New Zealand’s First Pregnancy Specific Insect Repellent
New Zealand’s First Pregnancy Specific Insect Repellent Arrives Just in Time for Spring Mosquitoes
Scientists have long known that some people are more prone to bug bites than others. Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to mosquito bites as they have higher body heat and exhale 21% more carbon dioxide. Despite being mosquito magnets, expectant Kiwis have had a limited choice so far when it comes to protecting themselves. Many available repellents contain high levels of harsh chemicals and skin irritants.
New Zealand skincare company, Skin Technology, has responded to this gap in the market by launching the country’s first Pregnancy Specific Insect Repellent.
“On-going research, including a study in Gambia in 2000, has shown that pregnant women are twice as attractive to mosquitoes as everyone else,” says James Fraher, Skin Technology Managing Director. “That means that our damp, humid springs, when the mozzies are at their most active, can be pretty miserable. We will see the mosquitoes coming out again between now and October as the weather warms up.”
James advises that pregnant and breast-feeding women avoid strong chemicals if possible and stick to repellents that have been especially formulated for pregnant women and sensitive skin.
“Always check the ingredients on your insect repellent as some chemicals can cause irritation and other problems,” he explains. “I wouldn’t recommend using DEET as it is toxic and absorbed by the skin. Repellents containing 20% Picaridin, a synthetic version of piperine, the chemical that gives black pepper its kick, is now widely accepted overseas as being an effective, pregnancy safe repellent, providing 6-8 hours of protection. It is also the World Health Organisations repellent of choice for malaria prevention.”
“As well as being proven to be effective, it is much less irritating to the skin, so it is likely to be a better choice for mums to be, as skin becomes more sensitive during pregnancy,” he adds. “Unlike DEET, it has very low toxicity and low absorption into the skin. It is also non greasy and pleasant smelling. On top of that, Picaridin is biodegradable and environmentally friendly.”
James also points out that while some all-natural insect repellents can be useful, the success rate is hit and miss. Some natural repellents that have been tested stopped working after 20 minutes, while others had no effect at all.
As well as protecting against mosquitoes with an appropriate repellent, James suggests keeping arms and legs covered, using insect screens on windows and ensuring pools of stagnant water the garden are kept to a minimum.
RRP for the Pregnancy Safe Repellent is $22.95 for a 100ml pump. It can be purchased online at www.skintechnology.co.nz.
Skin Technology is a 100% New Zealand owned company with strong ethical, environmental and personal values. Based in Christchurch, Skin Technology produces and distributes a wide range of insect repellents, aloe vera gels (for insect bites and sunburn etc), hand and toewarmers and hand sanitizers. The focus is on creating products that are safe and effective for the whole family to use. For more information, visit www.skintechnology.co.nz.