Our formula is, of course, proprietary, meaning it's a secret we protect highly.  We can discuss, however, the mechanism of action in general terms.  Sunscreens either reflect (physical) UV rays or absorb (chemical) them to be effective.  DEET works simply by being offensive to mosquitoes, gnats, no-see-ums, ticks, flies, etc.  Other theories of how DEET works are out there but recent data suggests it just does not smell good to them.  DEET looses repellency over time  (3-8 hours) based on concentration applied to the skin as it is either absorbed or evaporates/volatizes into the air.  Now, here’s the magic of Sunsect.

The Sunsect formula suspends the DEET molecules in a plasticized matrix with its film formers and waterproofing agents the effect of which is to decrease both absorption and evaporation. Thus giving Sunsect its extremely low toxicity profile and its unexpectedly long repellency considering it’s only a 20% solution.

DEET is Safe and the ONLY Real Repellent
Unfortunately, DEET in some areas is the victim of some very inaccurate and misguided safety concerns generally based on erroneous information, rumor and self-serving rhetoric.  In truth, DEET has a very low toxicity profile when used as directed on the skin.  The following factoids are the facts currently known about this most excellent repellent:

  • US military developed DEET in 1946
  • Civilian use began in 1957
  • DEET is a true repellent and exceeds effectiveness of all others by a large margin
  • US FDA – “risk of seizure from DEET is about 1 in 1,000,000 users.”  That is 1 in 1 million!
  • American Academy of Pediatrics – “products containing 10-30% DEET have been found to be safe for use on children greater than 2 months old.”
  • Health Canada:  Limited products for less than 30% DEET.
  • California Department of Pesticide Registration
    • Low toxicity of dermal use
    • No neurologic effects noted in a 13 week study
    • No excess sensitivity in infants or children
    • Risk in children is  < 1 in 1,000,000 estimate
    • Do not use DEET in spray formulation
  • Medline
    • DEET is one of the few repellents that work
    • DEET is recommended to prevent malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Lassa fever, tsutsugamushi fever, sleeping sickness, Lyme disease and West Nile Virus
    • Use lower concentrations for shorter times in infants and small children
    • When used as directed DEET is not harmful and is the preferred repellent
  • US EPA
    • No data exists to make EPA believe there is a need to restrict the use of DEET
    • 1998 RED (complete reregistration report) – as long as consumers follow label directions and take proper precautions, DEET containing insect repellents do not represent a health concern

Who Should Use Sunsect ?
In a word, EVERYONE!  Whenever out of doors at a time of the year when biting insects are active.  In the equatorial parts of the earth that is pretty much year around.  To be in compliance with recommendations of the CDC, American College of Dermatology and many other authorities, Sunsect really is the only sensible and trustworthy solution for those who need both a sunscreen and reliable insect repellent.

Education of the General Public

This year we are taking Sunsect to the commercial market after 15 years of exclusive military sales.  Efforts are being made to educate the public as well as official agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), FEMA, rescue agencies, relief agencies, news companies, universities and churches and a host of other organizations.  

DEET Safety

DEET is very safe and as long as it is used as directed just like any other chemical.  It should never be eaten and we don’t recommend inhalation.  Below we compare the safety record of DEEET with other safe OTC products.  As you can see, even with 30% of the population now using DEET with regularity, toxicity is rare and almost totally limited to skin reactions.  Virtually all serious know DEET reactions have been in individuals after exceptionally frequent and high concentration use over long periods.  No important toxicity has been seen in individuals who use DEET as directed.  Additionally, our formulation is Sunsect appears to be even safer.  After 15 + years of use by the US military on thousands of soldiers only a handful of minor skin reactions (15) or stinging eyes have been reported.

Drug Deaths Toxicity Common Reaction
DEET 8 since 1962 all associated with inappropriate use or ingestion Skin erythema
Seizure 1/1,000,000
Tylenol 500-1,000 per year Liver failure
OTC Sleeping Meds 501 ER visits per year  
NSAIDS (Advil, Ibuprofen, Aleve) 100's GI bleeding and kidney failure
Aspirin (ASA)   Common childhood OD
GI Bleeding
Reyes Syndrome
Prescriptions Opioids (pain relievers) 16,000 per year* Somnolence, respiratory, depression
Benzodiazepines (psychoactive drugs) 6,500*  
Energy Drinks    


You Need Sunscreen and DEET
In a nutshell, when a person is outside these days it is recommended that you should wear sunscreen daily to lower exposure to UV rays that can cause skin cancers like basal cell, Squamous cell skin cancer and melanoma and can result eventually in wrinkling and decreased elasticity of the skin (premature aging). Also, for most of the world, bug repellents are recommended (CDC) to prevent insect bourn illnesses like West Nile Virus, encephalitis, malarias, Dengue fever, and a lot other fevers.

Consider these points:
  • It has been available for more than 50 years in the U.S. and has been studied more extensively than any other repellent ingredient.

  • It is the most widely used active ingredient in repellents worldwide and is unequalled when it comes to keeping mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs away.

  • It has been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics  and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as an effective repellent of mosquitoes, biting flies, ticks, gnats, no-see-ums and chiggers.

  • After completing a comprehensive re-assessment of DEET, EPA concluded that, as long as consumers follow label directions and take proper precautions, insect repellents containing DEET do not present a health concern.  Click here to read the EPA RED on DEET.

  • The United States Army following its insect infested experience of jungle warfare during World War II developed DEET.

  • It entered military use in 1946 and has been used by civilians since 1957.

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Sunsect | 2910 Kerry Forest Parkway, D-4-382 | Tallahassee, FL 32309 | (850) 396-0474