• 10 Best Insect Repellents UK 2022 | Jungle Formula, Xpel and More 1
  • 10 Best Insect Repellents UK 2022 | Jungle Formula, Xpel and More 2
  • 10 Best Insect Repellents UK 2022 | Jungle Formula, Xpel and More 3
  • 10 Best Insect Repellents UK 2022 | Jungle Formula, Xpel and More 4
  • 10 Best Insect Repellents UK 2022 | Jungle Formula, Xpel and More 5

10 Best Insect Repellents UK 2022 | Jungle Formula, Xpel and More

Whether you're spending your summer camping in the UK or backpacking abroad, we’re sure getting ravaged by insects isn’t on the itinerary. Nothing ruins a glorious day out quite like the crazy itch of insect bites, plus, more than just an annoyance, biting bugs can also carry diseases. This makes picking up a repellent high on the agenda of summer essentials. 


However, deciding on the right one can be difficult, especially if you have babies or kids in the family. Do you go natural or use the trusted mosquito destroyers DEET or Picaridin? Is a spray, roll-on, or even a pack of wipes best? Our buying guide will answer these questions, and our recommendations from Amazon, Boots and Tesco will help you decide which brand to go for. 

This Article's Contributors

mybest Editing Team
  • Last updated: 15-02-2022
Table of Contents

Compare the Best Insect Repellents

For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:


  1. Smidge - Insect Repellent Spray for £8.50
  2. Mosi-Guard - Natural Insect Repellent Stick for £7.07
  3. Boots - Repel Maximum Lotion for £7.49
  4. Xpel - Tropical Formula Wipes for £8.33 (Pack of 6)
  5. Life Systems - Expedition 100+ Spray for £8.49

For a more in-depth look at the comprehensive top 10 selection, make sure to read on to learn more about the different types of insect repellent available and understand how our ranking was determined.

This article's chosen EC site price listings are reflective of its publishing date.

Image
1
Smidge Insect Repellent Spray 1

Smidge

2
Mosi-Guard Natural Insect Repellent Stick 1

Mosi-Guard

3
Boots Repel Maximum Lotion 1

Boots

4
Xpel Tropical Formula Repellent Wipes 1

Xpel

5
Life Systems Expedition 100+ DEET Insect Repellent Spray 1

Life Systems

6
Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent 1

Repel

7
Incognito Insect Repellent Roll-On 1

Incognito

8
Jungle Formula Maximum Insect Repellent Spray 1

Jungle Formula

9
THEYE Natural Powerful Mosquito Repellent 1

THEYE

10
SheaLife Insect Repellent Balm 1

SheaLife

Name

Insect Repellent Spray

Natural Insect Repellent Stick

Repel Maximum Lotion

Tropical Formula Repellent Wipes

Expedition 100+ DEET Insect Repellent Spray

Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent

Insect Repellent Roll-On

Maximum Insect Repellent Spray

Natural Powerful Mosquito Repellent

Insect Repellent Balm

Features

A Hugely Popular Spray Offering the Strength of DEET Without the Smell

A Quality UK-Made Product With Sustainable Ethics

Created Especially for Travellers to Tropical Climates

Great Value Wipes That'll Cover the Family All Holiday Long

Extra-Strong 10-Hour Protection for Jungle Explorers

A Natural, DEET-Free Option That Really Works

An Environmentally Friendly Roll-On From a Trustworthy Brand

A Strong Repellent for Those Travelling to Risk Areas

Ideal for Families Thanks to a Kid-Safe Formula and a Pleasant Smell

A Non-Toxic Option Made With Only 4 Natural Ingredients

Price£8.50£7.07£7.49£8.33£8.49£18.50£7.99£6.83£6.99£7.95
Active IngredientPicaridin Oil of lemon eucalyptus DEETIR3535DeetOil of lemon eucalyptusOil of lemon eucalyptus DEETCitrepelCitronella
Percentage20%32%50%-95%30%-50%20%-
Lasts ForUp to 8 hoursUp to 8 hoursUp to 8 hoursUp to 4 hoursUp to 10 hoursUp to 6 hoursUp to 4 hoursUp to 9 hours Up to 6 hoursUp to 4 hours
TypeSprayStickLotionWipesSpraySprayRoll-onSpray SprayLotion
Water/Sweat-ResistantBoth NeitherNoNoSweat-resistantNoNoNoNoNo
Volume75 ml 40 ml100 ml25 per pack (6 packs)100 ml or 50 ml118 ml50 ml 125 ml 75 ml 100 ml
Link

How to Choose an Insect Repellent in the UK

Key Points to Consider

  1. Decide on Chemical, Synthesised Plant Oil or All-Natural Active Ingredients
  2. Choose Spray, Lotion, Sticks or Wipes Type Based on the Trip You're Taking 
  3. Look For Water-Resistant and Sweat-Proof Formulas for Extra Protection

1. First Decide on Your Active Ingredient – Chemical, Synthesised Plant Oil or All-Natural

1. First Decide on Your Active Ingredient – Chemical, Synthesised Plant Oil or All-Natural

Choose Chemical Repellents if You Want the Strongest Protection, but Check the Age Range if Using on Kids

The two big players in the chemical world are DEET and Picaridin. When choosing a repellent with either of these ingredients, make sure you get a formula with between 20-30% at least, as this is where they both max out at protection. An even higher percentage means that the product will last for longer without needing to be re-applied. 


Yet, being chemical products, there are some risks. Firstly, it is not recommended to use high percentages on young children. Each manufacturer will list the age guidelines for their product, so we strongly suggest following those. Secondly, DEET is known to have quite an unpleasant smell that might be a bit too much for some. 


Beat persistent bugs by doubling up with a mosquito repellent device 

Consider Synthesised Plant Oils as a Mid-Way Between Chemical and Natural

While not technically natural products, oil of lemon eucalyptus, citrepel, and IR3535 are synthesised chemicals based on natural products. This chemical replication is necessary because, while they do have some repelling properties, these plant-based ingredients cannot repel insects efficiently in such small quantities. 


Repellents such as these are fine for use on children's skin and are often relatively effective, although not quite as effective as chemical-based products. If you’re looking to steer clear of annoying bites as opposed to dangerous disease-carrying ones, they should be fine. Also, they do need to be re-applied more frequently. 

Give Citronella a Try if You'd Prefer Something Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly

If you prefer to keep things natural, then a chemical-free repellent is the choice for you. These formulas usually contain citronella as their active ingredient which is a completely safe and non-toxic plant. This also means that, while it will repel insects, it will not kill or poison them – unlike some chemical ingredients. 

 
Bear in mind that there are some doubts about the effectiveness of natural products, and if you’re travelling to places where the bugs are known to carry dangerous diseases, you may have to forgo them to be safe.  Furthermore, while safe, allergic reactions to citronella are not unheard of, so perhaps consult your GP first if you are prone to sensitivities.   


After more natural holiday essentials? Try a dermatologist-reviewed mineral sunscreen

2. Spray, Lotion, Stick or Wipe? Pick the Best Application Type for Your Trip

2. Spray, Lotion, Stick or Wipe? Pick the Best Application Type for Your Trip

Go For Sprays if Easy Application and Convenience Is Key

Spray bottle repellents are the most popular and the most common, due to their convenience. They're easy to apply and simply require a spritz and a quick rub in before you can set off on your day out. 


Sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly how much you have applied or whether you have missed a spot, so you will have to be fastidious with your application. Plus, there is the possibility of wastage. 

Compact Roll-Ons or Sticks Are a Good Option When You Need to Pack Light

The advantage of roll-on and stick repellents is that you can directly see where you have applied them, which therefore should ensure you don't miss a single spot. Also, they tend to come in smaller volumes as more concentrated formulas, making them a good pick if you're trying to pack as lightly as possible for a trip or hike. 


Be sure to check out our recommended hiking backpacks for your outdoor adventure 

Opt For a Lotion to Save Money on Larger Quantities

The biggest advantage of a lotion-style repellent is that they are generally the most economical, in that you'll usually get more millilitres of product for less. It’s also easier to see how much you have applied. 


The downside is that it can take a while to apply, which isn’t so much of an issue with adults but can be rather difficult if you have a child that just wants to get out and about. 

Take All the Hassle Out of Applying Repellent With a Pack of Wipes

A rather recent invention is repellent-soaked wipes. They are simply applied with a sweep over the areas you want to cover, and then left a short while to dry. Plus, like most forms of wipes, they come in a convenient pack that can be easily stored in any bag. 


However, you only get a certain amount per pack, which could leave you exposed if you run out while on your day out. Plus, you may be lumbered with carrying your rubbish if you’re on a particularly long expedition or out in the wilderness. 

3. Look For Water-Resistant and Sweat-Proof Formulas for Extra Protection

3. Look For Water-Resistant and Sweat-Proof Formulas for Extra Protection

If you’re looking to have an active summer which will result in plenty of sweating, or you're simply spending time in a hot climate, then picking up a sweat-resistant repellent that will stay put even as you perspire is a wise choice. 


Likewise, if you’re spending time near bodies of water, where bites can be particularly frequent and rough, you might want to consider a waterproof repellent. This should save you having to reapply every time you’ve been for a quick dip to cool down. 

10 Best Insect Repellents in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.

1
Active IngredientPicaridin
Percentage20%
Lasts ForUp to 8 hours
TypeSpray
Water/Sweat-ResistantBoth
Volume75 ml
2

Mosi-GuardNatural Insect Repellent Stick

£7.07

Active IngredientOil of lemon eucalyptus
Percentage32%
Lasts ForUp to 8 hours
TypeStick
Water/Sweat-ResistantNeither
Volume40 ml
3

BootsRepel Maximum Lotion

£7.49

Active IngredientDEET
Percentage50%
Lasts ForUp to 8 hours
TypeLotion
Water/Sweat-ResistantNo
Volume100 ml
4

XpelTropical Formula Repellent Wipes

Pack of 6

£8.33

Active IngredientIR3535
Percentage-
Lasts ForUp to 4 hours
TypeWipes
Water/Sweat-ResistantNo
Volume25 per pack (6 packs)
5

Life SystemsExpedition 100+ DEET Insect Repellent Spray

£8.49

Active IngredientDeet
Percentage95%
Lasts ForUp to 10 hours
TypeSpray
Water/Sweat-ResistantSweat-resistant
Volume100 ml or 50 ml
6

RepelLemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent

£18.50

Active IngredientOil of lemon eucalyptus
Percentage30%
Lasts ForUp to 6 hours
TypeSpray
Water/Sweat-ResistantNo
Volume118 ml
7
Active IngredientOil of lemon eucalyptus
Percentage-
Lasts ForUp to 4 hours
TypeRoll-on
Water/Sweat-ResistantNo
Volume50 ml
8
Active IngredientDEET
Percentage50%
Lasts ForUp to 9 hours
TypeSpray
Water/Sweat-ResistantNo
Volume125 ml
9

THEYENatural Powerful Mosquito Repellent

£6.99

Active IngredientCitrepel
Percentage20%
Lasts ForUp to 6 hours
TypeSpray
Water/Sweat-ResistantNo
Volume75 ml
10
Active IngredientCitronella
Percentage-
Lasts ForUp to 4 hours
TypeLotion
Water/Sweat-ResistantNo
Volume100 ml

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Written and researched by Lewis Clark

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