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Must-Have Beach Essentials That Are 100% Cruelty-Free

by Katie Muirhead

Jun 25, 2021

As the weather heats up, the only place we want to be is the beach. But with the promise of salt, sand and fun in the sun, comes the risk of sunburn, sweat and irritation. While the products from your regular routine may not quite cut it for a day by the ocean, read on to find the best cruelty-free essentials for your beach bag this summer:

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Sunscreen

This one's a no brainer: when out in the sun, it's crucial to protect your skin from the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays. Not only will you be mitigating the ageing and drying effects of the sun, you will most importantly be protecting yourself from skin cancer.

Wearing sunscreen is a crucial everyday step for every skin tone, but when you're planning to spend the whole day outdoors your choice of sunscreen should be more heavy duty. No matter how high your SPF is, swimming and sweating can reduce its effectiveness, so don't forget to reapply frequently. Better yet, don't rely on just your sunscreen for UV protection: hats, sunglasses, clothing and shade are just as important for a beach day.

Here are our top cruelty-free sunscreen picks for a day at the beach:

New to the suncreen scene, this formula provides physical protection of SPF 30 for the body. With a choice of scented or unscented, this product is made to feel lightweight and comfortable. Suitable for sensitive or acne prone skin, it is easy to rub in (especially considering the high zinc oxide percentage).

This sunscreen provides very high sun protection for both the face and body. The non-greasy formula is both sweat and water resistant for 80 minutes, making it perfect for a day at the beach. Sunflower and rosemary leaf extract help further protect your skin from environmental stressors and calm the skin.

Gone are the days of spreading baby oil on our skin before going in the sun... *shudder*. This lightweight and nourishing oil leaves you both glowy and protected with and SPF of 30. This oil will have you feeling like the beach babe you are, and the brand's signature scent will have you smelling like one too!

Lip Care

When applying sunscreen to the face, don't forget the lips! The skin here is extra sensitive and more likely to burn, so extra attention should be paid to apply (and reapply!) SPF products to your lips.

Here are our fave cruelty-free lip products for your beach bag:

This longwearing, hydrating lip balm keeps the lips moisturized and protected against the sun's rays. Physical filters are combined with antioxidant ingredients to fight free radicals and prevent the signs of ageing. As lip balms are some of the easiest products to wear off, make sure to reapply frequently.

For a glam beachy glow alongside your sun protection, this lip gloss is a great choice. Formulated with chemical filters and moisturizing ingredients, this gloss keeps your lips looking young, full, and hydrated. Wear it alone or over a subtle lip tint to boost your holiday glow!

Hair Protection

While you may associate beachy hair with tousled waves and highlights, the reality can be much more drying to your locks. UV rays can affect your expensive dye job, and the mixture of salt and heat can create crispy ends.

Your sunscreen should extend onto your scalp and a hat should be fixed to your head, but beyond that here are top products to keep you tresses healthy this summer:

Put the lemon juice down! While it's tempting to do your own DIY highlighting, leave it to a professional product such as this lightening mist. This product will enhance your natural highlights by spraying before going in the sun, while toning brassiness and keeping the hair healthy and hydrated. The peroxide-free formula is easy to control, and you can gradually build the effect over the summer.

Like a sunscreen for your hair, this product contains UV filters to protect your hair and hair color from the sun's harsh rays. With a slight styling effect, this is the perfect way to look more beachy and carefree, rather than windswept and bedraggled.

Makeup

While the beach is the perfect place to forego your cosmetics alltogether, you may still want a touch of glam. Your regular makeup will likely not hold up against the sun and the surf, so try these beach friendly alternatives to keep you looking fresh:

This lightweight formula mimics the look of your skin, provding light, dewy coverage. With a mineral SPF and beneficial skincare ingredients, it's a great way to look good and look after your skin when you're out in the elements. Don't rely on it as your only facial SPF - you're unlikely to apply nearly enough - rather, apply it over another sunscreen as a protective top up.

Don't be afraid of diving in - there will be no panda eyes here! This mascara will stay put at the beach, giving a subtle glam and definition to your eyes. Formulated with hemp-derived cannabis sativa seed oil (hence the name), this mascara will also keep your lashes moisturized and luscious in the heat of the summer.

After-Sun

Despite all your best efforts, perhaps you got a little too much sun. The next step is to soothe your hot, red skin to prevent further irritation. Here are our picks for after-sun skin soothers:

A classic aloe gel, this soothing formula will help hydrate and cool the skin, without trapping in any of that heat. Containing aloe vera certified by International Aloe Science Council, this gel will help manage the discomfort of irritated skin. Hot tip: keep it in the fridge for an even more soothing effect!

This lightweight gel treatment is the perfect way to soothe a parched face, without trapping in any extra heat. Formulated with hyaluronic acid but without more harsh actives, it is a perfect, extra-gentle option for summer skin. Apply it as the last step in your evening skincare routine to be glowing by morning.

Bronze Glow

While its normal to feel your best summer self with a tan, we know that any tan is just a form of sun damage to your skin. Skip the baking this summer and opt for faux this summer. Bonus: no tan lines! Here are our top picks for feeling bronzed and beachy this summer:

This serum gives a subtle bronzed glow, and so much more. The antioxidant-rich formula defends against environmental stressors and mimics the effects of vitamin D for more youthful-looking skin (without the sun damage). Wear it alone or mix it into your morning moisturizer for a beachy, buildable glow.

Arrive at the beach with glowy, moisturized body skin thanks to this powerful lotion-cross-tanner. Organic tanning agents help the color build gradually, while shea butter and caffeine help your skin to appear more plump and firm. Achieve glowing summer skin, without any of the UV damage.

Deodorant

The reality is that everyone sweats. Mix your natural perspiration with the heat of the beach, and you're bound to not feel your freshest. Remember to pack your deodorant in your beach bag - you'll be grateful when you can reapply after swimming. Here are our fave cruelty-free deo options:

This revolutionary formula uses a unique AHA blend to fight odors and brighten the skin. Aloe vera juice and hyaluronic acid keep your underarm area smooth and soothed, while the formula targets discoloration and dullness. Apply this lightweight liquid using the rollerball applicator for all-day freshness.

This deodorant formula is suitable for even the most sensitive armpits, avoiding common irritants such as baking soda, while keeping you smelling fresh. A blend of coconut water, coconut oil and sage oil provide moisture and soothing benefits to the delicate skin under your arms, keeping them soft and soothed for your summer of fun.

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Katie Muirhead

Katie is an Australian-born, Brooklyn-based writer with a love for all things beauty. She believes that a holistic approach to health and skincare is the best concealer there is. She preaches that less is more when it comes to skincare and makeup, and that it's crucial to understand the science behind a product.

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