“ Brand: Xpel / Type: Insect Repellent - Wipes „
* Prices may differ from that shown
I use Insect Repellent every day and while it's usually sprayed on I also brought these wipes with me. I got them from B&M bargains for about £1, but you can get them in a lot of cheap shops including Poundland. They weren't a brand I was familiar with but I thought for the price I would give them a go (albeit not in lieu of bringing proper, tried and tested stuff with me too). I viewed these as I view own brand Paracetemol etc: as long as they have the important ingredients, they should be ok. The claim on the front of these is that they contain 30% Deet, so in theory that should be fine (though I would dispute their 'Tropical Formula' statement on the pack, as 30% is not high enough for Tropical areas).
These wipes come in a pack of 25. They look like face wipes and are a compact, resealable packet. They seal only with a sticker, though, and I tend to find these begin to lose their stickiness over time, getting less and less sticky every time you open and close. I prefer packs with solid plastic lids, but these tend to be more expensive.
The wipes are white and, again, look like generic face wipes. They smell strongly chemical but slightly different from the other, rather toxic smelling repellents I have here, and the ingredients say they include lavender and lemon oils. The first wipe out was nice and wet, but I wasn't sure that would last. I have so far used half the pack and although the first one was the most moist, all the others have been suitably damp and don't seem to be drying out too much.
To apply this insect repellent, you rub the wipe over the parts of your body you wish to protect. For me that's most of me as I tend to have a lot of skin exposed (it's too hot to cover up, plus I like to annoy my obnoxious Muslim landlord). The instructions say you may need more than one wipe for total body protection, but I find for me one is enough. It goes without saying that the larger you are (and more skin surface area there is) the more you might need. Yet another bonus of being small (along with getting student discounts for years, and being able to wear children's shoes and clothes).
The packet also lists the usual caveats with insect repellents: reapply every 2-3 hours, reapply after swimming, don't use on broken skin (I had a small cut on my hand that stung for ages after accidentally swiping it with these). Perhaps the only surprising note is that you shouldn't use these under clothing. While material does offer some protection from bites, I prefer to apply repellent (and sun screen too, for that matter) before getting dressed so I don't miss a bit, and as a result there will be small areas under my clothes where this has been applied. I'm not quite sure why they say it, but I can vouch for the fact that it's not hissed and burnt a hole through any fabric it happens to come into contact with.
I have found these wipes work as well as my other repellents, which is amazing given their low price (bottles of spray cost in excess of £6 for 120ml, which will not give 25 full body applications as a single £1 pack of these will). I have not received a single bite while using these and although I wipe randomly up and down legs and arms, the last bit of skin I swipe still gets the trademark smell and slight dampness to show product has transferred to it. In an ideal world, these might go on coloured and dry clear, but even without this feature I don't seem to be missing bits when I use them. Unlike normal sprays you can use these easily on your face too, as long as you avoid eyes and lips.
The smell of these is no worse than normal repellents, and fades quickly once applied. I'm not swimming here (no pool, no sea, lovely diseases in the rivers) so don't need to reapply on that account, and find they last at least half a day depending on what you're doing / how much you're sweating.
My main issue with them is that you have to use at least one full wipe each time, so they're wasteful if you only want to protect your arms or face and don't need a whole body's worth. You cannot easily put them back in the packet, and I'm not sure this would really work anyway. Unlike with face wipes where, 9 times out of 10, you'll want to clean your whole face, the amount of insect repellent you need can vary drastically depending on what you're up to. This is, I'm sure, the reason that insect repellent wipes have not yet totally taken over the market, as in other ways they are better than sprays - they don't spill everywhere or go funny under cabin pressure.
I'm not convinced I would pay a lot of money for these due to the potential for wastage but as they only cost a pound, I'm sold. These are highly effective Deet wipes that are easy to transport and apply, and cost next to nothing. I wasn't expecting them to be more than ok at best, and in fact suspected they might be useless, but as the star rating shows, I was blown away with their effectiveness.
Highly recommended. 5 full stars as the only thing to deduct for might be wastefulness, and you can hardly blame a wipe for being a wipe. I've not seen this brand in bottles or gels, but I suspect it would be equally good.