The Most Essential Items For Your Medicine Cabinet

Potentially the most defining moment for me as an adult was when I realized that I didn't have to wait until I visited my parents house on the holidays to use medicine cabinet items like peroxide and aloe. On one of my last trips home, I was in the midst of stuffing my purse with my mother's bandages and cotton balls when I had an epiphany: I can buy these things at the store and keep them in my own medicine cabinet.

At the time, my medicine cabinet had toothpaste and a few stag Hello Kitty bandages that were stuck to the glass shelves. I never thought I needed a full-blown medicine cabinet because I wasn't a mom. It struck me then that what I was attributing to moms was just a sense of preparedness. That was the biggest difference between my mom's medicine cabinet and my own. My mother had all the tools prepared to conquer each day feeling her best and ready for anything, and I was prepared for nothing. My whole day might be derailed because I got paper cut, and I might have to cancel plans when a headache struck. And that's one of the biggest differences between children and adults: children rely on others to take care of them, while adults take care of themselves.

Having a fully stocked medicine cabinet gives me the power to take care of myself and feel like a real adult. If you too are curious about taking a trip into adulthood and having the tools to take care of yourself, these are a few medicine cabinet essentials to keep you prepared for anything that comes your way:


Aloe gel or aloe-based creams are super helpful for skin irritations. Mild burns, be it from sun or stove, can be instantly cooled and soothed with a thin layer of aloe. You can also use aloe as a make up remover, just try to keep it out of your eyes.


This bubbly liquid had so many uses. Use it to disinfect a cut, clean a toothbrush, kill sore throat bacteria, and even ward off a cold. It's mild, but effective. Just try not to swallow it if you gargle with it — it will make you throw up.

Rubbing Alcohol

Another clutch liquid for sterilizing and treating wounds. You can also use it to clean surfaces in your bathroom — external uses only!


When an allergic reaction strikes, the last thing you want to do is stress about finding something to combat it. You should always keep some antihistamine in your medicine cabinet. There are pills, liquid and cream forms that can instantly calm hives, itchy eyes, and other allergy symptoms.


It's always good to have an anti-inflammatory nearby in case you get injured or cook up a fever.


Aspirin and a little bit of caffeine will knock out even the gnarliest headache. But did you know that aspirin has a lot of out other uses like skin care, stain removal, and garden-aid? Take aspirin pills orally for internal inflammation reduction and crush aspirin and blend with distilled water for an external inflammation reduction.


Keep a tub of menthol gel in your medicine cabinet for muscle pain, inflammation and respiratory issues. Rub it in a sore muscle after a work out or your chest during a cold.


While you should always seek medical advice if you're having respiratory issues, it doesn't hurt to have some basic nasal decongestant in your medicine cabinet. If you're fighting a common cold or even allergies that have you stuffed up, it can help to open your airway and help you breathe better.


Whether your eyes are itchy and sore from lack of sleep, allergies, or irritation, saline drops are always clutch. They soothe and refresh, and remove redness. It's typically safe to use these before applying eye make up, too, to get your eyes as clear and white as can be.


Whether you had the munchies and ventured too far out of your culinary comfort zone or are up in the middle of the night with heartburn, antacids will feel like a lifesaver when you remember you have them waiting for you in your medicine cabinet.

Treated Bandaids

Plain Bandaids are great, anti-bactieral or ointment-infused Bandaids are even better. Kill two birds with one stone and save space by purchasing Bandaids that are already treated.


It's always good to have a thermometer to help you gauge how sick you are. We're so used to working through days that we feel crappy, but you might think twice about going into the office if your temperature is 102. Having a fever can be an indication of an infection. You'll feel very "mom-ish" with a thermometer in your cabinet.


Sure, you can use them for to keep your brows on fleek, but you can also use them to remove splinters from your fingers, glass from your feet, and other terribly uncomfortable and common household mishaps.

Cotton Swabs

Use them to clean your ears, your belly button, your nails. Use them to apply make up, to clean. These puppies are so universal and clutch. You'll never run out of reasons to use them.

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