By Kim McDermott, Wellness Manager

Summertime in Iowa is a great time for getting outside and enjoying the sunshine and the beauty of the natural world.  And though you may love the sun and the outdoors, these hot, windy, buggy summer days can take a toll on your skin and body. So if you’re playing hard this summer, be sure to arm yourself with a good quality sunscreen, bug spray, and other items to protect your skin and body.

Below are a few of my top favorite must haves for summer.

Bug Soother Bug Repellent

Produced by a family owned company in Iowa, this all natural bug spray contains lemongrass and vanilla. It’s deet- free and safe for adults, children and pets.  Many Iowans swear by this product, and it smells great too!

Aura Cacia Hand Sanitizer

In these unprecedented times, a good hand sanitizer has become a constant companion for most of us. Aura Cacia is a brand of Frontier Cooperative Herbs, a member owed natural products cooperative located in Norway, Iowa. Frontier Coop is a huge success story in Iowa and in the cooperative world. It gives back both financially and socially, giving around $1 million each year to projects in the US and around the world.  Aura Cacia began producing this hand sanitizer exclusively to help with shortages in hand sanitizers during the pandemic.

Badger ‘Clear Zinc’ Sunscreen Lotion

Badger sunscreens have always been a customer favorite here at the coop. They consistently garner a top safety rating by the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database, and are a true reef-safe sunscreen (some sunscreens make this claim, but still use reef harming ingredients!).  This new lotion formula applies easily, and uses a clear non-nano zinc oxide, which acts as a physical barrier on top of the skin to prevent sunburn.  Clear zinc offers the additional benefit of not leaving a white sheen on the skin, unlike regular zinc oxide.

Aura Cacia Neroli and Rose Hydrosols

True hydrosols are the pure botanical water left behind after distilling essential oils, and these are the real deal! These lovely smelling hydrosols quench dry summer skin, and can be used as a facial toner after cleansing, as a hydrator, or body mist. Store it in the refrigerator for a refreshing splash of hydrating aromatherapy on a hot day!

Andalou CannaCell Happy Day Cream

A new vegan face cream that uses hemp stem cells, hemp seed oil, Vitamin C, and resveratrol to keep your face looking smooth and hydrated. The sweet citrusy fragrance makes it a pleasure to use each morning.

HiBar Solid Shampoo Bar

A solid shampoo bar is perfect for summer camping and traveling.  Shampoo bars mean no messy liquids that spill, and no plastic package ending up in the landfill.  These bars perform like a salon quality shampoo, and come without the stuff you don’t want like parabens, sulfates or phthalates.  Conditioner bars available too!

LifeFlo Magnesium Lotion

Magnesium is known as the relaxation mineral, as it assists in the relaxation response of muscles.  It’s necessary in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, and maintains healthy nerve and muscles, keeps the heart beating steady, and helps keep bones strong.  Being physically active and perspiring a lot on a hot summer day can deplete your body of electrolytes like magnesium. The magnesium in this lotion is absorbed through the skin, making it an ideal treatment after strenuous activity and for sore tired muscles.  A magnesium topical lotion can be applied directly to the area that needs it the most, like sore calves or hamstrings. Great for helping prevent those painful night time leg cramps too!

Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Packets

These handy flavored stick packs are designed to be added to your water bottle to replenish necessary electrolytes. Not only are they great for rehydrating on hot summer days, they are especially helpful for athletes, farmers, and anyone working or exercising out in the summer heat.  One packet provides essential electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium, and does not contain sugar or artificial sweeteners, colors or flavor.  In cherry pomegranate or lemonade flavors.