Get Well


This past weekend, I was sick. Boo, considering it was Halloween weekend and many fun things could have been accomplished, but as it was, I barely made it out of carving pumpkins with all ten fingers and two eyes (a piece of errant pumpkin hit me in the eyeball while slicing and dicing). Anyway whilst in the tub using one of my go-to sick products, it occurred to me that I’ve never written about this brand before. So here you go. While I’m not saying a cold is a be-all-and-end-all reason to purchase someone a gift (as opposed to say, beating cancer or recuperating from a surgery), it sure is nice to have someone show up at your door with a bowl of soup, or an item from J.R. Watkins.

This is the product I was referring to above. Packaged in cute retro pharmacy-inspired packaging (albeit in plastic, not glass), the Menthol Campor Bath Soak is but one of a half-dozen products dedicated to easing your oozing self during sick days. They also offer creams for pain, a bright pink Pepto-like formula for upset stomachs, and insect repellants for the great outdoors.  Bonus – or really, the guiding foundational value for this brand – is the fact they only use natural ingredients in ALL of their products. That means that all of those beauty and cleaning companies hyping their paraben-free or sulfate-free products are actually behind the times on this one.

And it’s quite a line of products beyond what I referenced above – the more ‘apothecary’ oriented healing products. They also offer a line of beauty products with lush scents like Aloe & Green Tea and soothing Lavender. Plus they’ve got house cleaning products for every part of your home, many of which are a crisp Lemon scent. Most surprisingly to me, they also have a baking line with seasonings and extracts packaged in nifty little tins (pictured above).

And this whole retro thing isn’t exactly a gimmick either. The original JR Watkins, the man behind the name, founded the company back in 1868. While today the nod to its roots is more of a marketing throwback than anything, I do have to give credit that their products all work well – I’ve used others – and are greatly priced.

Now you may be asking where you can buy these goodies, seeing as how they make great ‘get well soon’, ‘just because’, and birthday gifts for gourmands, beauty queens, and new homeowners. Well I first found them at Shoppers Drug Mart. Frustratingly the store only seems to carry the line piecemeal, and scattered throughout – I’ve found the bath stuff in one aisle, yet the Menthol Campor Bath Soak first caught my eye in the cold & flu aisle a couple of years ago. However, since the company is based in Minnesota and seems to be aware of the Great White North, they actually have a Canadian version of their website. Shipping is reasonable – $10-Free, depending on what you spend – and you have access to pretty much their whole collection. So happy shopping!

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