Not the sort of a decision to make on the flip of a coin, but from the email queries we get it is still one that people wrestle with on a regular basis!
From our own experience here and throughout the Caribbean, the mosquitoes, noseeums and sand flies, whilst they are around all the time, are normally far less active during maximum sun/heat times (unless you are in the shade!) and are most active, coming out 'to feed', during the cooler periods of dawn and dusk..... so there is a good chance that you won't need to use both products simultaneously; your call on that one.
There have been numerous studies on this dual product application 'conundrum' and they all pretty much reach the same conclusions but only notably all with reference to DEET-based products. In these DEET related studies, the prime concerns raised have related to the all important question of application sequence, as follows:
The CDC support the latter method, as described above, as they are erring on the side of caution with regard to the deet factor, you can read their full advice here:
- CDC Bug Bite Prevention Advice
Some useful relevant facts from other knowledgeable sources is also available here and well worth reading:
- World Nomads: Advice On Which To Apply First
- Advice from a Renowned Entomologist: Dr Cameron Webb
There's quite literally 'tons' more out there to read on the subject, but in summation, using the two together generally decreases the effectiveness of both the sunscreen and the DEET-based repellents tested as they can 'chemically' react.
With our natural bug repellent products we tend to use either the repellent or the sunscreen but, if we have to use both, then as sunscreen needs to be applied more frequently than bug repellent it makes sense for our repellent (which is natural and deet-free) to be applied first then sunscreen after.
The other all important matter that tends to get overlooked in the rush is how to actually apply any repellent. Sounds simple doesn't it? But a little care is needed to ensure effectiveness; read this short and simple useful repellent application guide here.
Ultimately........the decision is yours based on your circumstances and personal requirements.........is there more sun?......are there more mosquitoes? Which do you perceive as the greater 'threat'?
Before you go, don't forget to read our invaluable blog post on 'How To Apply Bug Repellent Properly'.
Whatever you decide, stay safe and stay protected from the sun and the bugs!
Best wishes from,
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