The gorgeous summer weather has us spending more time outdoors – even more so this year! The youngsters are tending to the vegetable garden and the teens are exploring more bike trails in and around the city. We are taking our meals outdoors, doing some plein air painting and social distancing small gatherings have become the new normal. Our neighbourhood streets have become more pedestrian-friendly so now we’re walking the dog even further. With all this fresh air and outdoor activity, we recently took inventory of our medicine cabinet at home. We do this every year as part of our spring cleaning.

As we check expiry dates and replenish our stock, we’re also trying to switch out to products made with natural ingredients…and what works. Here are some great finds we’ve discovered recently and those that have been tried and true…

If mosquitos love you, as they love me, you’ve probably done everything to prevent them, to begin with. Citronella candles, cover up exposed areas with light coloured clothing, limit going out at sundown, and avoid eating bananas (seriously, go search that up) – I do all of these but somehow I still end up with the odd bite. To help ease the itchiness of bug bites I’ve been trying out Zax’s Original NEW Bug Bite & Itch Cream. This formula has worked well this past couple of weeks to help relieve itchy bug bite spots. It includes colloidal oatmeal tea tree oil, menthol and witch hazel.

This product is the latest to join the Canadian family business and pharmacist-developed skincare line of products made with natural ingredients and free of parabens. The Zax’s Original line includes a Bruise Cream (arnica, witch hazel and menthol), Scar Fading Cream (pine bark, calendula extracts, aloe, vitamin E, and centella asiatica), Heelspur Cream (devil’s claw, arnica, ginger and menthol),  and Bruise Vitamins for those who bruise easily – an antioxidant for maintenance and helps connective tissue formation (I’m taking these now as well) all made in Canada. All have been added to our medicine cabinet as well and taken with us when we venture on a road trip or while on vacation.

Learn more and where to find them,  here:

For a few years now we’ve also included several therapeutic essential oils (100% pure)  from Thursday Plantation for daily use and for emergencies. This line is conveniently sized for home and on the go with multi-purpose benefits. I like this particular brand for quality and sourcing.

Tea Tree Oil is a powerful and natural antiseptic and even just one drop will take care of an array of health needs. A quick swipe on a cotton ball helps keep cuts and scrapes clean. Deal with meddling pimples quickly. It’s also a known repellent for such pesky issues like lice (hello, cottage country) when applied to the nape of the neck and behind the ears. Mix with water and spray on clean feet to help neutralize foot odor as Tea Tree Oil is great for managing bacteria and fungi.

The scent from Peppermint Oil has many great uses from helping to relieve upset tummies or nausea to soothing and destressing in a bath. Great for cold & flu to help clear sinuses – a few drops in a bath or diffuser does wonders!

Got a lot on your mind and can’t get to sleep? The scent of Lavender Oil is known to help improve sleep quality with its calming effects. Also great to help relieve joint and muscle aches, strains and sprains.

Learn more  and where to find them, here:

Sunburn isn’t fun and often it just creeps up on us even with our best intentions.  I’ve discovered Kosmea Rescue Balm – a natural healing and intensive ointment that helps soothes and protects skin. Made with certified organic Rose Hip oil and Shea butter. It also helps with other minor burns as well as dry lips. This is also safe to use for as young as babies – you can even use it for diaper rash and cradle cap.

I’ve also taken Kosmea’s Hydrating Rosewater Mist on vacation to help soothe the skin in the heat. The cooling mist helps refresh and rehydrate skin quickly. Made with delicate rose petals, this mist leaves your skin with a light and pretty scent.

Learn more and where to find them, here: www.abundancenaturally/collections/kosmea

Headaches? With the odd thunderstorm rolling in during the summer months, our family quick-fix go-to is Saje Wellness Peppermint Halo for those pressure change and tension headaches. This handy roll-on essential oil blend of peppermint oil, lavender and rosemary offer comfort when applied along the hairline and temples. The kids use this as well and have replaced using OTC meds. I keep one in my handbag on the go as well.

Learn more and where to find them, here:

Hand sanitizer is the summer’s hottest accessory. Okay, that and a mask and you’re doing your part. We love the locally made super refreshing Dew North Hand Sanitizer. Made in Canada is always a good look, as is their declaration against testing on animals. The mini jug is a cute and functional size that won’t leave you with sticky fingers.

Learn more about this Canadian company here:

dew north

And we’ve all pushed ourselves to the limit, whether it’s in the sun, working out, or recovering from the night before. Sachets of hydration are the perfect addition to any purse or nightstand, and with a bubbly effervescent quality, Hydralyte rehydrates faster than traditional water, amping up the electrolytes allowing you to recover from whatever. We don’t judge.

Look for Hydralyte at your local shop, or through their site-