The Science of a Well-Packed Beach Bag

Getting packed up for a day in the sand and sun is no day at the beach. The heat! The water! The dirt! A dab of sunscreen on your nose just won’t cut it—and there’s more than just skincare to think about (like swimsuits and snacks!).

We’re tackling the science behind the well-packed beach bag. When it comes to sun-protective duds, melt-proof makeup and help for hair, we’ve got you covered from head to toe.

1Damage-Proof Your Hair

Don’t wait ‘til you’re beachside to protect strands from sizzling in the hot summer sun. Switch to hair products that shield against UVA and UVB rays. Try Joico’s K-PAK RevitaLuxe Restorative Treatment post-shampoo. Think of it as a bandage against breakage and color-fading thanks to a keratin peptide complex that strengthens and protects locks.

Before leaving the house, slick wet hair back into a bun or braid. Hair that’s already wet is less likely to absorb salty water that zaps hair of moisture. “Hair is like a sponge: When dry, it absorbs water quickly,” says Damien Carney, Joico International Creative Director.

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If you’ll be swimming in the surf, try to keep hair damp all day long—preferably using the outdoor shower, not chlorinated or salt water.

MORE: DIY Beachy Waves

To let the sun and salt air style your hair, run a few pumps of Joico Smooth Cure Leavein Rescue Treatment though strands. It resists high humidity for up to 24 hours, letting strands air-dry into natural beach waves, not the frizzy ones!

Joico KPak RevitaLuxe BioAdvanced Restorative Treatment, 5.1 oz. $22.95

2Sun Protective Clothing

Stripping down to your bikini as soon as you step foot in sand may help you feel one with beach, but it also puts skin at risk for some serious UV exposure (yes, even with sunscreen). Thankfully the right sun protective clothing will keep you looking beach chic.

The UPF 50+ color block swim shirt from Parasol blocks 98 percent of the sun rays (in and out of water) and is made from a light, breathable fabric that won’t leave you overheated.

Parasol Color Block Swim Shirt, $165

3Water-Resistant Lashes

Pick mascara that keeps smudging and flaking at bay when you’re doing all that sweating and swimming. Jane Iredale’s PureLash mascara has algae extract (how fitting!) to condition and protect lashes from breakage. Most importantly, it has a mild, water-resistant formula. No linebacker looks here!

Hate the wrestling and rubbing that comes with waterproof mascara formulas? Slip a Jane Iredale’s Magic Mitt in your bag. It rubs off makeup with just warm water, so leave the makeup remover and baby oil at home.

MORE: Makeup For Working Up a Sweat

Jane Iredale PureLash Mascara, $16

4Hydrate & Nourish

When plain old H2O won’t cut it, try FRS Healthy Defense in refreshing Citrus Pomegranate. Its secret weapon to sustain energy? Quercetin, an antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables that boosts energy production. With only two grams of sugar, 20 calories and a slew of vitamins (including calcium), it sounds too good to be true—but isn’t.

Now curb those inevitable munchies by tossing a single-serving bag of Food Should Taste Good’s Sweet Potato chips in your tote.

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Packed with beauty nutrients these nibbles serve up 20 percent of your recommended daily amount of vitamin A.

4-pack of FRS Citrus Pomegranate, $10

Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips, $24 for two dozen 1.5 oz bags


Broad spectrum sunscreen is a must. “In combination, UVA and UVB rays contribute to aging, photo damage and skin cancer,” says dermatologist Dr. Diane Madfes, M.D.

Zinc oxide particles found in this Snowberry sunscreen create a layer of natural, full-spectrum UV protection; but make sure to reapply every two hours or after swimming and sweating. Shea butter and inga oil extract give this sun salve some serious skin smoothing properties.

This product is available on our sister site, BeautySage, where we only sell products proven to work!

Snowberry Active Outdoor SPF 30, $37

MORE: New Sunscreen Regulations

6Water-Resistant, Supportive Sandals

Toss those flimsy flip-flops aside. For arch assistance, find a flip-flop that bends only at the ball of the foot. The Tide Sandal from Orthaheel has a deep heel cup to stabilize your foot and give you enough support for those long walks on the beach.

MORE: Dirty Flip-Flop Feet

Orthaheel Tide Sandal, $59.95

7Sunglasses & Hat

Those shades you bought off the street may be super cute (and cheap), but chances are they aren’t the best for protecting your peepers. Oakley lenses are 100-percent UVA, UVB and UVC protective so whichever style you choose, you’re covered.

Top off those tresses with a broad-rimmed hat that has a tight weave and good venting. One trick to know it’s up to par: “Hold your hat up to the light and if you see any sun rays or even just artificial light, it’s not a tight enough,” Madfes says.

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Oakley Overtime, $120

8Tote It Along

Don’t limit yourself to the typical beach bag; think outside the box (or in this case…the bag).  To minimize the melt factor, pack your makeup, sunscreen and products in an insulated, yet chic tote. Scout’s Cool Clutch is water-resistant, wipes clean (the sand!) and comes in seven sleek designs.

Scout Cool Clutch, $23