What are your pool essentials? Does your beach bag contain a pair of sandy AirPods, an old T-shirt that doubles as a cover-up, and that summery romance novel you can (and do) read over and over? No disrespect to your choice of poolside necessities, but if your beach bag isn’t stacked with wellness essentials, it should be. We’ve reclaimed “hot girl summer” to mean the summer we prioritize ourselves, feel good in our bodies, and DGAF about what size swimsuit we’re rocking. If it’s going to be our best summer ever, nobody’s got time for a bad sunburn or post-pool day yeast infection. Read on for 16 wellness essentials we’re adding to our beach bags that will transform the way you take care of yourself this summer.
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Deodorant Face and Body Wipes
You know that subtle layer of sweat that comes from a day spent in the sun? Or that certain stench after sweating on the beach and swimming in the water? Yeah, same. The answer to your pool day prayers: deodorant wipes. Not only is this one aluminum-free and clean (we love the superfood ingredients like tea tree oil, chamomile, and acai extract), but you can also use them for a total refresh on your entire body. The best part: These wipes clean (sweat, dirt, chlorine, etc.), nourish skin (no drying!), and prevent future odors. Now that's a win, win, win!
Sandwich Storage Bag
Picture this: You're spending a lovely day at the beach reading on the sand, swimming in the water, and maybe having a beach volleyball game going. You start getting hungry (beach volleyball will do that to you), but there's nothing to eat except a greasy hot dog at the snack shack or a candy bar from the vending machine by the bathrooms. For the rest of the day, you feel bloated and sick. Sound familiar? These reusable and sustainable sandwich bags ensure that you'll never deal with with a snack attack again. Pack up a meal like a sandwich (caprese, please!) for longer days out or add some sliced watermelon for a summery snack that will hit the spot. 3 colors available.
PLAY Antioxidant SPF 50
So you already know SPF is an essential in your wellness routine (safety is sexier than a tan!), but the kind of sunscreen you use matters too. This is my favorite because it applies easily (love a body spray over a lotion), is water-resistant (swim all you want), and is non-toxic, so you know you're putting only the best on your body. But that's not all! With added vitamin C, you're not only getting antioxidant protection from the sun but also boosting glow while you keep your skin safe (we stan a multitasker).
PSA: Your sunglasses are not just a major fashion statement (although that's definitely true–looking at you, cat eyes!). Sun safety is crucially important for your health and goes beyond putting SPF on the skin. Your eyes also can be damaged from sun exposure, so make sure the glasses you're wearing offer 100 percent protection from UVA and UVB rays. In my opinion, a good pair of sunglasses is well worth the splurge to not only look cute (duh!) but also to ensure you're getting the best protection.
Between sitting around in wet bathing suit bottoms, more consistent hair removal, exposure to all kinds of environments (do you ever think about what's in a public pool?), and a summer fling or two, your vagina goes through a lot come summertime (if we don't say it enough, thank you for all you do, vaginas!). The Killer uses boric acid to maintain healthy levels of vaginal yeast and bacteria, and it balances vaginal pH levels for less risk of yeast infections and to keep your vagina as healthy as possible. Talk to your doctor before use to decide whether or not it's right for you, especially if you're prone to infections.
Motivational Water Bottle
You know enough about your health by now to know that hydration is key. But staying hydrated in the summer (especially on days in the sun!) is much harder, thanks to sweating more and hotter body temperatures. Enter: a 64oz water bottle. When you're packing up for your next beach or pool day, leave the little guys at home and opt for a water bottle that will keep you hydrated all day long, no refills required.
Water-Resistant Activity Tracker
So you're one of those people who needs to get 10,000 steps in a day and will not work out without a tracker on? I get it—the instant gratification of a number on a screen telling you "good job!" is so satisfying. But beach or pool days can be some of your most active days and shouldn't be discounted as exercise just because they're "fun" and not a designated time in the gym. If you want to keep tracking, try a tracker that's waterproof so you can head to the pool to swim laps or don't have to think twice about going between frisbee on the beach to swimming in the ocean.
Confused as to why a hat Jackie O would wear made it to our list of wellness essentials? Again, prioritizing your health is in style. Sometimes, even sunscreen isn't enough to protect from the sun, whether it's because of not reapplying enough (every hour, FYI!) or because of hard-to-get spots like the scalp or back of the ears. A hat is always a smart option for days in the sun to fully protect your head and face, which are often the most sensitive to sun exposure. Might as well look chic while protecting yourself, right?
SPF 30 Face Sunscreen
So you're noticing a theme here: Sun protection is everything. But if you really want to up your wellness game, make your SPF work harder for you. This one offers mineral and organic filters for extra protection against both UVA and UVB rays and also contains hyaluronic acid and aloe vera to hydrate and soothe skin to avoid sun burn or irritation.
You're going to pack a beach read anyway, so why not make it one that'll inspire and help you become your best self? Nothing against a romance novel or thriller (we're huge fans of both), but if you're interested in spending your relaxing day in the sun to increase your wellness, consider a book like "Kinsugi Wellness," which is full of Japanese knowledge, refreshing recipes, and tips and tricks on the art of living well, so that you can feel your best this season.
Bye, Bye Bloat
If there's one enemy of a glorious beach day besides a dark storm cloud, it's bloat. I get a lot of questions come summertime about how to avoid the dreaded feeling. While gut health is important year-round, a painful stomachache and bad gas (sorry for the TMI) after a meal can totally put a damper on your pool day. If you do experience bloating, first talk to your doctor about what the possible cause could be and ask if a supplement (like this one with digestive enzymes, ginger, and dandelion root) could help alleviate symptoms while working to improve gut health in the long run.
Soothing Aloe Mist
Even if you did it right and reapplied SPF consistently, your skin still might experience some post-sun effects. A non-toxic mist that combines soothing aloe with calming lavender and refreshing mint will help with dryness, redness, and post-sun irritation.
Lipfuel Lip Balm
So a lip balm is a necessity in every bag you pack (who isn't addicted to lip balm?), but if you've been using the same drugstore brand since middle school, it might be time for an upgrade. This balm is not only non-toxic, but it also contains wild mint to help energize you (crucial before a round of laps in the pool) as well as konjac root to help protect against elements. Trust me, your lips will have never looked or felt better.
If your skin is sensitive to heat, you might notice more puffiness in your face during days in the sun (or you might just want to buy this to be #extra like me). These mystical little globes are the secret. You might have heard of ice rollers for skin benefits, but these globes deliver a flawless glow and can also help calm rosacea or sensitive skin due to heat and irritants in chlorine. Pro tip: To keep them cold as long as possible, wrap them in saran wrap to an ice pack and keep them at the bottom of your bag.
Cool Down Muscle Gel
Especially if you're sensitive to heat like me, a fun beach day can quickly turn into a painful one if you're feeling overheated from the sun, humidity, and hot weather. This cool-down roller will instantly give you relief with the spearmint leaf extract, aloe juice, menthol, and a blend of revitalizing minerals. It'll also help ease sore muscles (you know, that you got from kicking some ass at beach volleyball). It's instantly refreshing and good for the body.