The best high-tech gear, UV-protectant threads, and healthy summertime snacks.
Stylish towels, loungers and floats, and beach reads make for the picture-perfect beach day Instagram shot, but for a healthy day in the sand, you’ll need more. These seven bring-to-the-shore staples help you put wellness first all summer long. All you have to do: pack them in your beach bag and enjoy the sun and the sea.
1. SUN-RESISTANT SHADES
Proper sunglasses aren’t just stylish—they protect your eyes from sun damage (which can up your risk of eye diseases like cataracts and cancer). Look for glasses with a 99 to 100 percent UVA and UVB radiation protection label and consider oversized frames: The larger, the better when it comes to blocking out harmful UV rays from all angles.
Also: Contrary to popular belief, polarized lenses don’t provide extra protection per se, but they do block out glare, which can make driving and boating safer (we like Smith’s Chromapop line).
Have a habit of losing your shades in the ocean? Consider a floating pair (like these from Rheos). They’re ultra-lightweight, polarized, and offer 100 percent UV protection.
2. MINERAL SUNSCREEN
The type of sunscreen you lather on matters. Sun lotions with chemicals ingredients like oxybenzone disrupt the hormones of fish and dolphins, among others, and destroy coral reefs (yep, it’s a serious problem). For an environmentally-friendly option, choose a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide, which protects your skin by scattering UV rays. Stream2Sea, Badger Balm, All Good, and mama KULEANA are all safe, oxybenzone-free sunscreens. Baby sea turtles will thank you.
3. SKIN-SAFE SUNWEAR
Save your bleached cotton cover-ups for long sunset walks and protect your skin from UV rays by wearing pale, dense fabrics with UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) labels. Consider a long-sleeve sun shirt like this one from J. Crew, which gets the thumbs-up from the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) as an effective UV-skin shield. For your morning sun salutation, put on some prAna yoga leggings, which are UPF 50. A mere two percent of UV rays make their way through.
4. A SHADY SUNHAT
Basal and squamous cell carcinomas — which account for over 90 percent of skin cancers — tend to show up on your head and neck. Your fix? A wide-brimmed, tightly-woven hat. Protect your skin in style with Columbia’s Global Adventure Packable Hat in wine, straw, or navy or Coolibar’s Marina Sun Hat, available in seven different colors from black to blue ombre. These hats keep you cool and safe with moisture-wicking headbands and UPF 50 protection.
5. MIRRORED GOGGLES
If you want to go for an ocean swim without irritating your eyes, swim goggles with UV protection and mirrored lenses reduce glare from heavy sunlight. Speedo’s Vanquisher goggles, a long-time favorite for triathletes and competitive swimmers, offer UV protection and anti-fog tech (so you won’t miss a crowd of jellies swimming nearby).
6. STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLE
Nothing is worse than sipping hot water. Swap melty single-use plastic bottles for #OceanFriendly, reusable stainless steel water bottles. Insulated bottles will keep your drinks cold for *hours* (even in full sun!). For insulated stainless steel options that come in a slew of stylish colors, check out leak-proof bottles from Takeya. Fill it up with plain old H20 or coconut water, a natural source of electrolytes, to keep your body in balance all day long.
7. HYDRATING SNACKS
Pack a cooler with water-rich snacks to keep your fluids and energy. Made of over 90 percent water and high in protective antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene, watermelon is a classic beach eat for good reason. For a more filling snack, add some protein-packed hummus and water-filled veggies like carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers.