Posted in Beach, Camping, Health, Outdoors, Travel

Advising on best mosquito repellent for outdoor lovers

The best mosquito repellent includes enough active ingredient to repel mosquitoes for multiple hours.  The key term is “active ingredient” — only a small number of ingredients are recommended.  DEET is the most thoroughly researched and widely available — and the most commonly recommended by experts.  But picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are good alternatives if you have sensitive skin or want a natural pick.

If you just want a general-use mosquito repellent that provides a full day of protection, choose something from the Off! Deep Woods line.  Off! is a known-and-trusted brand in the insect repellent world, and its Deep Woods repellents come in aerosols, pump sprays, and towelettes.  The Deep Woods line contains 25 percent DEET, which provides up to eight hours of coverage.  And unlike some DEET formulas, the Deep Woods line didn’t irritate your skin at all.

If you have kids, or if you’re looking for just enough repellent to cover an afternoon picnic, we recommend Repel Family Dry Insect Repellent.  This 10 percent DEET repellent is designed to be safe for children, but its non-greasy, unscented spray will also be attractive to adults who are only looking for about four hours of mosquito protection.

For those with especially sensitive skin, try Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent Spray. Picaridin less likely to be a skin irritant than DEET, and testers barely noticed the repellent was on their skin once it dried. Sawyer contains 20 percent picaridin and comes in an aerosol spray.  If you like the sound of picaridin but want a different method of application, you can also try Natrapel 8 Hour Insect Repellent Wipes.

For those who want an all-natural, plant-based ingredient, Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent and Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent are two pump spray repellents that performed identically during testing.  They’ll make you smell like you’ve been dipped in lemon eucalyptus (an herbal, menthol-tinged scent), but they should keep the bugs at bay for six or seven hours.

Active Ingredient


Hours of Protection



2-4 hours



6 hours



Up to 8 hours



Up to 8 hours

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus


6-7 hours

Sort of. As your DEET percentage increases, you get diminishing returns: 30 percent DEET provides coverage for up to eight hours, while 98 percent covers for 10-12. But if you’re outdoors and sweating, you’ll probably have to reapply your repellent before the 10-hour mark anyway. In other words, you’re exposing yourself to a much higher dose of chemicals for very little extra protection. None of our sources or experts recommended it.

Did You Know?

Avoid mosquito repellents that contain sunscreen.

Yes, you want to protect your skin from both mosquitoes and harmful UV rays. But sunscreen protection usually wears off before mosquito repellent does. If you only apply the product once over an eight-hour span, you risk getting sunburned. But if you reapply every few hours — especially if you’re using a DEET-based product — you run the risk of overexposure to your repellent.

Apply your sunscreen and makeup first, and then spray or rub on your insect repellant, you can still reapply sunscreen throughout the day, over the repellant.

Remember to replace your repellent regularly.

The active ingredient in mosquito repellent won’t expire, but the inactive ingredients — like the fragrance components — will.  You can expect your mosquito repellent to last for about three years, and explained how to tell if it’s gone bad: If you spray it into the air and it smells wrong, throw it out. If you have a cream or gel formulation, and it has changed color or separated (yellow, brown, oily, watery) or the texture is off, throw it out. If the bottle is rusted over, throw it out.

A reputable active ingredient should be effective across the globe.

Many mosquito repellents will advertise protection against Zika or West Nile virus on their packaging, but any repellent that uses a CDC-recommended active ingredient should be effective on the majority of mosquitoes, regardless of strain or location.

You will want to up your active ingredient percentage if you’re traveling to a high-risk area, though. If you are going to a tropical location, it is recommended to use at least a 20 percent product.  A 15 percent concentration can put you at risk for mosquito bites, in turn putting you at risk for diseases like malaria, dengue fever and Zika virus.

Repellents can be harsh on some specialty fabrics.

You aren’t supposed to apply topical mosquito repellent to clothing (just skin), but bug sprays are unlikely to damage common fabrics, like denim, cotton, or nylon. Mosquito repellent users sometimes complain about damage to Lycra and Gore-Tex, however — fabrics that can show up in athleisure and hiking gear.

If you’re worried about ruining expensive fabrics, try a wipe rather than a spray. This makes it a little easier to control your application. And unless you really need it, consider leaving the Spandex at home. Looser garments are best; mosquitos will bite right through spandex yoga pants.

Avoid attracting mosquitoes to your home.

Don’t make your backyard a mosquito haven. Removing standing water from property is one of the most important actions people can take, as it eliminates breeding sites of mosquitoes. Mosquito Squad suggests eliminating yard trash (think twigs, leaves, grass clippings) because they also make popular mosquito breeding areas. She advises homeowners to clean out their gutters; make sure downspouts are aligned properly; and position items like tarps, trash cans, or children’s toys so they don’t collect standing water.

The Best Mosquito Repellents: Summed-Up

Mosquito Repellent Best For…
Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent V Aerosol DEET Spray
Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent VII Pump Top DEET Spray
Off! Deep Woods Towelettes DEET Wipes
Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent Spray Picaridin Spray
Natrapel 8 Hour Insect Repellent Wipes Picaridin Wipes
Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus Spray
Posted in Health, Wellness

How to find a MEDICAL massage therapist/Recommendation in Virginia

You can get massages on any corner, any therapist can help you relax and relieve stress but if you have a condition please consider a medical massage therapist.  Muscle manipulation is not to fool with, pressing the wrong trigger points and soft tissues can worsen your condition which you are trying to fix.  A deep tissue massage is not about “raping the muscle” and beating you up; it is about letting the therapist open or stretch the muscles and realign them. I do want to warn you though: medical massages are not the most pleasant massages but they surely work!

Have you seen injured clients coming out of cheap massage places, Asian massage parlors, especially places using Groupon?   I have! Cheap places are only good when you don’t have a condition but once you hurt yourself please get a real therapist who focuses on anatomy more than massage oil.  In my humble opinion, you are better off by not doing anything about your condition than letting a non expert “work” on you.

How can you tell your massage therapist is medical or not? Very easy:

  1. Medical massage therapists read and understand x-rays and medical records if given to them.
  2. They should be able to work together with your chiropractor and physical therapist.
  3. Medical massage heals by improving the range of motion and reducing pain. It will certainly require a few sessions but once you are done  the therapist don’t have to see you again.  If you are told to keep on returning on a regular base and you only feel relieved temporarily, you are not seeing the right therapist.  You only should be a regular for relaxation type of massages but never medical!
  4. Test their anatomy knowledge by asking a random question on anatomy and physiology or just show them your X-Ray.  Those who took 2-3 day “medical” massage therapy side courses will not know the answer!
  5. Just because a therapist has a NPI number (National Provider Identification number for insurance claims or reimbursements) they are still required to perform tests and assessments, do a chart on you, document your improvements and correspond with the insurance agencies who often audit wellness centers and med spas.  You, as a patient have the right to ask for your medical records even if you don’t file an insurance claim or reimbursement.  Only a medical massage therapist is capable of performing tests and evaluating results, additionally they have a good understanding of anatomy to draw charts.

Now, as you can see, a medical massage therapist means more than just a person taking a 6 month massage therapy course; they have a medical background as well.  There is a shortage of medical massage therapists in Virginia so I’m letting a secret out today.  You are welcome, you can thank me later 🙂

Here is Laz, an experienced therapist with a great reputation from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., from Alexandria to Richmond, Virginia. People drive 2 hours to see him and call him “God” because he “fixes up” patients, rehabilitates them after injuries and accidents and improves the performance of athletes. He worked in a chiropractor’s office for 5 years where he treated over 1,000 patients a year with disc herniation, frozen shoulder, thoracic outlet syndrome, whiplash accident injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome lateral/medial epicondylitis and many more.  He is also experienced in deep tissue, sport, Swedish massages, myofascial manipulation and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation.

He studied anatomy, physiology and kinesiology for 5 years and has done his final case study on sciatic pain management and lumbar disc herniation.  In addition to that he was an instructor of medical massage practical application, anatomy, pathology and patient assessment in Columbia College.

You can book him online at or call Ft Hunt Massage and Spa at 703-765-7275 and ask for Laz!

Packages and gift certificates are available, military discount and occasional promotions are offered.


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