Beauty and the Beach: 5 Ways to Prep for the Deep Blue Sea

Beauty & Style | M. Yvette | 07/10/2014 | 12:00 PM EDT

Follow these easy steps to help you stay glowing and gorgeous at the beach

It’s summertime, and that means cookouts, cool outs and dips in the beautiful waters around the world. While many of us can’t wait to show off our sexy new swimsuits on the Gram, we must not forget to keep our skin, hair and nails looking right. Follow these 5 easy steps that will help stay glowy and gorgeous at the beach.

First things first: Sunscreen

Ladies, it still shocks me to know that so many of us still don't invest in sunscreen. But, the truth is, black women, even those of us with darker complexions, still need some SPF to protect us from skin cancer. On the other hand, a lot of black women don't like SPF lotion because of the white cast it can leave behind, making us looking ashy or dull. For maximum protection and glowing skin, try the L'Oreal Advance Sun care Invisible Sheer Sunscreen spray. This is perfect because it's an effective SPF 30 protection spray that adds a little glow, a lot of sun protection and zero white cast. You will have to reapply...but that's usually the case with any SPF. 

Wet your hair before your dive into the water.

Yes, you heard right. Before you jump in, protect your strands with a conditioner or just run some good ole tap water over your hair. This goes for weaves, too (but be sure to either braid or wrap your weave in a tight bun after you dampen it). The reason this trick works is because the water or conditioner you pre-wet your hair with acts as a barrier against the salt and chlorine that comes from beaches and pools. We all know chlorine is terrible for our hair (and is exceptionally harsh on those with color). You can use any conditioner, oil or just water to protect your hair. If you're feeling fancy, try Coconut oil or dive a little deeper with Philip Kingsley’s Swim Cap Cream, which also contains UV protection.

Stick to waterproof makeup.

You may say, "duh", but you'd be surprised at how many women come out of the water with mascara running down their face. And no ladies, wearing a bit of makeup to the beach is not superficial; we all want a gorgeous face to match our fabulous swimsuits. I love a good waterproof liner and mascara when I'm hitting South Beach. MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Waterproof Aqua Extravagant Mascara is my go to. Want a pop of color on your lips that won’t wash off in the ocean? Play around with a MAC’s Lip glasses, like their sexy hot pink number, A Girl About Town. Even though they can be a bit sticky, I found that MAC's Lip glasses are perfect for swimming because the water doesn't easily wash the color off of my lips.

Protect your nails.

Remember when you’d take a long bath as a child, and wait until your fingers got wrinkled? Well, alongside those cool wrinkled fingers, were nails stripped of their hydration. You didn’t care then, but you should now. Water damage is very common with people who have to wash their hands a lot (such as nurses and cooks). But, a dip in the water can also be trying on your nail beds. Be sure to moisturize your nails before and after you hop out of the water. You can simply use olive oil or invest in a treatment, like Londontown’s Kur Nail Regenerating Serum. Also, add a few clear topcoats to your polish, just to create at extra barrier between your nails and the water.

Keep Your Bikini Wax Free From Irritation.

Tis’ the season of bikini waxing. While many women still shave their bikini areas (which is just fine!), a lot of us go for the full waxing experience. However, we have to be careful not to wax too soon before we hit the beach (or swimming pools), and to protect the skin down there. First, be sure to get your bikini wax at least 3 days prior. This will give the skin time to recover from any redness or irritation that may occur immediately after the wax has taken place. Also, don’t forget your sun protection. It may sound crazy, but the skin in our bikini area can burn from UV rays, and it is not a fun experience. Before you head in the water, apply an oil (such as olive) or a heavier moisturizer to keep a barrier between the chlorine or salt water and your skin. If you do experience irritation after swimming, use a soothing serum, like this Aloe Vera Gel from The Body Shop to help obtain relief.

(Photo: Rick Gomez/Corbis)

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