Your Summer Toolkit

Your Summer Toolkit

Bev Dunne

At this time of the year its inevitable that we have many customers visit our store with varying degrees of sunburn, insect bites, jellyfish stings and of course general skin irritations. There are many creams and lotions on the market to treat these problems, however over the years I have found a few which have become my favourites.

Bites, Stings and itchy Skin

A herbal cream which I particularly like for relieving the symptoms of itchy skin, insect bites, stings and mild burns contains Chickweed, Calendula, Aloe Vera and Tea Tree.  We receive extremely good feedback on this cream. Last week a customer came into the store with an awful reaction to a jellyfish sting.  Within a matter of minutes of applying this cream, she found it had soothed her skin and alleviated the itchiness.  When you look at the formula, it is easy to understand why.  Chickweed and Calendula, we know are great for skin irritations, inflammation and itchiness. Aloe vera can also aid in easing itching and swelling caused by bites and stings plus the gel contained within the aloe leaf contains antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties, obviously also helping with the treatment of bites and stings.  Tea Tree of course is well known for its antibacterial properties as well as for soothing and relieving skin irritations and bites.  

Natural Insect Repellent

When it comes to insect repellent, I’m sure we would all prefer to use something natural. My preference is Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus which is the only natural ingredient recommended by the Centre of Disease Control and the World Health Organisation as a natural insect repellent. A study published in the Journal of Insect Science in 2015 found plant based sprays containing oil of lemon eucalyptus were the only DEET free formulas to deliver strong and long lasting results.  It is important to note there is a difference between oil of lemon eucalyptus and lemon eucalyptus essential oil.  Due to the difference in processing, they have quite different chemical compositions and efficacy.  The essential oil does not have the effectiveness of the oil of lemon eucalyptus.


If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from sunburn, you really can’t go past Aloe Vera to relieve the pain of sunburn.  This wonderful plant has amazing anti inflammatory properties which sooth the sunburn. Aloe vera is 99% water which helps to hydrate and moisturise sunburned skin which is why after applying Aloe vera your skin is less likely to peel.  Aloe vera gel is also effective in healing first to second degree burns because of its anti inflammatory and anti bacterial properties. Here’s a tip - store your Aloe Vera gel in your fridge.  Applying the gel when it’s chilled is even more soothing.

Safe Sunscreen

There has been concern for some time about the risks associated with the ingredients of certain sunscreens. Generally, sunscreens contain a couple of active ingredients – one of these ingredients is often a chemical absorber which absorbs UV radiation thereby preventing it from damaging our skin.  Often people suffer from an allergic reaction to these chemicals however even worse these chemicals can disrupt our endocrine system. Over the past few years there have been many natural sunscreens arrive onto the market and we stock a range of different sunscreens to enable customers to find the right one for them.