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Does Avon’s Skin So Soft Really Repel Mosquitoes?

It has all the makings of a good conspiracy theory: a hidden use, a vocal group proclaiming that use, and a big business denying it. Who’s right, though, that Avon’s Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil repels mosquitoes? 

Many people swear it does. But it’s never been marketed for that purpose. So what’s going on here? 

Let’s look at the facts to try to figure out if Skin So Soft is a good substitute for products advertised as bug repellents.

Does Skin So Soft Work?

So, does this product do what it’s hyped to do? Remember, the manufacturer has never claimed it does. But large portions of the public swear by it!

The short answer isn’t so short, either. It’s more of a yes-and-no type thing!

Research shows that Skin So Soft does repel mosquitoes for up to about two hours. So it works! But it doesn’t last that long. However, there are major brands that sell insect repellents that last about the same amount of time. But those are the lowest-level products. Other products can last as long as ten hours.

Even Consumer Reports doesn’t make it easy to answer. They say that Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil only works for two hours. Then that goes on to say that it ranks with the worst-performing insect repellents. And OFF! even uses one of their products with a similar performance level as an example to explain DEET levels!

That means we have to go with YES for a simple answer. It’s a short-lived repellent, but Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil – the product behind the legend – does indeed keep bugs away for a while!

Avon’s Position

Avon has never sold Skin So Soft as an insect repellent. It’s intended as a bath oil. The company is quick to point out that the product isn’t approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as an insect repellent, either.

So they acknowledge how it’s used, and don’t come right out and say it’s false. But they’re careful to stay out of regulatory problems. They could land in hot water if they made false or unapproved claims!

They also know how to take advantage of the hype. They’ve come out with a line of “Skin So Soft Bug Guard” that is designed to keep pests away. This includes “Skin So Soft Bug Guard” which is intended as simply a repellent. There’s also a combination of repellent and sunscreen

Why Does It Repel Bugs?

No one seems to know why Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil repels bugs – even for a short time. This is pure conjecture, but we noticed that DEET-based products work because they prevent a firm foothold for insects. Maybe the oil does the same? That’s just a wild guess, though.

Check out the best DEET-based and other types of insect repellent.

Avon’s Skin So Soft products that ARE designed to keep bugs away contain picaridin. This is a synthetic product based on a chemical in black pepper plants. It’s a known bug repellent.


Yes, Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil does repel bugs! We wouldn’t count on it for long-term protection, though. There are many more effective, longer-lasting, and more economical alternatives out there. But the reality is, this is no old wives’ tale – it really can keep bugs away.

About Us

Tom and Sarah Greenwood are the dynamic duo behind “Yards Improved,” dedicated to the joys and challenges of gardening, pool maintenance, and lawn and patio care. With Tom’s passion for landscape design and Sarah’s enthusiastic approach to gardening, they share their journey of transforming their backyard into a thriving retreat. We strive to offer practical advice aimed at helping you enhance your outdoor space.