As we start to gear up for the warmer weather and longer days, we’re thinking about spending more time enjoying exciting adventures and relaxing getaways—and increasingly consumers are looking to simplify their routines to maximize their fun-in-the-sun time. Transparency Market Research reports that people are reaching for multi-function products—and they want those products to be made with natural and organic ingredients and free from synthetics (1). It’s also a plus for consumers that multitasking natural picks are perfect when packing—whether taking a flight to the islands or a bike ride to the local pool. Here, a look at several of the top multi-taskers that can soothe summer fun spoilers like sunburns, bug bites, razor burn, weekend-warrior aches and more!
Aloe Vera: Aloe contains compounds that suppress inflammation and reduce pain, shares Jennifer Gordon, M.D., in the Good HouseKeeping article “The 5 Best Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel, According to Dermatologists” (2). That’s why it is so helpful in relieving pain and irritation from sunburn and bug bites. And Joel Schlessinger, M.D., adds that aloe vera can do much more than soothe. Other benefits outlined by the derms: Aloe can fight cold sores (which can be triggered by sun exposure) and acne. Sarah Christie, owner of Healthy Harmony, highlights more beneficial uses in “5 Awesome Uses for Aloe Vera” on www.mindgreenbody.com (3): Aloe can be used as a makeup remover, a natural shaving gel and aftershave, and as moisturizer that can also help ward off wrinkles.
Calendula: This gem from nature performs a number of functions that come in handy during the summer months. Annie Price, CHHC, is a fan. In the blog post “Calendula: The Anti-Inflammatory, Antiviral Herb that Heals,” on www.DrAxe.com, Price explains that calendula’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a great pain and swelling reducer, which comes in handy for sunburn, bug bite relief, diaper rash and dermatitis. What’s more, she says, calendula can aid with muscle spasms and menstruation cramps (4).
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is perfect for hydrating skin before and after exposure to the sun, says dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum, M.D. As she explains in the Oprah article “All the Ways Coconut Oil Can Benefit Your Skin,” this staple has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that can prevent skin infections (5). Other uses spotlighted in the article: makeup remover, body moisturizer, and lip protectant. And that’s not all! Coconut oil has antibacterial and moisturizing properties, making it a great replacement for shaving cream, according to Kathleen Suozzi M.D, in the Insider Magazine article “4 things you can do with coconut oil that’ll make you gorgeous—and two things you shouldn’t try” (6). (Those two things you shouldn’t try: using coconut oil as a sunscreen and putting the oil on the roots of hair.)
One more benefit that coconut oil delivers: According to a study by USDA researchers published in the journal Scientific Reports, fatty acids derived from coconut oil had long-lasting insect-repelling properties against flies, ticks, bed bugs and mosquitoes. Compounds found in coconut oil out-performed DEET (the common ingredient in most insect repellents) by 95%. It’s important to note that the oil itself is not a repellent, but the researchers hope coconut oil-based insect repellent could be beneficial (7).
Tea Tree Oil: ”It is an effective remedy for fungal and viral infections, particularly those affecting the skin,” reports Andrew Weil M.D., in his blog post “Essential Oils: Tea Tree Oil” (8). He points to acne, toenail fungus, athlete’s foot and bacterial vaginosis, and adds, “This essential oil also may help manage dandruff, bee stings, scabies, and lice.” And because tea tree oil is antibacterial, it is also helpful in treating cleaning cuts and scrapes, shares Franziska Spritzler, RD, in the Healthline article “14 Everyday uses for Tea Tree Oil” (9).
Witch Hazel: This staple can help consumers juggle their summer skincare needs, from cooling the sting of sunburn to relieving the itch of bug bites thanks to its anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, according to Dendy Engelman, M.D., in the Women’s Health article “10 Ways You Can Use Witch Hazel To Get Amazing Skin” (10). Dr. Engleman says another use for witch hazel is to reduce the appearance of red skin because “it is a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it helps tighten up blood vessels to reduce redness.” Witch hazel could also “be a blessing” for women’s bikini lines, according to the article, which suggests applying witch hazel to the bikini area with a cotton swab after shaving to prevent red bumps.
And of course, there’s CBD!
Cannabidiol is the new “it” ingredient in skincare thanks to its anti-inflammatory and pain-soothing properties. Ellen Marmur, M.D., confirms in the Refinery29 article “Could CBD Be the Answer to Summer’s Worst Side Effect?” that CBD creams are an option for relieving the sting of summertime sunburn (11).
- “Sun Care Market is Expected to Reach US$24.9 Billion by 2024; Growing Awareness of Personal Care to Boost Global Market, Says TMR,” Presswire.com. Posted 12/17/18. Accessed 2/27/20. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sun-care-market-is-expected-to-reach-us-24-9-billion-by-2024-growing-awareness-of-personal-care-to-boost-global-market-says-tmr-882935452.html.
- Krissy Brady, Caroline Picard, “The 5 Best Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel, According to Dermatologists,” Goodhousekeeping.com. Posted 7/8/19. Accessed 2/27/20. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a28322328/aloe-vera-gel-benefits/.
- Sarah Christie, “5 Awesome Uses for Aloe Vera,” Mindbodygreen.com. Accessed 2/27/20. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5880/5-Awesome-Uses-for-Aloe-Vera.html.
- Annie Price, “Calendula: The Anti-Inflammatory, Antiviral Herb that Heals,” Draxe.com. Posted 12/4/17. Accessed 2/27/20. https://draxe.com/nutrition/calendula/.
- Crystal Martin, “All The Ways Coconut Oil Can Benefit Your Skin,” Oprahmag.com. Posted 2/2/19. Accessed 2/27/20. https://www.oprahmag.com/beauty/skin-makeup/a25571284/how-to-use-coconut-oil-for-skin/.
- Emily DiNuzzo, “4 things you can do with coconut oil that’ll make you gorgeous — and two things you shouldn’t try,” Insider.com. Posted 12/28/17. Accessed 2/27/20. https://www.insider.com/how-to-use-coconut-oil-beauty-hacks-2017-12.
- Junwei Zhu et al., “Better than DEET Repellent Compounds Derived from Coconut Oil,” Scientific Reports. 8(14053).1-12(2018). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-32373-7.pdf.
- Andrew Weil, “Essential Oils: Tea Tree Oil,” Drweil.com. Accessed 2/27/20. https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/balanced-living/healthy-living/tea-tree-oil/.
- Franziska Spritzler, “14 Everyday Uses for Tea Tree Oil,” Healthline.com. Posted 4/21/17. Accessed 2/27/20. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tea-tree-oil#section7.
- Jessica Migla, Jamie Stone, “10 Ways You Can Use Witch Hazel To Get Amazing Skin,” Womenshealthmag.com. Posted 8/14/18. Accessed 2/27/20. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/a19950011/witch-hazel-beauty-benefits/.
- Samantha Sasso, “Could CBD Be The Answer To Summer’s Worst Side Effect?,” Refinery29.com. Posted 6/30/18. Accessed 2/27/20. https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/06/203089/cbd-sunburn-remedy.