DEET (N,N-diethyl- meta-toluamide), used in a lot of insect repellant products has been shown to harm brain and nervous system function. Notably children are at risk for subtle neurological changes because their skin more readily absorbs chemicals in the environment, and chemicals exert more potent effects on their developing nervous systems. (Source: Dr. Mercola)
The first thing to do to lower your chances of being bitten without using DEET containing products is to consider using some of these essential oils.
Organic soy oil
The New England Journal of Medicine discovered that soybean oil repellents are as effective as DEET repellents. It is also known to slow body hair growth and moisturize.
Citronella was noted in the International Journal of Advanced Research for its natural gift with repelling mosquitoes. Tropical Medicine & International Health found that it offers 3 hours of protection when combined with vanillin. It is frequently used in mosquito repellents, sunscreens and... baked products?
It can also relieve stress and anxiety.
Cats will love you, even when mosquitoes do not. Catnip oil also helps to release muscle pulls and relieve cramps.
Lavender is a natural antiseptic & analgesic. Its anti-inflammatory nature helps it to treat minor burns and bug bites. The oil is thought to also be useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness.
Mosquitoes hate it.
Lemon Eucalyptus has been referred to as "Quwenling" for many years in China, or 'effective repellent of mosquitoes'.
Cinnamon promotes circulation and a healthy immune system. The scent also drives mosquitoes away.
If you have sensitive skin, these oils can be cut with coconut oil, moisturizing lotion, or vegetable oil before skin application. You can also spray a light layer of them on your clothing.
These alternatives are great for children and those who hate oil on their skin, want to chase mosquitoes from their home.
It is always wise to consult your physician before changing your normal routine, as some of these oils may not recommended for pregnant women or children.