Skin So Soft Insect Repellent – Debunking the Myth

 

Does Avon’s Skin So Soft Bath Oil

Really Work as an Insect Repellent?

 

 

  Keep The Bugs Off Link

 

Does it Really Protect Against Mosquitoes or is it an “Old Wives Tale”? 

Our Mothers and Grandmothers have sworn by it, and even a Google search on the topic will give you thousands of results as well as a 101 more uses for the bath oil!  I’ve been asked so many times from my customers whether the Skin So Soft Mosquito myth is really true? I had to get some answers! I needed to know!

 But after searching the Internet I came up with no more info than what I started with. I found many websites with comments from users who had sworn that the Skin So Soft product worked for them as a bug repellent, but at the same time, there were the same amount of reviews that said it didn’t work.  So a bit confused, I ditched the Google search and went straight to the source. Who else but Avon themselves would have the answer. I couldn’t find any information on the Avon.com website but with a little digging I found it on my Avon Representative pages!

So to clear the air once and for all on the Avon Skin So Soft Insect Repellent myth here is the official statement directly from Avon.

“Skin So Soft Bath Oil is not an insect repellent. It is a moisturizing bath and body oil product.”

“Skin So Soft Bath Oil is a moisturizing bath oil, not an insect repellent. Therefore, it is not registered as such with the EPA, and we may not make insect repellent claims about it. Please see the complete line of Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Insect Repellents for all your bug repellent needs.”

So there it is, Avon has not confirmed nor denied the rumor but in so many words has said “It’s Just a Bath Oil!”

Now that’s not to say Avon doesn’t have an Insect Repellent line, in fact they took full advantage of the the Skin So Soft Bath Oil buzz and came up with a great repellent from what else, their Skin So Soft collection. Avon’s Skin So Soft Bug Guard is an 8 hour insect repellent that provides protection from mosquitoes, gnats, sand flies, no-seeums and biting midges.  It’s hypoallergenic, and dermatologist-tested. It comes in a variety of products to choose from for the whole family and is safe for children.

Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard

Avon Bug Guard uses a patented technology and is DEET-Free it’s active ingredients are:

Picaridin which is an effective alternative ingredient to DEET.  It has a low odor, with a light, clean feel. Picaridin, also known around the world as KBR3023, or Bayrepel (trademark of Bayer AG) was developed by Bayer. Picaridin has been used worldwide since 1998, and is one of the best selling active ingredients contained in insect repellent products in Europe.

IR3535 is a non-greasy, effective repellent that protects against a broad range of insects. It is a gentle formula does not have to be washed off after use or returning from the outdoors.

Both ingredients are highly effective  that allow Avon flexibility when developing new repellent products. Both meet Avon’s high standard for product performance.

For more info about Bug Guard Picaridin & IR3535 ingredients,
Frequently Asked Questions & How to Select & Use
visit these Beauty2Makeup articles:

Avon Bug Guard: Facts & Info, FAQ

Avon Bug Guard 101 (.pdf)

Skin So Soft Mosquito Repellent – How to Use

 
Skin So Soft Bug Guard can be purchased at the Avon website.  Click for current prices and to purchase at  Avon.com.

  Purchase Avon Bug Guard at the Avon Website

 

I’d love to hear your experience with either Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil or Avon Bug Guard. 

Has it worked for you?   How do you use it?   Leave your comment below.

 


I’ve been an Independent Avon eRepresentative for over 4 years. I specialize in online sales through my Avon Representative website. You can read more about me here..
Dianne Hernandez can also be found on Google +


50 comments to Skin So Soft Insect Repellent – Debunking the Myth

  • Song

    It did not work on me. It still does not work for me. I use it to moisturize my skin but I still get bites.

  • ca

    Not only was there the study from Canada I believe one of the prior commenters posted, but there is also the study cited by Snopes that says Skin So Soft only worked for a short time (as would any concoction you coat your skin with – preventing or detering the bug from biting). http://www.snopes.com/oldwives/skeeters.asp

    • Hi “ca”!

      Yes, I did see the Snopes article when I was doing research on the subject, but regardless of whether it’s a proven fact whether Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil works as a mosquito repellent or not, you can’t deny how many swear by it’s effectiveness, which is my point in this article. Just the few testimonies found here on this page can be quite convincing that it works. But as mentioned in my article and also in my Bug Guard video, also found on this page, the Avon Corporation has never made claims that Skin Soft Original Bath Oil is an insect repellent nor have made claims of it’s effectiveness. So basically it’s popularity has spread by word of mouth and the personal testimonies therein.

      I personally believe it’s a 50/50 consensus, some swear by the bath oil and others aren’t so convinced. Luckily for those unconvinced they have Avon Bug Guard to turn to which is approved by the EPA, tested for it’s effectiveness and market by Avon Corporation as an effective insect repellent.

      Thanks for visiting! I appreciate your input :-)

  • sylent1

    OK here’s the REAL skinny. I have never liked spraying toxins on myself or my pets. The flies would eat the ends of my dogs ears off and the mosquitos and gnats would drive us crazy. I used Skin So Soft in Nebraska next to a lake dove hunting and the entire time I was out bugs would swarm around us and not ONE would land. I got to carrying it in my game bag. Don’t know if they changed the formula…but it used to work AWESOME.

  • paul

    sss iv been useing it for 6years now i live in scotland and keeps the midges away also wasps its g8t dont know what id do without it..a fisherman told me its like gold bust too him

  • Trish Long

    My mom has a bottle of Skin So Soft that is more than 15 years old. She uses it VERY sparingly because it is the original formula, which works well. Both she and I are “mosquito attractors,” so we know that formula works. I haven’t found that the newer formula (bath oil) works as well. Also, in terms of the many conflicting reports, I can offer an explanation: mosquitoes are attracted both by the amount of carbon dioxide exuded when you exhale and by certain chemicals in your skin. These chemicals of course vary from person to person, and create the difference in human scent which allows dogs, for example, to tell when their master is walking up to the front door instead of a stranger. So… since the Skin So Soft oil works in combination with the chemicals you have in your skin — it will make a better repel-combination on some people than on others. For my mom and I, at least the original formula STILL works great! Just not sure what we will do when our bottle finally runs out :-)

    • Beauty2Makeup

      Thanks for the interesting insight Trish. Avon still sells the Original Bath Oil. I’m not sure how much different the formula you have is but if you find the newer version isn’t working for you maybe Avon’s Bug Guard would be a good alternative.

      Thanks for stopping by :-)

  • joe bagadonutz

    N5UHorks awesome. We used to get it issued to recruits at Marine Corps bootcamp in Parris island, Sc, which is overrun by sand fleas (sand gnats) and it worked unbelievably well. Funny thing we were also issued OFF!But we only used it to get boot dye spills off of the concrete floors of the squad bay.So you don’t get Mich more practical application than MCRD PISC, with the sand fleas from hell in late september, the fact that it is isssssued to recruits along with their boots, underwear and training gear should tell you something.bBut that was 96, idk if Skinsosoft has changed since then.

    • Beauty2Makeup

      Wow! What an endorsement (un-Officially that is) but nevertheless for the Marines to issue it to the recruits! That’s got to say a lot! As far as I know and just from hearing the comments from our readers and my customers the Original Skin So Soft Bath Oil is just as effective when it comes to insects.

      Thanks for stopping by Joe I appreciate your comment!

      Dianne

      • lcj1049

        It was absolutely a part of Marine Corp Boot Camp, at least it was in 1993 when I went and it did work wonders against sand fleas. The thing is I am not sure if its effectiveness against sand fleas absolutely translates to mosquitoes. I don’t remember mosquitoes being a problem on the island. I think this might be the genesis of the argument over whether it works as an “insect repellent.”

  • Tara

    My husband and I both have fond memories of that original Skin So Soft Bath Oil smell. I think we would be lathered in it all summer. It worked great for scout camping trips to keep the mosquitoes away. My husband and I were at a flea market today and a woman was selling Avon products and we just had to buy the large bottle for an upcoming camping trip. We had no idea the formula had changed, with the added jojoba oil, and think it smells exactly the same. It brought back so many memories. We will be testing it out next weekend to see if it still works to repel insects. If not we do have the SSS Bug Guard as a back up.

    • Beauty2Makeup

      Thanks for leaving your comment Tara,

      I would love to hear your results. Please let us know what you think after you try it. Is the Skin So Soft just as effective now as it was back then for you?

      Have fun camping and I look forward to hearing back from you :-)

      Dianne

  • Brian

    I found another University study, from University of Florida, that suggested the effectiveness of Skin So Soft declined after the first ten minutes, so there is conflicting research regarding the effectiveness.

    • Beauty2Makeup

      Brian,

      I remember when I was searching this topic before I wrote this post I also came across a Consumer’s Report Magazine test and they also had some “so-so” reviews on the Skin So Soft. But that just proves my point as mentioned in the above post, that although the oil is not made as an insect repellent and some studies say it isn’t 100% effective, loyal Skin So Soft fans (as you can tell by the comments left here on this site) say otherwise. There is conflicting evidence. So who ya gonna believe? I choose the actual users who swear by it They’ve convinced me. :-)

      Thanks for all the info Brian and have a great summer!

      Dianne

  • Brian

    I should point out that the Texas A&M study I mentioned was using Skin So Soft Bath Oil, not the bug repellent line of products they sell not. The bug repellent products are bug repellent based and not bath oil based, so the two products, the Skin So Soft Bath Oil and the Skin So Soft Bug Repellents, couldn’t be more different.

  • Brian

    If anyone really wanted scientific evidence, Texas A&M University did a study years ago to study the effectiveness of various mosquito repellents. They tested all the deet product, those with extra deet and Skin So Soft. This may have been 15-20 years ago so like someone else mentioned, I don’t know if the formula may have changed, but I do recall they were surprised that the Skin So Soft was actually more effective than the deet products. The study was on the Houston news and they showed that it was tested by building a box with a place to stick your are in. A set number of mosquitos were in the box, several hundred if I recall correctly, and they then counted how many landed on the arm and bit. This was repeated over time till they had plenty of data. I remember none of them prevented mosquitoes from biting with so many in the box, but I believe Skin So Soft numbers may have been roughly one third of some of the others. There is a chance it may have been published in a journal if any of those with access to a good scientific journal database wanted to search for the study.

  • Tim

    I heard years ago, avon skin so soft works well for bug repellent here in florida. After discovering a avon store in the mall I went in and bought some skin so soft body bath oil.
    since I have been camping outdoors for the last couple days I was boyhered by mosquitoes and bugs. I tried the skun so soft last night. It absolutely does work. Not one mosquitoe came anywhere near me and I slept in just shorts and a tank top. It really is amazeing stuff. and you dont smell like bug repelleny useing it.

    • Beauty2Makeup

      Amazing!! Thanks for your testimony Tim! I’m sure our Beauty2Makeup readers will appreciate your feed back. Incidentally, I just recently moved to an area (by a lake) that has a ton of mosquitoes so I’ll be ordering my Skin So Soft Bath Oil soon. As an Avon Rep you’d think I’d have already tried the bath oil as a repellent but I’m not a camper, I’m more of a city person, and where I previously lived there weren’t many mosquitoes so I never really had the need to use it. But now living over by the lake it’s a whole different story! Once that sun goes down “the creepers” come out.

      I’ll be posting my personal testimony soon enough! Bug Guard vs. Skin So Soft Bath Oil.

      Out of curiosity… How do you apply it? Do you use it full strength? Do you use the Skin So Soft Pump or the bottle? Any suggestions will help.

      Truthfully, I never wanted to be the guinea pig testing out the product in the past (I hate the idea of being “eaten alive” ha-ha) but now that it’s a necessity due to where I live I basically have no choice, plus you as well as all our other Beauty2Makeup Readers who have posted their own experiences have convinced me that Skin So Soft is an amazing product.

      Thanks for leaving your comment Tim, and enjoy your summer :-)

      Dianne

  • shelbel

    I just came across your site and couldn’t resist leaving a comment. I love skin so soft and use it for a variety of reasons. It’s great as a bath oil, and it is also the only thing I use to get get paint off my hands. I mix it with a little water to spray on during the mosquito season because it doesn’t leave your clothes with that filmy ick feeling repellent does. By far, the best thing I tried is for the kiddie pool. Pool chemicals are far too much for too little water and I notice that larvae from mosquitos love to drop in so you are going through mass amounts of water everyday. A very small amount of Skin So soft does the trick and keeps the pool clean for a longer period of time :)

    • Beauty2Makeup

      Thanks for all the tips Shelbel. I had no idea it could be use to take off paint and putting it in the Kids pool is very clever.

      Thanks for visiting and leaving your valuable input :-) Enjoy your summer.

      Dianne

  • Beauty2Makeup

    No problem Tami, your review was fun to read! Thanks for stopping by :-)
    Dianne

  • norman hodghton

    I heard about Skin SO Soft being used as repellant a few years ago in the Scottish Highlands. I found it being sold in amongst the chemicals, not cosmetics. And it worked! And Scottish midges are imune to most repellants, so this was wonderful.
    One thing I was told was do not rub it in, just spray and leave it to keep the beaties off.

  • Angie

    Hi Corinne, I absolutely swear by Avong SSS Bug Guard and have been using it for many years. I suffer from allergies to fragrances and perfume but I can use this product with no problems. I was bitten by March flies last week and the itch has driven me crazy for a week. Last night was another bad night. Today I put bug guard on and there were no bites.

    Angie

    • Beauty2Makeup

      Thanks for joining the conversation Angie! I prefer Avon Bug Guard over the bath oil as well. But I think out of all my customers it’s a 50 /50 tie.
      50% swear by the bath oil and 50% love Bug Guard.

      Thanks for visiting :-)

  • kim

    We have been using the avon sss lotion on my son since the summer he was 1 and we found out he was allergic to bug bites (doctor recomended). It worked!! I was just curious if anyone knows if the new formula is as good as the last? He just turned 7 and we ran out of the old formula and im dreading this summer? Nothing else works on him.

    • Beauty2Makeup

      Hi Kim,

      Glad to hear Skin So Soft is helping your son. As far as the new formula the only thing that’s changed is that it’s now enhanced with Jojoba oil. Other than that the scent remains the same, which I believe, is probably what makes
      the bath oil effective.

      Thanks for stopping by :-)

  • I use it to kill ants. And it does kill ants. Also, ants will not go anywhere that you put the skin so soft bath oil.

  • grayceworks

    I have always been chemically sensitive, so when I had horses, I had to find an alternative to the strong chemical fly repellents, as they made me very ill. I ended up buying regular SSS bath oil by the gallon, and just using it undiluted in a spray bottle, daily. It was a bit oily at first application, but quickly was absorbed by their skin and coats. Still was oily enough that dust collected quickly, but it was worth it to keep most of the bugs off of them during the summertime. It didn’t keep them all away, but then, neither did the chemical stuff. It definitely made a difference though, and you could see that difference clearly if I missed a day of spraying them down.

    Of course, I also used it for ME. lol. Same method, sprayed on, undiluted.

    This was.. ohhh… 18 years or so ago… don’t know if the formula has changed or not since then, so can’t comment on its effectiveness for horses now… but I still use it myself, and I can’t remember the last time I actually had any sort of bug bite while using it. Not scientific evidence, I know, but enough for me. ;)

    • Loved your story Grayceworks, you must have had the prettiest smelling horses around! I have heard from many people it still works great on flies for the animals. So even though the formula has changed some, it hasn’t by much. It’s also nice to you hear you’ve been a long time Avon customer and still enjoying SSS Bath Oil after all these years. One thing about Avon, it’s been around for over 125 years and by the looks of it they’re not going anywhere.

      Thanks for your thoughts and for the visit <3

  • Karen

    If you REALLY wanted to know if Skin so Soft works as an insect repellent, instead of researching on the ‘net & getting no real proof of the “old wives tale” — why didn’t you just TRY it?? I have used it for over 20 years, since my kids were just toddlers, my Mom used it on me and my brothers & we even use it on our dogs! I have been outside (in the deep south) with no repellent, with products like Off, & with Skin so Soft & the proof is in the pudding- it ABSOLUTELY WORKS! PLUS you get the added benefit of it’s intended purpose, soft skin- which makes it a better option than commercial products designed to repel insects. I raise & breed rottweilers and after every bath they are treated with Skin-so-Soft, and we lightly spray them every other day in between, they rarely get fleas (or ticks) using this method, if not used they are covered with them. Plus, their coats & skin are soft & silky & they smell much better! So don’t fall for the attempts to sell you more expensive products “specifically designed” to repel insects- this is no myth, it works!

    • Karen

      And to answer the question in the post right before mine, our family has always used it full strength, not diluted – but it spreads very nicely & doesn’t take much to cover a full-grown human (or a 150 pound Rottweiler)

    • Hi Karen,

      Sometimes myths are just that – myths, and at other times they are really true and do work. Like for instance, the myth about earwigs which I found out is not a myth! But that’s a whole different topic for another day and blog. So, with that said I decided to take the non “guinea pig” approach on this one but I’m sure your feedback will convince others to try it.

      Thanks for visiting Karen, and also for your very helpful input :-)

      • Karen

        You are very welcome, I just happened to stumble into your site while comparing prices for this very item & was glad to have the chance to offer some feedback, guess you can tell I am an enthusiastic Skin so Soft fan! :)

        After arriving at this post, I stayed and browsed around & you have a lot of interesting & informative info here, I’m sure I will be returning.

  • Laurie

    Skin So Soft does work for flies. My neighbor uses it on her horses all the time as a fly spray and it works better than the actual horse fly spray!

    • That’s Awesome! Out of curiosity do you know how your neighbor applies the Skin So Soft Bath Oil on their horse? How do they prepare it? Is it used full strength or is it diluted?

      I’m sure are other readers would be interested in this info as well.

      Thanks for letting us know Laurie ;-)

      Dianne

    • I am interested to know if you use sss bath oil full strength on horses. Info would be appreciated. thanx, Annette

      • Hi Annette,

        A couple of our Beauty2Makeup readers hsve left comments about that very subject. You can find it here in the comments section of this page. Her exact words were:

        “I have always been chemically sensitive, so when I had horses, I had to find an alternative to the strong chemical fly repellents, as they made me very ill. I ended up buying regular SSS bath oil by the gallon, and just using it undiluted in a spray bottle, daily. It was a bit oily at first application, but quickly was absorbed by their skin and coats. Still was oily enough that dust collected quickly, but it was worth it to keep most of the bugs off of them during the summertime. It didn’t keep them all away, but then, neither did the chemical stuff. It definitely made a difference though, and you could see that difference clearly if I missed a day of spraying them down.

        Of course, I also used it for ME. lol. Same method, sprayed on, undiluted.

        This was.. ohhh… 18 years or so ago… don’t know if the formula has changed or not since then, so can’t comment on its effectiveness for horses now… but I still use it myself, and I can’t remember the last time I actually had any sort of bug bite while using it. Not scientific evidence, I know, but enough for me. ;)
        ~ Graceworkds

        And here’s another…

        “And to answer the question in the post right before mine, our family has always used it full strength, not diluted – but it spreads very nicely & doesn’t take much to cover a full-grown human (or a 150 pound Rottweiler)”
        ~ Karen

        Hoped this help and thanks for visiting.

  • Shannon

    I don’t know that anyone ever thought Skin-So-Soft was commercially *manufactured* as an insect repellant so much as that it was a nice ‘home remedy’ to use. I guess you could liken it to other ‘off-label’ uses like vinegar to clean coffee stains or baking soda as an exfoliator. I could be wrong, though. A rumor may have started somewhere.

    • Hi Shannon,

      You would think so but over the years I have had customers ask me about the “bug repellant that Avon has for the bath” or even better, I’ve had customers order the SSS Bath Oil and then later call me asking why there aren’t instructions on the bath oil bottle on how to use it as insect repellant!

      Thanks for vising and leaving your comment ;-)
      Dianne

  • Sis

    I have used Avons Skin so soft bath oil for years. I am always out doors, i hunt, camp, and work out doors. The bath oil worked against mosquitos, chiggers, ticks. Until last year, they must have changed the formula now it only works against ticks, and chiggers. The mosquitoes are eating me up. I think they changed something in it in 2011.

    • Hi Sis,

      I haven’t heard about any changes to the product but you have to remember that SSS Bath Oil isn’t designed to be used as an insect repellent though many do use it as such. If you want full protection against mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks and other bugs you might be interested in trying Avon’s Skin So Soft Bug Guard.

      Thanks for stopping by
      Dianne

    • Hi Corinne,

      Thanks for the link. I read the study and it did have some interesting findings. As far as my post, I was only pointing out that Avon does not make claims nor plan to about their Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil being an effective mosquito repellant. I’m assuming there may be some issues that Avon is trying to avoid in making those claims.

      I know it’s confusing and as long as Avon denies the claims about the bath oil this debate may never end. Especially when some swear by it and others say it doesn’t work. My suggestion to anyone wondering if Avon Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil would work for them as a mosquito repellent would be to go ahead and try it. Just like in the study referenced in your link, apply SSS Bath Oil on one arm and a mosquito repellant like Off or Avon SSS Bug Guard (which is DEET free) on the other. If it works, Great! But if it doesn’t and you find yourself eaten alive remember you can’t complain to Avon ;-)

      Take care Corinne and thanks for stopping by.

      Dianne

  • [...] Skin So Soft myth and came up with a great repellent from what else, their Skin So Soft collection. Avon’s Skin So Soft Bug Guard is an 8 hour insect repellent that provides protection from mosquitoes, gnats, sand flies, [...]

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