Beach Bag Beauty Essentials: Everything You Need For Your Weekend

Lauren Keller
beach bag essentials beauty

Graphic design: Candace Napier

Hitting the beach during the summer is hands-down one of our favorite things to do, especially because it simplifies our beauty routine to a ridiculous degree—who doesn’t love slapping on some SPF, tying up an easy hairstyle and running out the door? But we’ll be real: there are some beauty products we still need to stay flawless in the sun and sand all day, and we’ve rounded up ten beach bag beauty essentials that can all fit into one adorable tote. So go ahead and start soaking in that summer sun—but not without packing these products first!

1. Sunscreen.

You had to know we were starting here, right? It’s 2015, people, you know the damage that can be done and you know you should be wearing sunscreen everyday. No matter what. Whether you’re using a regular SPF or jumping on the trendy all natural sunscreens bandwagon, look for a sunscreen that has Broad Spectrum Protection so it guards against both UVA and UVB rays, like La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid ($29.99, Ulta). Reapply often, as even water resistant formulas only last for a max of 80 minutes before wearing off. Don’t forget the tricky spots too, like your hands, feet, ears and along the lines of your bathing suit!

2. UV Protectant For Your Hair.

Yes, even your scalp and hair are in desperate need of UV protection. Your scalp is ultra sensitive and can burn without you even realizing it. Luckily for us there are specific sunscreens for this exact problem, so make sure to throw one in your bag before your next outing. And, anyone who colors their hair knows exactly how oxidizing the sun can be (we’re not just talking to bottle blondes here—any color treated hair can fade or turn brassy from the sun). Before stepping out, try a sunscreen spray for your hair, like Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil ($28, Aveda), a water-resistant spray that protects hair from fading and dryness for up to 16 hours.

3. Lip Balm.

Summer lovin’ is on our minds as we cruise into July, so a lip balm with SPF protection is crucial during the summer months. Just like sunscreen for your skin, reapply often, especially if you’ve been in the water. Many lip balms with SPF are tinted, but if you’re looking for one with some extra protection, try Sun Bum Coconut Sunscreen Lip Balm ($3.99, Ulta). It’s super-moisturizing and has an SPF of 30, which is a rare find when it comes to lip care!

MORE: Beach-Ready Beauty: Your Guide to Suits, Sunnies and Polish

4. Waterproof Mascara.

We like to go for more of a no-makeup look during a day at the beach, but one thing we can’t leave the house without is a little mascara. Between the sweat and the ocean, waterproof mascara is an absolute must for a day at the beach. An absolute fave of ours? L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Waterproof Mascara ($7.19,  for that perfect, fluttery lash.  You’re probably already wearing one to beat the summer heat anyway, so just toss it into your bag after you apply it in the morning!

5. Sunglasses.

Though sunglasses are our staple in completing any beach look, they’re also super important for your eye protection, too. UV damage can occur in the eyes just as easily as it can on the skin, and just like your skin, those with lighter pigmentation are more susceptible (so cover up those baby blues, will you?). Squinting for extended periods of time can also lead to crow’s feet and wrinkles around the eyes – and we’re pretty sure no one wants that—so make sure you take your sunnies to the seaside!

6. Leave-In Conditioner.

Even though salt water or chlorine can really do a number on our locks, it’s hard to resist a dip in the water when it’s just too hot out to bear. There are plenty of ways to protect your hair pre-swim, and using a leave-in conditioner post-swim is a great way to eliminate tangles and ensure mermaid-worthy hair all summer long. We’re currently loving KMS Moist Repair Leave-In Conditioner ($18.50,, a light spray-in moisturizer that doubles as a detangling spray for unruly beach knots. Spray that in while you’re still at the beach, and once you’re home, treat your hair with a DIY moisturizing hair mask.

7. Hair Brush.

Between the wind, water, and sand, your hair is bound to twist into a knotty mess. Pulling and tugging at your hair just to get a brush through can cause a ton of breakage, and after all the damage from the sun and water that’s definitely something we want to avoid. There are plenty of brushes out there made specifically for wet hair, but we’re currently loving The Wet Brush ($8.99, True to it’s name, specially formulated Intelliflex bristles will glide right through hair for no yanking or tugging at tangles.

MORE: Surfer Girls Share Their Beach Beauty Tips

8. Beach Tent.

For those that are really looking for some beach shade, a great (and stylish) tent is often hard to come by. That’s why we’re so into Lovin’ Summer Beach Tents ($169,, which are small enough to fit in almost any bag, easy to set up AND come in a range of chic patterns. Bonus: The fabric provides UPF 40 blocking, to protect you from 97.5 % of UV rays.

9. Cover-Up.

We all know that you have to also look cute on your way to the beach too—and what if it gets chilly during the day? Finding a bikini may fraught shopping process, but finding a stylish cover-up can be even worse. We love a good striped shirt, and this one from ASOS ($47, has us falling in love; it’s so lightweight and versatile!

10. Facial Spray.

In the hot summer sun when there’s no shade in sight, a facial mist is the perfect way to cool down while revitalizing your worn-out skin. It’ll be super refreshing and much more sensitive on your skin than salt water. Cult favorite Evian Mineral Water Spray ($12.50, Sephora) works to remove any dirt that may have built up throughout the day while restoring moisture to dry skin.

11. Makeup Wipes

You probably already have these lying around your bathroom for quick and easy makeup removal at night, but did you know they’re perfect for the beach too? Even if you’re rocking a fresh face, a makeup wipe will still help to remove any sand, salt or sweat that may be clogging your pores. Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes ($12, Sephora) are our favorite pick because of their added moisturizing ingredients. Filled with soothing aloe vera, chamomile, cucumber and Vitamin E, these wipes are exactly what your skin needs after a sun-filled day!

12. After-Sun Lotion

Possibly one of the most important parts of your beach beauty routine (only second to actual sunscreen itself), an after sun lotion is exactly what your skin is begging for. The sun is super dehydrating and your skin is in desperate need of nutrients to replenish it. Even if you don’t leave the beach with a burn, there is still some damage done that needs to be treated. Packed with aloe, Burt’s Bees Aloe and Linden Flower After Sun Soother ($9.99, is an all over body lotion that easily absorbs to soothe and hydrate sun-soaked skin.

13. Tote Bag

And, you of course need a great bag to carry all of your beach essentials in all summer long. We love a bag that zips at the top so you can cram as much stuff in there as possible and still keep the sand out. We’re obsessed with this colorful, pineapple-y raffia beach bag ($52, Nordstorm)—especially because it has a bit of stretch to it, just in case you overpack!

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