Beach Day Essentials

By Sarah Snyder - KitchyLiving
By Sarah Snyder – KitchyLiving

Let’s go to the Beach-each, let’s go get away!

Summer has arrived! And that means beach season is HERE along with sandy toes, salty hair, and sun-kissed skin. I’ve lived in Charleston for over 10 years, so I’ve got packing for the beach down to an art. Here are my list of non-negotiable beach essentials for your next day in the sun:

1. Sunscreen/Sunblock

SUNSCREEN: chemical kind of sun protection that penetrates the skin to absorb UVA rays before they reach the dermal layer of your tissues

SUNBLOCK: physical kind of sun protection that sits on the surface of your skin blocking, reflecting, and scattering harmful UVB rays
Most formulas you find at the drugstore are a combination of the two which allows for broad-spectrum protection. However, there are formulas that are better than others! Dermatologists strongly recommend wearing a sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15. SPF 15 blocks 93% of UV radiation, whereas SPF 34 block almost 97%. Apply at least 1 ounce of the formula (shot glass size amount) to your body before going out into the sun.

2. Lip balm

My lips get so chapped being out in the sun, so I try and bring something to reapply throughout the day to keep them hydrated. I love Sweet Mint EOS chapstick because it’s 100% natural and it actually keeps my lips smooth, but it lacks sun protection. So I would recommend using something with SPF while at the beach to protect your lips from sun exposure.

3. Good reads

If you are flying solo at the beach, this is a necessity. Pick something that is engaging, so you don’t nod off and forget to reapply your sunscreen. Here are a few books I’ve read recently and think are perfect beach reads: Make It Happen, The Nightingale, The Choice, Me Before You, and Party Girl.

4. Headphones/Speakers

Whether you’re going alone or going with a group, be sure to bring something to help you crank those tunes. No one wants to sit on the beach in silence for hours on end. Well, I know I don’t.? Find that perfect mix to get you pumped while at the beach.

5. Sunglasses

DO NOT FORGET THESE. You will be so uncomfortable if you do. Also you may not realize, but sunglasses help protect your eyes from UV exposure. Think of sunglasses as being the sunscreen for your eyes, blocking out harmful radiation to preserve your eyesight long-term. People with blue eyes have a higher risk of getting UV damage so take necessary precautions when you are outside for extended periods of time.

6. Healthy snacks

I have fond memories of going to the beach as a kid munching on Nekot crackers, Pringles, and potato sticks. But now that I’m an adult and have to watch what I eat, healthier snacks are my go-to for beach days. Filling up on pre-packaged snacks can be convenient if you are crunched for time, but they often make me feel bloated and no one wants that when they are wearing a bikini. My favorite snacks include carrots, almonds, tortilla chips, hummus, guacamole, celery, apples, oranges, grapes, turkey wraps, homemade chicken salad, dried fruit, and popcorn.

7. Water

When you are outdoors in the heat of the day, you need something to replenish and rehydrate. I love bringing my reusable water bottle with me, because I can refill it if there’s a fountain near the beach entrance and then I’ve not creating more waste with plastic water bottles. I’ve recently discovered LaCroix sparkling water (Grapefruit, Cherry Lime, Peach Pear, and Coconut are my favorites), and it’s a great alternative to soda without all the added sugar, sodium, and calories. Plus, it’s a great way to get in that extra glass of water each day!

Thank you to contributing writer Sarah Snyder, creator and owner of Click this link to see more of her incredible Charleston lifestyle and food writing and ideas.