Our thoughts on everything from what attracts mosquitoes to why you should live life outdoors — and more!

Ingredient Sourcing and Why it Matters

You may be familiar with the concept that a meal is only as good as the ingredients used to make it. We believe the same is true for personal care products: The quality of the product is only as good as the ingredients that go into it, and this is precisely the reason that we take ingredient sourcing so seriously.

When it comes to our all natural mosquito repellent, where we source the essential oils used in our formula is a big deal. If you know a bit about oils, you know that not all essential oils are created equal. Some aren’t in their purest form, and it can be hard to tell the difference between an imposter and the real thing. The purity of the essential oils used in our products is important to us and to our consumers, which is why every time you purchase a bottle of our Bug Protector® Mosquito repellent, you can be confident that it’s made with only the finest essential oils available.

Why can you trust us? For one, our essential oils supplier uses a vendor qualification program, in which all of its sources (which span 30 countries) must submit documentation such as product specs, labeling standards and container compliance to meet its uncompromising standards for pure essential oils that are consistent in quality over time. In addition, our supplier validates each harvest and works directly with farmers, all of whom are mindful of good agricultural practices to sustain the field for years to come.

Each of the essential oils we use also undergoes GC/MS (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry) testing, which forms a graph of data and reflects the “thumbprint” of the oil, revealing its purity. The goal is to find that nothing was added to the oil and nothing was removed, as anything otherwise would indicate an adulterated oil. Further, advanced processing equipment is used to quality check the oils and ensure they’re among the best.

On our end, we’ve had to learn and follow product regulations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and we register our product in every state every year. Prior to launching our repellent, we developed 30-some trial versions of the formula as we experimented with the amount of each oil to use, aiming to make the end result both effective against mosquitoes and pleasant to smell.

We chose the four essential oils we did because they’re known in part for their natural mosquito-repelling properties. Below you’ll see the botanical name, scent, country of origin and method of extraction used for each:

Lemongrass Oil
Botanical name: Cymbopogon flexuosus
Scent: Strong, verbena-like
Country of origin: India
Method of extraction: Steam distilled 

Geranium Oil
Botanical name: Pelargonium graveolens
Scent: Rosy-sweet, green
Country of origin: Egypt
Method of extraction: Steam distilled 

Peppermint Oil
Botanical name: Mentha piperita
Scent: Minty
Country of origin: United States (Yakima, WA)
Method of extraction: Steam distilled

Cinnamon Oil
Botanical name: Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Scent: Clove-like
Country of origin: Sri Lanka
Method of extraction: Steam distilled

You may notice that steam distillation is used for all four of the essential oils in our formula. It’s a crucial process for these botanicals in order to produce a pure oil, with no chemicals involved. The process includes adding steam to release the plant’s molecules, which are turned into a vapor before the condensation turns into a liquid. Once in liquid form, the oil and liquid by-product (which is mainly water) are separated, and the oil is taken from there. In essence, a pure essential oil is the liquid form of the plant from which it came. In all of our oil extraction processes, we take pride in minimizing the effects on nature and using no harsh chemicals.

Quality truly does start at the source, and we’re committed to ensuring our products are sourced only in the most honest, simple and pure way.