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 Skin So Soft Bath Oil! I've been asked often from many of my customers what is the Skin So Soft Insect Repellent secret? Is there a special insect repelling ingredient in Avon Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil? Does it really repel mosquitoes? Or is a myth? 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 Bug Guard Sale

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 and both meet Avon's high standard for product performance.

Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard can be purchased year-round at the Avon website. Prices range from $20.00 to $7.00 depending on the season.  Avon Bug Guard can also be found in the current Avon Campaign in the Bath & Body Department.

For more info about Bug Guard Active Ingredients (Picaridin & IR3535) ,
Frequently Asked Questions & How to Choose & Use
visit these Beauty2Makeup articles below:


Avon Bug Guard: Facts & Info, FAQ

Skin So Soft Bug Guard - How to Use

Avon Bug Guard 101 (.pdf download)

My Personal Experience!

The Avon Skin So Soft Experiment

What is the Secret Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil Insect Repelling Ingredient?

The secret ingredient in Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil is believed to be DICAPRYL ADIPATE ,per an Avon Skin So Soft fan.


This secret ingredient helps the bath oil formula from being too greasy and leaves a matte finish on the skin. But in addition to that, the additional benefit is it's insect repelling qualities.

Per Google:  "Dicapryl adipate has been shown to have insect repellent properties and is therefore useful in insect repellent formulations. Dicapryl adipate is free from the disadvantageous properties, such as skin irritation, which are exhibited by many known insect repellent agents."

DICAPRYL ADIPATE is the third ingredient in Avon's Original Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil!

Avon Skin So Soft Ingredients:

So there it is folks!  You heard it here first!

Since this post was written it has become one of my most popular posts and many Avon fans were so passionate about using Avon Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil as an insect repellent they were kind enough to share their very real testimonies below. Since then I've also tested the bath oil and did my own Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Review and I'm convinced! 

Please read the comments section below for Skin So Soft Bath Oil testimonies from real Avon customers! 


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.

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  1. I worked with FEMA for 60 days as a volunteer with the Hurricane Katrina cleanup. The area was swarming with a nat that the local people called no-seeums because they are so small (black in color). The team was getting eaten up by these bugs and some were allergic to the bites and had to be sent back home. A lady gave me a free bottle of Avon Skin So Soft oil and said it’s the only thing she’s seen that works. Let me tell you, it may not work on mosquitoes (i don’t know) but applying a thin coat on my arms it made an immediate difference. Instead of getting like 50 bites a day i’d get maybe two or three. Those little critters bit as soon as they hit or land on you so the action was more of a repellent in my opinion. I don’t know the sent or the chemical ingredient that worked on those bugs but it looks like you identified it above. I had thought it was the scent but whatever, it definitely works on the no-seeums.

  2. Just tested Skin So Soft in a wooded area next to a creek where we have a problem with mosquitoes. I’ve used it over the years with my family growing up and it is still an effective repellent and we didn’t have one problem with them. As a matter of fact we never even saw a mosquito…. It works!

  3. Well there are Thousands of Marines that used and depended on a concoction of Skin-so-soft and Alcohol. It Worked. Why don’t yo go down to the Swamps near Parris Island take a stroll outside for half a day with no bug spray on. If you haven’t been Eaten up, pull out your Bottle of concocted Bug Juice aka. SKS & Alcohol.
    Let me know your Results of this little test.
    Semper Fi.

  4. My mom used to use skin so soft bath oil on me when I was a youngin I am 55 years old and when I say mosquitoes love me they really really do they even come in the house to find me to bite me skin so soft bath oil really works I have tried the Avon bug repellent it’s not as good I cannot walk out to my yard without putting on Avon skin so soft the mosquitoes eat me alive if it does not work for everybody there must be something different in your chemical balance that works against it but if you are looking for a good alternative to keep the mosquitoes from biting and keep your skin soft at the same time and it is great as a suntan oil I recommend giving it a try what you got to lose mosquito bites dry skin a nice tan

    1. Hi Robbie, the thing about the Skin So Soft Bath Oil it can be a hit and miss for some. Avon doesn’t promote the oil as an insect repellent so it hasn’t officially been proven to repel insects just by fans.
      Now the Avon Bug Guard does mention it protects from No seeums so maybe one of the Bug Guard formulas would work better for you. Let me know if you need help selecting.

  5. My veterinarian recommended Skin So Soft diluted in water (2T to 1 gallon) for a cat that has dermatitis due to mosquito bites (we think). But I don’t know which form of Skin So Soft to buy. I surely can’t use the one labeled as an insecticide because there is no way to dilute it for a cat. Please advise.

    1. Hi Hazel thanks for asking. The Skin So Soft your veterinarian is referring to is the Original Bath Oil. It comes in 3 sizes:
      Regular Size (16.9 oz)
      Bonus Size (25 oz).
      It’s also available in Smaller Spray Size.

      Many will purchase the bonus size bottle along with the spray and refill it when it needed.

      You can pick it up over at my online store and it will be shipped directly to you. And of course if you have further questions or need help placing the order just give me a holler so I can give you a hand. I hope you’re kitty starts feeling better.

  6. I have been using Skin So Soft since a national news story , N B C I believe, in mid 1980s reported U s military use in swamp training. It has worked better than anything else I ever tried & been great for my skin. Last summer I ran out &I tried Cutter which killed my cat. A mouse snuffed it & ran away so I sprayed the mouse & it dropped dead within 4 feet. I had 4 cats over all the years I used Avon who were never harmed even when they accidentally got some on their fur. I often gave it to friends of different ethnicities who also like it. We all continue to like it as skin oil and bug repellent
    Bobbie Deister, Ph.D..

    1. Wow thanks for sharing Bobbie, that Cutter must be extremely strong to be so harmful to your cat and the mouse. Can’t imagine putting something like that on my skin!
      And yes, I’ve had many customers share the Skin So Soft (SSS, for short) was issued to them at boot camp!

      Thanks again for sharing!

  7. I have used both official Avon mosquito products and have found that they do not work. I am looking for something else and a friend recommended the oil. I’m going to try it.
    I live in Haiti and am a mosquito magnet. I will be back with an update!

  8. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend Avon Skin-So-Soft for repelling the biting insects here in southern Arizona, mainly mosquitos and the tiny gnats we call “no-see-ums” which leave oozing welts on my skin lasting for weeks.

    After a friend reccommended & gave some of this product to me to try, I applied & reapplied it religiously for about a week, but was still attacked every time I ventured outdoors.

    Sorry, Avon Skin-so-Soft just did NOT work for me at all.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that CAT. When it comes to Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil, although many use it as an insect repellent and have had great results it still a home remedy and results can be different for others.

      Perhaps the Avon Bug Guard would be better a better fit. It’s specifically designed to keep bugs off and registered by the EPA as an Insect Repellent. Fans swear by it just much as the Bath Oil.
      You can check it out here

  9. I have been an Avon representative twice when I was younger, total of ten years. I am now 60 and have used Avon skin so soft over 40 years. As I am severely allergic to insect bites & stings I can tell you honestly that I would use nothing else for protection of mosquito bites and other insects. It just works! You don’t have to use full strength, half & half with water in a spray bottle is great. And for guys who think it’s too sweet smelling you can add a few drops of Cologne or aftershave will make it perfect for you!

  10. I use Avon’s authentic Skin So Soft bath oil to keep mites off me when wading through chest-high grass. Without the SSS oil you can expect to get dozens of chigger bites, and a few ticks, every time. When using SSS oil I generally get no tick or chigger bites. Seems to work on all species of mites. I suspect mites have a hard time climbing your body with oil on their feet. Mites can also be defeated by wearing knee-high rubber boots. Once again, I suspect they have a hard time climbing the slick rubber surface. The old-timers always used coal-oil to keep mites at bay. Avon’s claim that SSS oil doesn’t work is silly. Plain old water is an effective insect repellent!

  11. I have been using Avon Skin so Soft for at least 40yrs. I am 82yrs old and i have been flying radio control airplanes and surf fishing and my wife and i also camped and we applied Skin so Soft for all the years. I also found out that some of the circuses and horse people use Skin so Soft on there animals. All you have to do is spray a little on you and rub it in. We even sprayed our screen door on our motor home, and it also works when you go on your boat. Try it, you have nothing to loose but something to gain. Lots of luck. George.

  12. I am one of those people that the mosquitoes bite when no one else is getting bitten. It works for me! There are day mosquitoes and night ones. I know it works on the day time ones! I live between three ponds and under a lot of heavy shade trees. I cannot go outside at all in summer without being attacked. Love it! P.S I’d much rather put it on my animals and babies than poison.

  13. I use,the Bug Guard repellent and spf. Great product. The sss oil seems to have worked but the Bug Guard definitely does!

  14. As a child my Mother worked for Avon.i was so fortunate to have used Skin so soft at a young age. Everyone around me were getting bites on stop but not me. I love the smell and the feel of it leaves your skin super soft. Why waste money. If you want a guarantee to not be attacked by mosquitoes make sure you try this product

  15. We moved to the southeast so we have to use insect repellents regularly in the summer. Avon SSS Mosquito Repellent has worked very well for me for years, especially in humid climates like Hawaii.

  16. I do love the smell and the darned skeeters seem to stay away- Skin So Soft is definitely nice on the skin!

  17. I love that there’s no DEET in the new repellent!! This is healthy n great for the environment

  18. I do not care what ANYBODY says, Skin So Soft might not technically be an “Insect repellent,” but EVERY time I wear it, I do NOT get ANY mosquito bites! And I live in Louisiana, and mosquitoes are a year round problem. So, it may be a “bath oil,” in the skincare technical terms, but by no means is it JUST a bath oil! Baby oil is a bath oil, and I don’t see THAT keeping me from getting swollen lumps from mosquito bites! And, my skin feels super soft and not at all greasy like you think when you here “bath oil.”

  19. I think we are conflating two different things here..what something is “marketed as” and what it can be used as and what it does are often very different things …As a avid outdoorsman and Retired forest ranger who has fought bugs all my life..I can tell you Ive tried every imaginable bug repellent tactic. No, Avon doesnt market the standard SSS as insect repellent but does have other insect repelling products..Problem is those products contain the typical bug repelling ingredients , and therefore have the same harsh skin qualities and the same obnoxious smells ..unlike regular SSS that is much more pleasent and gentle on the skin esp for children..mind you many of my Forest Ranger Comrades and myself werent that concerned with scent and gentle skin. But some are and with good reason. Heres what I found with practical use-regular SSS marketed as bath oil only-IS effective at repelling sand flies, nats, and No-seeums-extremely itchy biting insects found near saw-grass and damp areas..it was effective for me even in extreme cases of them-I used in as Marine recruit on Paris Island many years ago when smuggled in as a repellent for sand fleas(biting nats) while in boot camp there..they are notoriously bad on Parris Island. It also worked well against midges in the Highlands of Scotland. Midges being similar but not exactly the same -the Avon marketed actual bug repellent worked just as well but had more typical “chemically” smell…As for mosquitoes I found that the regular SSS had some protective effect vs nothing but was near as effective as Avon’s specifically formulated bug repellent which works well at repelling mosquitoes…So yes it regular SSS does at least for some people , me included who has used it for years in extreme conditions-do very well at repelling biting nats “no-seeums” ..now..it may be that it is not marketed for that purpose but SOMETHING in the formulation does repel the bugs mentioned…in the same way that Ginger ale is not marketed of claimed to be a a anti-nausea medication-it is effective in many people to combat minor nausea. Thats been my experience with it…. your mileage may very.

  20. Dianne
    I don`t care what the na sayers preach, I have used Skin So Soft for years. In my day to day it removes grease, grime and paint off of my hands soothes rough skin and keeps the bugs at bay. I would be lost without it….awesome stuff !

  21. With regards to debunking the myth, I sat in on a new rep meeting with my wife, and we were given a sheet with the uses of the Skin So Soft bath oil, and it says that it keeps horseflies away as well as fleas.

  22. Yes Dear One, Skin-So-Soft is an effective deterrent to mousquitoes When I go to Jamaica I must carry “nough” supply for all my friends

  23. I have always loved Avon skin so soft. Even growing up my mom and dad used to always use it. The smell reminds me of when I was younger.

  24. Hi Dianne I Hope You Are Having a Great Day Today, it’s Finally Sunny Here Where I Live Because it Had Been So Dreary for Several Days in a Row! Thanks So Much for Your Really Helpful Input Agout Avon’s Skin So Soft Insect Repellent, I Really Appreciate it! I Love Avon and I Love How Gentle Their Products Are! I Have Used Avon Insect Repellent Before But it Was a Few Years Ago But Even Then I Really Loved it Because it Really Did Keep the Bugs Away But it Didn’t Irritate My Skin Like Some Insect Repellents That I Have Used Before! I Also Really Like the Fact That it Had a Nice, Pleasant Scent Because Let Me Just Say That Some a Insect Repellents Have an Awful Almost Medicinal Smell! Well Thanks Again for Sharing Dianne, I Really Appreciate it! Have a Lovely Day! – Jana

  25. I use the bath oil every night my mother always said if I did then my skin would be like hers and she was so right !

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