Summer is here, which means longer days for having fun and basking in the sun. You have your swimsuit, but what should you pack in your beach bag so you don’t end up getting burned by poor planning? Here are my top 10 beach bag essentials to ensure this season you have it made in the shade.
First things first. You need a fabulous beach bag.
Whether you go for a canvas tote with a fun print or a low-key straw weekender, the key is to pick a bag that has plenty of room for all your essentials. I absolutely love the sparkly Deux Lux striped sequin tote at Everything But Water as well as the fantastic finds at Echo, which has fun summery options.
Since slathering chemicals all over my body and having them seep through my pores is not an option, natural sunblock is a must. I recently discovered Keeki Pure & Simple sunscreen on my latest trip to Palm Springs. It smells great with a hint of coconut and banana and it’s totally vegan and gluten-free!
When choosing a hat, get one that isn’t just for looks — it should protect your entire face. Tommy Bahamas always has great options. You can also find cute ones at Target, TJ Maxx or Marshalls for $20 or less.
Mix form and function with a cool pair of shades that block at least 99% of both UVA and UVB rays. FYI: I always thought a lighter lens color meant less protection, but it actually has nothing to do with the ability to block UV rays.
A versatile scarf.
Summertime is perfect for playing with bright colors and one of the easiest ways to do that is with a lightweight scarf. Choose one large enough to double as a cheery cover-up or sarong. I love the oversized scarves from Ondade Mar — they have so many vibrant colors that go with everything!
Great pair of sandals.
Flip flops are fine, but consider stepping it up with a pair of chic sandals that are just as easy to put on … and can easily transition into a more formal occasion. Straps often mean you’ll have to spend time buckling them, so look for one-zip or slip-on sandals like the black pair from Zara above. (I love the gold detail!)
Tinted lip balm.
You can brighten up your face in one easy swipe with a tinted lip balm. Go for one with SPF and you’re all set for longer days outside. I love the natural selections from Pacifica, Burt’s Bees and Yes to Carrots — they all smell good and don’t load your lips with drying chemical ingredients.
Aloe vera gel.
Nothing’s more soothing for sun-exposed skin than aloe. Make sure you get an all-natural version like Aubrey Organics aloe vera gel made with straight-from-the-leaf aloe and other totally vegan and chem-free ingredients.
Long days at the beach or by the pool can be dehydrating, so grab yourself some coconut water. I used to hate the stuff, but that’s because I had only tried those other mainstream brands that shall remain nameless. I’ve since learned that not all coconut waters are created equal. Aside from cracking open an actual coconut, Zola is the tastiest along with Taste Nirvana. I love it with the chewy bits of pulp!
A good read.
There is almost nothing I love more than laying poolside with a good book and a few magazines. Have fun mixing it up with old-school glossies and digital readers like the Kindle Paperwhite, which has no screen glare in bright sunlight!
Lifestyle writer Mar Yvette is on a mission to bring you the best people, places and products to make your life pop!