Child-friendly, natural and fresh-smelling, Theye is suitable for family holidays in many places where biting insects are an annoyance, but we’re not confident that it will supply the level of protection you require for adventures in malarial zones.
Mild on skin
Great for kids
Needs regular reapplications
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Theye Natural is a British-made, all-natural spray that is fast gathering fans. Theye’s active ingredient is Citrepel, derived from eucalyptus. In addition, the alcohol-free formula means it won’t dry out skin.
This is another natural repellent that claims to be effective in malarial zones, but we would recommend using a stronger repellent such as LifeSystems or Jungle Formula on tropical trips – or you could use Theye on your face, hair and clothing (it won’t stain clothes, as strong DEET repellents can) and stick a stronger formula containing DEET on exposed skin.
A cream version and repellent-infused wet wipes are also available, and we hear from friends with kids that the latter make applying repellent to children a lot less of a fight than trying to shoot them with a spray.
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In the field
We were pleased to find that Theye really didn’t dry out our skin when we tested it out in Scotland. This is largely thanks to the fact that there’s no alcohol in the formula, making it a good choice for anyone with sensitive skin or eczema.
It doesn’t make skin feel tingly or stingy, either, making it more acceptable to kids, and it has a lovely fresh summery scent that makes it genuinely pleasant to use. On test we found Theye to be strong enough to keep insects at bay in most of the UK (although you’ll need something stronger to combat Scotland’s midges) and Europe, and the mild formula is suitable for kids, too, making it a nice one to pack for summer family holidays.
You will need to regularly reapply Theye, however, especially after sweating or swimming, as it fades faster than a DEET-based spray.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.