Viroqua Food Co+op Blog

Summer Skin Care - Don't feel the Burn!

Posted by VFC Wellness Team on Fri, Jun 10, 2016 @ 06:30 AM

Summer is a time of warmth and sun. I appreciate those things very much, and they are a reminder of basics that help with a safe and healthy summer. Protecting our skin from too much sun while keeping unwanted bug friends at bay can be easy and natural. VFC carries a variety of sunscreens and insect repellents, that are located in aisle 5.

Sun protection comes in lotions and aerosols ranging from 15 to 50 SPF’s, for kids and adults (there is not much difference, if any, between kid and adult formulas other than kid-friendly smells).
Sunburnt lips are the worst, don’t forget the lip balm! LüSa makes a summer lime lip balm with zinc oxide. We also carry a variety of topical aloe vera gels, calendula cream and a homeopathic burn recovery cooling spray, if too much sun is had. Remember a hat!


Bothersome insects can certainly place a damper on summer activities. But you’re in luck. We have several insect repellents to choose from, depending on which bug you would like to repel.  

If you are going to be outside, especially in the woods or tall grasses, using natural bug repellents can be a great line of defense. Blends with rose geranium, lemon eucalyptus, citronella, and cedar are all well known to help repel ticks and other pests. VFC carries essential oils that can be applied neat (without a carrier oil) or with a carrier oil of your choice. Veriditas makes a rose geranium essential oil that you can apply directly or use to make your own homemade bug spray.
Bite Blocker is made with safe, natural ingredients, including geranium oil and vanillin. It repels mosquitoes and black flies. Bite Blocker is sweat-proof and child-safe. Reapply every 2-3 hours to be as effective as DEET 7% (in field testing).

LüSa’s Hey You. Shoo. bug spray is a locally made product that works on a number of annoying insects. Their secret ingredient for mosquitoes is Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil - a natural oil that is as effective as DEET for discouraging insect bites (in preliminary research trials). Rose geranium essential oil is an effective tick repellant, and cedar essential oil works wonders at keeping black flies at bay. With a simple, safe ingredient list, you can be confident using this blend on the whole family (babies over six months of age). Reapply as needed.

Deer ticks and the risk for Lyme’s Disease are real concerns in the Driftless region, so we want to empower you to protect yourself and your family this tick season.

Boosting the immune system before you even get bit by a tick is the first step to take in protecting yourself from Lyme’s. In Stephen Buehner’s book, Healing Lyme, he discusses using the herb astragalus to support the immune system during tick season, which can help fight an infection if bitten. Astragalus is an immune tonic, which means it can be taken every day by most of the population, unlike other immune herbs. It can be taken in capsules, tincture or tea form.

Garlic may help keep ticks away from you! A study done by Swedish researchers on subjects taking 1200mg/day garlic capsules suggests that “garlic may be considered as a tick repellent for individuals and populations at high risk for tick bite, rather than other agents that might have more adverse effects.”

Wearing long pants and sleeves, as well as hats and boots can help keep ticks at bay, as well as doing thorough tick checks after coming in from outside. Be safe, and above all, have fun!