A day by the ocean should be carefree and relaxing, but if you do a tiny bit of planning before you head out to the sand, you’ll be thankful. Crashing waves, white sand, shining rays…terrible sunburns, flaking lips, knotted hair, clogged skin. With the former almost always comes the latter, sadly.
For as gorgeous and fun as a day at the beach can be, it’s often followed by a string of ailments at the hands of the elements you were so enjoying just a few hours before.
Here are my 12 beach bag essentials to keep your hair, skin, and everything in between just this side of “sun-kissed.”
1: The Bag - A generously sized carry all is the first port of call when planning your day by the sea. Something large enough to fit all your essentials but still look stylish en-route to soaking up those rays.
2: SPF - Top of your list should be a good SPF. SPF ,is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect skin from UVB rays, the kind of radiation that causes sunburn, damages skin, and can contribute to skin cancer. It is not meant to help you determine duration of exposure so be wise and take breaks from the sun and stay well hydrated throughout the day. Remember to top up as is recommended on the bottle as each factor will have its own exposure guidelines.
3: SPF for face -There is no point in lathering and layering expensive creams on for 99% of the year and then going an undoing all your hard, not to mention pocket pinching work by not wearing a good spf on your face to protect its delicate skin. Image prevention plus with spf 30 is a deep moisturizer for dry/dehydrated and sensitive/rosacea prone skin combined with a broad-spectrum high UVA/UVB sun protection. Enriched with a blend of anti-oxidants, vitamins and green tea as an anti-inflammatory agents. Provides ultimate protection and prevention against the aging effects of the sun and is Paraben and chemical free high so it wont cause skin irritation like some moisturizers can in the sun. Also available in an oil free version ''Image Daily matte moisturizer with spf 32. I have been using this product the past few months and I find it great, a brilliant moisturiser and spf in one, whats not to love !
4: Lip tint with an spf - Your lips need sunscreen too!. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant, helps moisturize, soften and smooth lips and relieves chapping and cracking, while also adding a hint of colour.
Helps guard against the damaging effects of UV exposure with SPF 15.This all-in-one lip balm will keep your lips hydrated and protected and looking their best at cocktail hour!
5: Hair protector - Protect, repair and beautify your locks while you relax in the sun with the Kerasase soleil range. The micro voile protector mist with built in spf will prevent your locks from sun damage and UV rays, ensuring your pre holiday colour and cut stays in tip top condition.
6: Towel - So your doing your utmost to look like you have everything, including your bikini under control and trying to maintain your composure while exiting the waves, the last thing you want is to look up at the beach and have a row of white towels, with no apparent owners glaring back at you. Invest in a good quality one that will stand out in the masses of hotel borrowed, ice cream stained counterparts.
7: Flipflops - Save yourself a harsh leg workout by trudging through the sand in bulky sandals. Invest in a pair of beach friendly flipflops, easy to throw into your bag they will be your saviour when it's time to go for a dip and you are toe tapping across scorching sand.
8: Floppy hat - Embrace your inner Sarah Jessica Parker by donning over sized floppy hat but more importantly protecting your scalp and reduce sun exposure to your face and neck.
9: Sunglasses - Any outdoor trip in the Summer requires sunglasses. If I'm honest I wear mine all year round, I cant handle the glare of sun in my eyes, so I never feel bad about spending a little extra on a nice pair every few years as they are moved from handbag to car or where ever I go. Keep an eye out in the David Clulow store in Kildare village, they do two for one offers at different stages throughout the year so its a great excuse to invest.
10: Facial Hydrating mist - High temperatures cause your skin to become hot and red with open pores allowing dirt and bacteria to enter the skin. Cool down your skin on the beach with a facial mist like Uriage Thermal Water which hydrates, soothes irritations and reinforces the skins natural defence mechanisms.
11: Beach Kimono: Ideal for throwing on over your swimsuit and a pair of shorts for lunch time. I'm a big fan, as I think past columns have shown, as they are so versatile, they can be worn once back home with jeans and a cami.
12: Have a pick of your favourite magazines, a bottle of water and some snacks and you are ready to relish the rays and push all thoughts of home and work out of your head or a few glorious hours!