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.
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.