From the depths of the rain-soaked Tropics to the stagnant creeks of little-known campsites worldwide, the mosquito is pest enough to see you douse yourself in toxic creams and unknown chemicals. Better that than malaria, we tell ourselves. But you don’t need to resort to coating your limbs in DEET to ward off the pesky insects.
Vanilla Mozi, a cream developed by Lea-anne Crawford from Victoria, is not only DEET-free but is made with a mix of natural oils, shea butter and beeswax. Other ingredients include coconut, olive and avocado oils. This makes it a safe option to use for adults and kids, including babies, which can be prone to allergic reactions to itchy bites.
I came across Vanilla Mozi by accident when on a work trip to the Whitsundays, Queensland. Known for its tropical islands, heavy but fleeting downpours, and cyclone season, it seemed fitting to first try the cream there. Not one itchy bite later for me or my two-year-old and I was quietly impressed. I tested it again on another trip to humid Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam, where I toured along the Mekong River and ventured down city laneways in sticky heat. Again, not a mozzie to be slapped.
Since then, I’ve travelled with it all over Australia, liberally rubbing on exposed limbs, necks and faces while camping beside creeks, in forests and among mountains. The reason it works so well is largely because of its natural vanilla scent, plus the use of pure spearmint essential oil. I’m convinced Vanilla Mozi is such a great repellent that I’ve already recommended it to numerous friends, especially those with more susceptible young children. It’s safe and it works; that’s enough to get my vote.
Cost: $19.95 for a 125ml tube of Vanilla Mozi Skin Cream.
Verdict: I highly recommend it and will be pre-ordering my next tube when my supply dwindles.