by Kate Spiller – From the west coast to the east coast, mountains, beaches, and forests, my family has been busy this summer testing Proven Insect Repellent, a deet-free bug, tick, and mosquito repellent available in spray and lotion form. In addition to pesky mosquitoes and biting flies, increasingly, it’s ticks that cause us concern as populations increase across the country.
Yes, we are lovers of the outdoors. We prioritize our time to spend most of it outside. Our preschooler goes to forest school, and we travel to experience the natural beauty of the planet. However, none of our family members are big fans of bugs and insects that bite, bother, and cause other unwanted (and sometimes serious) issues.
Thankfully, there are safe and effective deet-free bug repellent products to protect my family from irritating insects. I can recall a visit to North Carolina’s Outer Banks a few summers ago where the biting flies were unbearable. We couldn’t relax in our usual spot set back from the shore without being eaten alive. Instead, we planted our chairs right at the water’s edge, taking advantage of the breezes that kept insects at bay.
On another travel adventure in Wisconsin, after walking along a Lake Michigan beach, we decided to take the forested trail back. As soon as we stepped onto the trail, we realized our mistake. Mosquitoes were surrounding us, and our poor son, then two, had no way to keep them away as he rode on my husband’s back in the carrier. Needless to say, we raced back to the beach, and returned the way we came, bug-free and wiser.
If only we’d had an insect repellent the actually protected us, those experiences would have been a whole lot more enjoyable.
What is Proven Insect Repellent?
Proven is a deet-free insect repellent that uses Picaridin, derived from the black pepper plant, to repel mosquitoes, ticks, flies, ants, no-see-ums, and more biting bugs. We tested two products from their repellent line: Proven Odorless Spray (12-hour protection), and Proven Odorless Lotion (14-hour protection).
What’s to Love about Proven Insect Repellent?
Effective Bug Spray & Lotion.
We tested Proven in a variety of settings including:
- North Cascades National Park, Washington mountains
- North Carolina beaches and Currituck Sound
- Seattle, Washington forested trails
- North of Seattle on Lake Cavanaugh
- Hiking near Anchorage, Alaska
In each of these experiences, we found Proven with Picaridin to protect us from insects. We didn’t have to worry, and each of us came away virtually bite-free!
Long-Lasting Bug Repellent.
Proven Insect Repellent Spray features 12-hour protection, and Proven Insect Repellent lotion offers 14-hour protection. After applying once, we never felt like we needed to reapply throughout the day or evening.
Wide Range of Coverage.
Proven (using Picaridin) provides coverage from the greatest range of insects compared to DEET based products. Specifically, it protects from more types of flies.
Odorless Insect Repellent.
Part of the annoyance of applying bug spray is the smell! I love that Proven’s formulas (lotion and spray) are available odor-free.
Note: Proven does have spray and lotion that are available in “gentle scent”, but we did not have the opportunity to test those.
No Deet, Just Picaridin.
DEET (chemical name: N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), the active ingredient in many insect repellents, can be toxic to young children when not applied correctly. I’m thankful for this product’s use of Picaridin, giving me the peace of mind that comes with not having to use such a harmful product around my family. DEET can also damage clothes, and gear (tents, jackets, glasses, etc).
No Aerosol Cans.
I find that the spray and lotion form of insect repellent are easier to apply compared to aerosol. I’m able to control the product better, and ensure that it’s applied safely to my children.
Non-greasy Repellent Formula.
Not only are Proven’s bug spray and lotion formulas non-greasy, they are actually enriched with Aloe vera, something our summer skin definitely appreciates.
Notes on Proven Insect Repellent:
- While Proven’s Deet-free formula (and effectiveness) is a huge plus for us, I also want to mention that DEET has been determined to be the standard of insect repellent effectiveness. Overall, we are pleased with how well Proven’s Picaridin formula works on repelling pesky insects, and we very much appreciate its benefits over DEET-based products.
- Make sure to read and follow application directions carefully. Proven bug repellent is not safe for infants under 2 months old, but is safe for babies older than 2 months, and pregnant and breastfeeding women.
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Kate Spiller is a former elementary school teacher, turned stay-at-home mom, writer and blogger. Her blog, WildTalesof.com is all about outdoor adventure and travel with kids.