Beach essentials: Everything you need for a day of sun, surf and sand

When it comes to taking a break, a day at the beach is up there on the list. I love lounging in the late afternoon sun, chilled beer in hand, the rhythmic sound of the waves beating against the shore, white sand between my toes. But to ensure a day at the beach is truly idyllic, it’s essential to pack a few key beach accessories. There’s nothing worse than getting there only to realise that you’ve forgotten to carry a sarong or hat or, worse still, sunglasses in your beach bag. I figured since it’s summer and most of us are going to be spending at least some time by the sea I’ve made a handy list of what you need to take to the beach.

First things first, you’re going to need sunscreen. You don’t want your memory of a fun day at the beach marred by red, blotchy, peeling skin because you got sun burnt. Pack a sunscreen for your face and one for your body. If you find one you can use for both, that’s even better. I like the Nivea Sun Water Sport SPF 50/PA+++ Broad Spectrum sunscreen that protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays, prevents drying caused by salt (and chlorinated) water and is “very water resistant” i.e it still offers SPF protection after spending 80 minutes in the water. Be sure to reapply though, since it is not waterproof.

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A sunscreen that’s ideal for both face and body is the Biotherm Moisturising Dry Touch Mist SPF50. The alcohol-free formula has a pleasant non-sunscreen fragrance and is really easy to apply. I’m particularly partial to this for a day at the beach because it makes it easy to apply to hard-to-reach areas like your back.

If however, you prefer a separate sunscreen for your face, the Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Defense Advanced Daily UV Defender Broad Spectrum SPF 45 is a good option. Hundred percent non-chemical and suitable to all skin types, this watery sunscreen protects the skin from the suns rays, and strengthens skin to help defend itself from further environmental damage as well as pollution. While applying sunscreen to your face, don’t forget your ears, neck and clavicle.

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I also like to pack something for the lips. Most people don’t realise it, but the skin on the lips is actually very fine and delicate – leaving it exposed to the elements can cause it to dry out and crack. The Supergoop Acai Fusion Lip Balm SPF 30 will keep your lips hydrated and protected from the sun. Apply it liberally and reapply frequently.

Now that you’ve got your skin covered, don’t ignore your hair. Pack the L’Oreal Paris Elseve Extraordinary Oil in your beach bag if you want to avoid dry, brittle hair after a day in the sun and sea. Work a couple of pumps into your hair before you get into the water. The oil, which is a combination of six flower oils is easily absorbed and won’t leave your hair greasy while preventing it from drying out. You could also apply it after for added protection.

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Now that you’ve packed your beach bag with the essential hair and beauty products you need, it’s time to throw in some stylish accessories.

A chic cover up is an absolute must-have. The key is to pick something that looks effortless – something that will look as good at the beach as it does at the bar. It can be a kaftan, a cleverly tied sarong or even a kurta.

Another accessory I like to have handy is a bright, wide brimmed hat. Not only does it look good, and add a bit of glamour, it also protects your hair and offers your face, neck and décolleté some shade from the scorching sun. Make sure you keep it on whenever you’re not in the water.

Complete your look with a pair of sunglasses that offer UV protection. These will help protect the delicate skin around your eyes from the suns rays – especially since both the sand and the sea reflect the sun’s rays.

Finally, don’t forget to throw in your favourite magazine or summer read!

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