8 beauty essentials you should always bring to the beach
Pack these to stay protected—and comfortable—in the summer sun.
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Enjoying time poolside or at the beach isn’t a bad way to spend a summer day—it’s relaxing and revitalizing. You may think the most important summer accessory is a perfect swimsuit, but there are also some beauty items you should add to your cart and then throw in your beach bag, too.
With the sun beating down on you and frequent dips into chlorine and salt water, it’s super important to have products on hand that protect your skin. Of course sunscreen is at the top of the list (or it should be!), but other beauty products for skin and hair can help you look and feel your best all summer. For example, did you know there’s sunscreen for your scalp? Well, there is, and it’s pretty amazing.
Below are the eight beauty items you should bring on your next trip to the pool or beach. They’re compact and easy to apply on-the-go, and shoppers love them.
1. A facial sunscreen for all skin types
A great face sunscreen is one you actually like applying, so you get the protection you need for a long day in the sun. EltaMD’s UV Clear Facial Sunscreen is a consistently top-rated product and has thousands of reviews. It provides both UVA and UVB protection and has an SPF 46. But one thing that sets this facial sunscreen apart from others is that it works for a variety of skin types, from acne-prone to oily to dry. There are even varieties for sensitive or mature skin. This sunscreen also promises to eliminate the dreaded white cast, which is especially unwelcome for those with darker skin tones.
One Amazon shopper calls this the holy grail of sunscreen: “I have very sensitive skin and this is so gentle that there is absolutely no stinging around my eyes.”
2. An easy-to-apply body sunscreen
Just like your gorgeous face needs sun protection, of course your body does, too. Supergoop’s Sunscreen Oil is a user favorite for quite a few reasons. Despite the word “oil” in the name, it’s not messy or greasy. The spray bottle pump makes it easy to control the release of the product and it leaves a beautiful glow on your skin when rubbed in. It has an SPF of 50 and claims to be water resistant for up to 80 minutes, which is awesome if you’re sweating a lot or plan to get in the water.
In addition to the ease of use, many reviews note the scent, which doesn’t have the overpowering coconut or chemical smell of some sunscreens. One shopper writes: “This works as a sunscreen but feels and smells like a beautiful moisturizer.”
3. A refreshing facial spray
There are quite a few uses for Evian’s Facial Spray, an aerosol spritz bottle filled with the famed mineral water. Many people use it as a makeup primer or a setting spray to blend products into the skin and keep them on all day. But it also comes in handy on a hot day. A few spritzes can leave you feeling refreshed and cool. The water comes out in a light mist, so you’re not totally dousing yourself with H2O and ruining your non-waterproof makeup. And you can take it one step further by storing the spray in the fridge or your cooler—it’ll feel like an AC in a can.
“I will not go to the beach without it,” writes one happy Amazon reviewer. “I know Evian markets this product as a facial spray, but if your skin is dry, it’s great for the entire body.”
Get the Evian Facial Spray on Amazon for $14.25
4. A conditioner to protect your tresses
Chlorine can wreak havoc on your hair, so it’s a good idea to bring a leave-in conditioner with you to the pool. Applying a bit before you go for a swim can act as a barrier between your hair and the chlorine and make the detangling process easier post-swim. The Malibu C Swimmer conditioner has a lightweight, creamy formula and an easy-to-apply spray bottle mechanism that you can spray directly on your hair.
Though there are less expensive leave-in conditioners, reviewers claim it’s money well spent: “I was a little skeptical spending [this much] for this product but it was well worth it. I will definitely buy again when I run out.”
5. A lipstick that’s functional and fashionable
The no-makeup makeup look is on trend, especially during hotter months when you don’t want to cake on makeup only to sweat it off. One way to add glam in seconds is with a touch of lipstick, and Perricone MD’s lipstick doesn’t look overly done or fussy. It has a sheer finish that comes in soft pink and brown tones like cognac, wine, berry, and rose. Even if you’re going makeup-free for the day, a few swipes of the lipstick helps bring out your natural lip color. It contains SPF for sun protection and hyaluronic acid, which claims to moisturize the lips give a plumper appearance.
The variety of colors and sheerness proves to be a winner for all skin shades. “The color is lovely—a flattering, highly wearable shade of rosy pink that suits my pale, cool skin tone,” noted one reviewer. Another buyer with a deeper skin tone shared that sentiment: “Most colors do not work with my black skin, but this proved me wrong. The shade is beautiful and sheer, so it's perfect for everyday [wear]. My lips had a lovely tint all evening [and] felt hydrated the entire time as well.”
6. A bug repellent without a chemical smell
Pesky bugs are just a part of nature, but if you’re in an area where the mosquito count is high, it’s best to bring along repellent. But it doesn’t have to be one of those sprays that has a gag-worthy chemical smell. Cutter’s Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent is DEET-free and claims to last up to six hours, so you should keep it on you to reapply throughout the day. The modified oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) is EPA-registered as a mosquito repellent and it won’t gross you out thanks to it’s cleaner scent.
An Amazon reviewer who calls herself the “mosquito whisperer” because the insects seem to be so attracted to her, loves how effective this product is. “I find this to be the least offensive bug spray to wear and simultaneously have had very good luck with it and its ability to actually repel mosquitoes.”
7. A sunscreen for scalp protection
Yes, another sunscreen. But this is for a part of your skin that you’re probably neglecting: your scalp. And not just your scalp, but your hair, too, especially if it’s color-treated. The nozzle on Coola’s Scalp & Hair Mist SPF 30 targets any parts in your hair, which can be susceptible to sunburn, but you can also use it on wet or dry hair to prevent color from fading. This ocean-scented spray is easy to reapply when you’re lounging on the beach or poolside and it won’t leave hair looking oily or feeling weighed down.
One happy reviewer writes: “Love this product for me and my little girl. It has a pleasant scent and keeps our scalps from burning. It’s nice to have a product to specifically treat this area as opposed to putting greasy sunscreen in our hair!”
8. A skin soothing gel
Even with all the sun and bug protection, you can inevitably experience some type of skin irritation, whether it’s from a burn or an insect bite. Aruba Aloe has several products strictly devoted to sun and after-sun care, but it’s the Alcoholada Gel that you really want to bring along in your beach bag. The gel consists of aloe vera gel to treat sun irritation and 0.5 percent lidocaine, a topical anesthetic that eases the sting of insect bites and inflammation from poison ivy (among other plants), and the discomfort of minor wounds.
“Amazing on sunburns but [a] must-have for bug bites, especially if you have little ones,” one reviewer raves. “Cools down sunburns without drying out your skin and stops the itching after being bit.”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.