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Picaridin: What It Is And How It Works

Picaridin is the active ingredient in many skin-applied insect repellents.

Picaridin is a common active ingredient used in skin-applied insect repellents. While you’ll see “Picaridin” on many OFF!® brand labels, the chemical is also commonly referred to as “Icaridin”.

What is Picaridin?
Picaridin is a chemical compound in the piperidine chemical family. Fun fact: Piper is the latin word for pepper. Piperine (a derivative of piperidine) is what gives pepper its pungent smell. Picaridin was first registered for use by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2001. Products containing Picaridin first became available in the U.S. market in 2005, and it has been widely used in rest of the world.

How does Picaridin work?
Picaridin both repels and deters insects. This means that insects move away from skin or clothing treated with Picaridin and do not feed if they encounter skin or clothing that has been treated. When applied correctly, Picaridin forms a vapor barrier at the skin surface that deters mosquitoes from landing on the skin.

What Picaridin product should I use?
The duration of effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes depends on the concentration of the active ingredient. What format of repellent you use should be chosen according to personal preference and needed protection duration.


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