Beach Day With Dr. Bronner’s


Beautiful breezes. Soft sand. Rhythmic waves. Cold watermelon. A good book. The perfect joy of a day at the beach.

But that same day can also come with heat and soreness and stickiness and tangles. Through the years I’ve accumulated quite a few hacks using Dr. Bronner’s products to protect the bliss.

My beach experience has been almost exclusively at oceans, but take these tips to your shore of choice, as well as any other outdoor venue. I’d love to hear your stories and tips.

Before the Beach

Unscented Organic Magic Balm: Apply to rash-prone spots for prevention.  My boys champion this one.

Organic Hair Crème: To protect hair from sun and sea damage, my daughter and I work several pumps worth through our hair – much more than I would use for a day on land – and then braid it. The braid, or a ponytail, keeps hair from parting, which would expose my scalp to sunburn. The Hair Crème not only protects hair from the wear of sun and surf, but staves off tangles. Hair will, in fact, be stronger at day’s end.

Organic Coconut Oil, specifically my recipe for Coconut Sugar Scrub. The sugar exfoliates and softens, and the coconut oil ensures skin is moisturized before all the drying salt and sun.

At the Beach:

Organic Hand Sanitizer: My “don’t leave home without it” product. Besides the obvious use, the sanitizer removes sticky sunscreen off your hands (spray and rub hands, then dry on a towel), cleans smeary sunglasses and smart screens (spray on a soft cloth, then wipe), and as an improv antiseptic for scrapes until soap and water are available (like after my 15 year old’s spectacular tumble during his first go at skim boarding). The Peppermint in particular makes an amazingly cooling body spray and it gives quick relief to insect bites. Lastly, hold on to your hats for this one: the hand sanitizer even works in a pinch as a deodorant, which is helpful when you’re socializing isn’t quite finished but your morning application is.

Organic Lip Balm: Not just for the lips. Peppermint is my fav on beach days.  Any of them not only moisturize lips, but are great for softening roughened skin and preventing cracks. They also soothe small scrapes and chafed spots.

After the Beach:

Peppermint Castile Soap: One of my favorite parts of beach outings is the prospect of that invigorating shower afterwards. I never feel so clean. One minute I’m hot and sweaty and sticky, coated with sunscreen gummed up with sand and salt. All that instantly gone. I feel as though I’ve molted.

It cleans up your gear as well. Remember all those 18-in-1 uses? Use the Castile soap to clean everything you brought with you to the beach that is now covered in sand and salt. The Castile Soap is the best for washing wet suits and swim suits. The life of both will be prolonged if you clean them right away. You can even wash your swim suit while you’re showering yourself.

Organic Hair Crème: Especially if you didn’t use it before hand, restore sun-damaged hair with a pump or so of the Crème. If you apply enough, it will dry to a light hold and give a bit of shine. I accidentally discovered I was on-trend with the beachy waves it gave my hair.

Arnica-Menthol Organic Magic Balm: This is precisely purpose for which the Arnica-Menthol Magic Balm was made: my brother David formulated it for his own post-surfing sore muscles. If you haven’t tried this panacea, you’re seriously missing out. It also relieves headaches and congestion.

Organic Coconut Oil: Of all the options for soothing stripped, sun-touched skin, my favorite is simply the pure coconut oil. I use the tiniest amount over my skin, face included, overnight, and I can hear my skin say, “Aaaaaaahh.”

Keep in Mind…

Dr. Bronner’s products do not give significant UV protection. Put up your umbrella, wear a hat, apply sunscreen, and cover up in sun-protective clothing when possible.

Watching the sun set at the beach has always been for me one of the delights of living on the west coast – seeing that path of light leading across the water up to the giant orb, sinking into the sea. I love the continuity that as it is setting for me, it is rising for someone else. I’ve lived on the east coast, too, which has the beauty of the sunrise over water, but for some reason, the setting sun captures me more. I’m sure that reveals something about myself. There’s also the mystery of the elusive green flash that some catch the moment the sun disappears beneath the horizon. I have yet to see it, but I hope every time.

Further Reading

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Josephine says:

Thank you Lisa for all that you do to help us clean home, take care of our bodies, the environment etc., with your marvelous green products. You mentioned in an earlier blog about the amount of chemicals in clothes softeners. You suggested, maybe a cup of white vinegar in the last rinse, and buying wool balls to put in the dryer instead. Well I must say they really work. My clothes are just as soft as when using softeners and without any harmful chemicals. I bless you for this information. The balls are quite inexpensive, for a bag of 6 (£8.00 on Amazon). So no more chemical softeners and clothes still smell fresh without the (chemically manufactured perfume). Very best wishes Jo xx

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jo- Excellent! It’s great to hear you tried these tips with success. Thank you for sharing!

Cindy says:

Love the ideas!
Do you have suggestions for removing chlorine from body, hair, swim suits after swimming?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Cindy- I’m glad this post was helpful to you! Our Castile Soap and Organic Sugar Soaps are great options for that post-swim shower! While our products don’t contain added vitamin c to eliminate or neutralize chlorine, our gentle soaps can help reduce the smell left behind on your skin, while also minimizing dryness from consistent or over exposure to chlorine. Another Going Green friend recently shared their success with rinsing hair prior to swimming to absorb clean water prior to pool-treated water can to keep hair healthy and ward off the green color that can affect blond hair in particular. If hair needs even more protection, use the Organic Hair Creme as a protectant before going in the pool. It’s excellent for daily moisturizing and smoothing as well.

Both Castile Soap or Sal Suds safely clean swim suits. Use 1 capful (1 Tbsp.) of Castile Soap or ½ capful (1/2 Tbsp.) Sal Suds in 1 gallon of water. Let soak about 10 minutes before rinsing.

Linda Crowley says:

Great tips, but don’t use a tissue to clean sun glasses or any glass. Tissue is made from wood pulp that will scratch, use cloth instead.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Linda- You are absolutely right! Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve made that change in the article.

Jazzmynne says:

Hi Lisa, I love reading your posts. Can’t wait to use these products on holiday next month! I’ve been using Dr Bronner’s since the start of the year but wish I’d started ages ago (I always avoided soap because my skin is so dry.) Do you know if the arnica-menthol magic balm can be purchased in the UK at all? I’m having trouble locating it.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jazzmynne- I’m so glad you enjoy my posts – and our soaps! The magic balm is not available in the UK at this time.

Grace says:

Loved reading your post Lisa 🙂
And I also love the continuity of the sun too!
When it goes down in Korea, it comes up in the US!
Everyone is connected as one – all one! 🙂

Lisa Bronner says:

That brings to mind a beautiful image, Grace. Thank you!

Adrian says:

Hi Lisa!! Correct me if I’m wrong but did the page listing of the posts changed? I’m always reading it on my phone but right now I’m in my computer and loved the new format.

Anyway, I love your daily life tips to use Dr. Bronner’s products. I’m waiting for my Sal Suds to arrive and try it expecting it to be better at my house cleaning than the castile soap that I’m in love with (tea tree and lavander are my favorites).

Keep it going.

Jennifer says:

I love all of your posts, but I have an observation about your email.

You state in your email:
“Through the years I’ve accumulated quite a few hacks using Dr. Bronner’s products to protect the bliss.”

Have you ever looked up the definition of the word HACK?

From Mirriam Webster:

a : to cut or sever with repeated irregular or unskillful blows

b : to cut or shape by or as if by crude or ruthless strokes
hacking out new election districts

c : ANNOY, VEX —often used with off
He gets really hacked off when people cheat.

2 : to clear or make by or as if by cutting away vegetation
hacked his way through the brush

3a informal : to manage successfully
just couldn’t hack the new job

b informal : TOLERATE
I can’t hack all this noise

4 : to gain illegal access to (a computer network, system, etc.)

The word HACK is so over-used today the site of it, to those who know its definition, in addition to being completely inappropriate is nothing short of irritating!!!!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jennifer – You are absolutely right that I succumbed to a trendy usage! I’m sorry it gave you grief. I’ll think of some alternatives moving forward! 🙂

About Lisa Bronner

My grandfather was Dr. Bronner, my family makes soap, and I share ways to use it plus tips on greener living.

Learn about my book, Soap & Soul!

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