Spending time outdoors in the summer conjures up thoughts of camping under the stars, trips to the beach and picnics at the park.
But all of that fun can be spoiled when mosquitos swarm or the sun gets too hot. Sunburn, bug bites and jellyfish stings are the worst part of a usually exciting season, and you may not want to spend all summer smelling like DEET.
A few businesses in South Carolina have a solution for almost any ailment you may be suffering from. Whether you have migraines, an upset stomach or even the common cold, you can find a natural remedy to take care of the problem.
“We started our business in 2007 and really wanted to focus on using all-natural ingredients, not chemicals,” said Steve Salomon.
He and his wife, Gail, own Mission Essentials on Daniel Island, providing a line of all-natural skin care products that utilize premium ingredients and essential oils.
“We’re both registered nurses. Our motivation was to keep chemicals, parabens and synthetic fragrances out of our kids’ lives and out of our own,” Salomon said.
Sunburn is extremely common among locals and visitors alike in South Carolina. Staying in the shade during the middle of the day when the sun burns brightest and covering up are easy ways to avoid sunburn without going out to buy sunscreen, but sometimes even our best efforts aren’t enough. Sunburn can be painful and may lead to flaky skin and blisters. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural products that can soothe burnt, red skin.
“A lot of people use essential oils for a variety of problems,” said Susan Ledbetter, marketing manager at Garner’s Natural Life, a natural health and supplement store with locations across the state. “Lavender is really good for sunburn, but you can also use lotion with calendula, which is a flower. It’s really soothing and calming for skin and can help any kind of skin irritation, from cuts and scrapes to sunburn.”
Sunburn isn’t a problem once it starts to get dark, but sunset brings on a whole new problem: mosquitoes. Uncovered arms and legs are paradise for the tiny, seemingly invisible pests.
Typically, the best way to avoid mosquito bites is to use bug spray, and a common ingredient in most sprays is DEET. Many people choose to avoid this chemical and may reach for a more natural product.
“We came up with a bite soothe product that is part of our outdoor essentials line,” said Gail Salomon. “It works for any kind of bug bite – mosquito bite, no-see-um (gnats) or ant bite, for example – and we’ve actually had some people use it for relief from jellyfish stings. It’s made from a chamomile tea base that I brew, which is nice and gentle, and I added basil essential oil to take the swelling down. Peppermint is a really nice essential oil that works beautifully to stop the itch, which keeps fingers off of the bite and is especially great for little ones. And we also have tea tree in there as well, which is a natural antiseptic and helps to dry up the bite. So you keep your hands off the bite, it doesn’t swell up, it doesn’t get infected and it starts to heal.”
Trying to find a natural remedy for any health or skin care problem may seem daunting to those who aren’t familiar with all of the ingredients – but it doesn’t have to be. The owners of Mission Essentials and the team at Garner’s Natural Life make it a point to put their customers first and make the shopping process as simple as possible.
“We will always approach our customers and start a discussion about what’s going on, because there are just so many products to choose from,” said Ledbetter. “And there are so many different ways you can treat one thing. We can help you find what best suits your needs and your budget, and we can find what will work best with what you’re already taking or not taking. It’s really nice to be able to talk to somebody and start a dialogue about what’s best for them.”
By Katherine Waters