Beauty and the beach (your complete beauty guide)

With the wind in your hair, sand at your feet and sunshine all around, there is something magical about a beach vacation. The silver shores are almost therapeutic in nature, washing away one’s stress and sorrow. Having said that, the sun and saltwater are not the best remedies for your skin and hair (think ghastly tans and limp hair). Here we give you the complete low-down on how you can look your glorious best this beach vacation…

Expert Talk

Dr. Anup Dhir, Senior Consultant Cosmetic Surgeon, Apollo Hospital, Delhi: The air on the beach is full of moisture and the sun is hot. So firstly, always wear a hat which will protect your hair and face from the sun. Moisturise your hair (you can use invisible oils) as well as your skin and use sunscreen with SPF 50 on the exposed parts of the body. Do not spend too much time under the direct sun as the salt water along with the sun can burn your skin more. Also, sunglasses are important to protect your eyes.

Makeup Artist Vydurya Lokesh of Artistry by Vydurya: Carry a water-based moisturiser which is light on the skin and an SPF to act as a perfect base for the long stay of the makeup. Choose a water-based foundation which is light in texture and throw on a bright fun lipstick. Keep the layers minimal as there are high chances are your makeup would melt due to high heat exposure. It’s best to go for light formulates and lastly don’t forget extra doses of SPF!

Traveller talk

Ritika Suri: With beaches, my skin goes dark in a very short time (as short as 30 minutes). So, I have to ensure I am completely covered in sunscreen.


It’s like a passport stamp on your skin, have a vacation by the beach and most likely everybody will see it on your face when you come back. The question is do you want them to shriek in horror at the sunburn or compliment you about that glow. Below are the concerns you need to look into…

Concern: Tan and sunburn

With unhindered access to sunshine, you also get badly exposed to UV rays. And something about the combination of the salt water and the sun creates a lot more damage. Initially, you will get a pinkish tan that might look good, but it will turn into dark and peeling skin. It also might take you forever to get rid of what you got in two-three days. A heavy price to pay for a little bit of fun!

Remedy: This one is a no-brainer. You need to dab on the sunscreen – period. But have you noticed, even when you do apply one, it does not protect you completely? Instead of a daily sunscreen, go for something that is water-resistant, broad spectrum and above SPF 30. Carry it with you and reapply it every two hours and also every time you take a dip in the water. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to select a hypoallergenic product.

Concern: Lost moisture

Despite being surrounded by water, the harsh sun and wind can strip your skin of its moisture.

Remedy: It is really important that you hydrate your skin before and after to make up for the loss of moisture. Prior to heading to the shores, apply a lightweight moisturiser that suits your skin type. Ensure that your skin is not too oily as it will worsen the situation. To be on the safer side, use hypoallergenic products to avoid skin hypersensitivity from sun exposure. After the sun sets, you can dab on something that is heavier. Apart from moisturisers, face masks that have rose water and aloe vera gel work exceptionally well as they are hydrating as well as soothing.

Concern: Heat rash

The excessive sweating and exposure to the sun and sand might give you a bit of that nasty rash.

The remedy: Keep your calamine lotion or anti-itch cream handy in case you are breaking out. Aloe gel works wonders in soothing the skin too. To avoid aggravating the situation, have a good wash after you come from the beach. If your rash does not subside within a week, it’s best to seek the advice of the doctor.

Concern: Clogged Pores

The combination of sunscreen, sweat and sand can lead to dirt build-up and clogged pores. This can also add to your breakouts and blackheads.

Remedy: If you do not have any sunburn, you can use a gentle exfoliator on the skin. Do this after the daytime as exfoliation can make your skin more sensitive towards the sun. Follow that with a mild soap and quality moisturiser. Also, while using a facewash or soap, ensure that you take the time to massage your skin well with the product. It’s a simple step but will really help in removing that dirt and grime.

Our picks for skincare products


The saltwater, humidity and the sun can be a recipe for a hair disaster unless, of course, you take the precautionary measures…

Concern: Dry, dull and brittle mane

Here is a scary fact, overexposure to UV rays can cause inflammation of the blood vessels in the scalp which could lead to hair fall. To add that, the seawater strips the hair of its moisture leaving it dull and brittle.

Remedy: Try to protect your scalp with a wide-brimmed hat, swimming cap or scarf. For the tresses, you need pre and post-care. Before shampooing your hair, go for a deep conditioning mask and follow that with a shampoo and conditioner/serum that has extra moisturising properties. Applying a few drops of coconut oil will help too as it is moisturising, has a natural SPF of 4 -5 and is packed with antioxidants. Post your frolic in the sun, you can opt for gentle shampoo and conditioner a natural-based hair mask that is not only moisturising but also nourishing. For instance, avocado soothes stressed tresses, promotes hair growth and prevents dandruff. If you are going to wash your hair often during the trip, make sure your shampoo is gentle and free of parabens and sulphate.

Concern: Tangled locks

The saltwater and sand can not only rob your hair of moisture but also leave you in a tangled mess.

Remedy: Apply a leave-in conditioner before you plan to take a dip in the sea. This way, it would be easier to undo the knots. Also, from time to time, you can gently (read very gently) run your fingers through the hair for lesser tangles.

Concern: Frizzy mane

Remember how Monica’s (from the sitcom Friends) hair gets all crazy when she is in Barbados for Ross’s palaeontology conference? Well, humidity can wreak havoc on your hair making it unruly and frizzy.

Remedy:  Firstly, when out of the shower, do not rub your tresses vigorously. Gently pat the towel and let it air dry. You can either go for an anti-frizz brush or a wide-toothed comb to comb your mane. Massaging your hair with some drops of natural oil will help too as it will stop the tresses from absorbing too much moisture from the air. Go for products that are specific to this issue such as anti-frizz shampoo, conditioner etc.

Our picks for haircare products

Makeup and Hairstyling

Whoever said that you cannot squeeze in a little bit of makeup and hairstyling while at the beach too! For best results, you can stick to something that is more natural looking…

Concern: Damaged hair

Our precious mane is already exposed to so much heat, we would not want to worsen the damage with styling products.

Remedy: For a beautifully set mane, ditch the electric styling products and take to a texture spray. It will add more volume, hold your hairstyle in place and give you that lovely texture.

Concern: Looking cakey

Choose the wrong kind of foundation and you might end up having cakey skin.

Remedy: Dab on a lightweight foundation that is preferably water-resistant. Rub it on your fingers and then blend it into your skin for a natural look. Other options include using a tinted moisturiser with an SPF or mixing your foundation with sunscreen. Avoid finishing off the look with a compact or powder as it will make you look cakey.

Concern: Runny mascara and smudged kajal

Nobody wants raccoon eyes during their trip. The runny mascara and kajal will mix into the other makeup, giving you a colour blend you were not prepared for.

Remedy: This one is really simple. Just ensure that your mascara and kajal is water-proof and from a trusted brand. It’s better to have a test run with your product prior to using it on the beach.

Concern: Sand stuck on the lips

While a glossy and glitter lip would look great otherwise, on the beach it can come off very easily because of the heat, sweat and water. Worse, you might have sand stuck on your lips!

Remedy: It’s best to keep away from glossy and creamy lipsticks. Go for a matt or smudge-proof one instead. For that natural look, you can take to nude shades or ones with just a hint of pink, plum and red. Else, enjoy a bright pop of colour like bubble peacock pink. Hydration and moisturisation are still key so ensure you apply a lip balm with SPF first. Better still, we suggest that you go for a soft gentle exfoliation the night before so that it soaks up the moisture of the balm.

Other makeup tips:

  • For that perfect brow, opt for a brow pencil instead of a powered one. Stick to brown as black might give you a harsh look.
  • Keep a blotting paper with you handy and dab it when you have excessive sweating.
  • For that sun-kissed look or that something extra, you can highlight your face with a cream bronzer. Even a lightweight foundation that is darker than your normal tone would do. Dab it on your eyelids, above the cheekbones as well as the apples of your cheeks.

Our picks for makeup and hair styling products

So, the next time you are heading to the beach, keep these tips in mind. Your skin and hair will thank you later!

Article by  – Prajna Rao

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