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Hot Summer Essentials (You Didn’t Know We Had)

Summer is here! This means it’s time for swimsuits, sandals and sunshine! Unfortunately, sometimes those awesome aspects are overshadowed by things like sunburn and nasty bug bites. Not only are those annoying, they can be dangerous. One thing a lot of people forget, though, is that some chemicals found in popular brands of sunscreen and bug spray can be dangerous as well. If you could remove potentially hazardous elements from your household, wouldn’t you? There are a ton of ways to make simple swaps in everyday life, and all-natural or organic summer supplies are a great place to start!


Insect Repellent & Bug Bite Relief

I’ve been at Swanson for a short time, and every single day I discover that we sell something I never would have guessed. Now that the sunshine is out and the weather is hot, I decided to see if I could stock up on summer essentials on my next employee order. I was so surprised! Not only do we offer summer products, but I came across some of the best brands out there. For example, Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellent? Yes, please! Anything with that recognizable logo on it is a friend of mine. And if you happen to skip the repellent (shame on you!), there’s also a lovely Burt’s Bees Bug Bite Relief that helps to relieve pain and itching from bites.


The great thing about these Burt’s Bees products is that they’re free of the artificial chemicals that you don’t want in your home or on your body.  They’re free of phthalates and parabens, which often appear in popular drugstore formulas.



Natural Sunscreen

Speaking of chemicals, one of the most common places summer-fun-lovers overlook dangerous additives is in sunscreen. Swanson sells quite a few sunscreens, but two that were recommended to me were Alba Botanica Kids SPF 45 + Sunscreen and Jason Naturals Pure Natural Sunscreen SPF 45. These are both awesome brands, and both of these sunscreens got great reviews on our website.


Ben recommended the Jason Naturals and Kaitlin said she actually prefers the kids' kind from Alba. I tried them both out, and what I can say is that my coworkers have great taste in sunscreen! Both formulas are light and the bottles are convenient and bright-colored, which I love. Plus, unlike some sunscreens, they didn’t leave me feeling like I just rolled around in gooey syrup, like some oily sunscreens do.


Lip Balm

One area that’s easily forgotten about is the potential for sun damage on your lips. Trust me, dealing with sunburned lips is one of the most uncomfortable situations. Prevent this potentially dangerous problem altogether with protective lip balm. These three choices are fantastic and under $2 each: Tangerine, Cherry and Vanilla. Who doesn’t love soft lips?!


Sunburn Care


As a fair-skinned sunburn-prone North Dakotan, I am more than familiar with sunburn. Every family vacation, trip to the lake or afternoon picnicking, I seemed to wind up with a slight pink tone.

I’ve gotten better over the years, as I realize how dangerous sunburn is, but sometimes it still happens. When it does, I’ve always got a supply of aloe vera on hand. This Aloe Vera Skin Soother 95% Natural from our own Swanson Premium line is perfect for soothing sensitive, sun-kissed skin.

I also decided to try this highly rated Soothing 70% Aloe Vera Hand and Body Lotion from Jason Naturals, because customers seem to love it. This lotion doesn’t have the sticky texture that aloe sometimes does, but it still smells great and is ultra-soothing. My hands are already softer from just a few uses! 


Summer Picnics!

No summer would be complete without a few picnics in the sunshine! Besides having a whole selection of convenient picnic-perfect snacks, we also have almost all of the necessities you need to pack your picnic basket. If you haven’t tried coconut water yet, you’re really missing out! There’s a reason it’s becoming increasingly popular: it’s delicious and so good for you. This 100% Pure Coconut Water is no exception, plus it comes in a convenient juice box-style package. It’s pure and refreshing—ideal for sipping in the sunshine. I know what I’ll be tossing in my bag next time I head to the lake!

When looking for picnic essentials, Ben told me about this awesome brand—Preserve. They have products like Everyday Large Plates and Cutlery, and make all of their products out of plastic collected from individuals via a special program. They take the recycled plastic and turn it into bright and convenient products! I will also be sure to add these to my next employee order, and I’ll impress my family when I show up with supplies that are good for the environment! Along with the plates and cutlery, another necessity is paper towels. This Paper Towels 2-Ply Jumbo Roll from Seventh Generation is great to keep either on your kitchen counter, in your car or along in your picnic bag. You can now clean up messes while using 100% recycled paper towels, in turn helping to protect natural resources!

Last but not least, no picnic or pantry would be complete without classic condiments. New to the Swanson website are Organic Tomato Ketchup and Organic Stoneground Mustard from Woodstock Farms. I decided to try them, because I’m looking for ways to swap out the products in my kitchen cupboards for organic options, and this was an easy place to start. I was definitely not disappointed!

Overall, this collection of summer items makes it easy to start implementing healthier choices around the house. I recommend making the change, even if it is only one step at a time!


Did you know we sell all of these products? What are some of your summer essentials? I’d love to hear from you! Have a safe and healthy summer!


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