! i'm going camping with my little puppy and I didn't know what to use to protect him from bugs. I will try this out! thanks so much

  4. I'll probably still take my chances with DEET since I haven't experienced any adverse effects yet. I'm also looking for a more long-term approach and am looking at available mosquito traps. I’ve read the independent studies and these Mosquito Magnets are effective at protecting up to a one-acre area.


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