5 Self-Care Steps You Need To Take After A Day At The Beach

When summer rolls around, a trip to the beach invariably finds its way to your list of things to do. Even if you're busy enjoying the sun in different ways, your friends are bound to plan a day out close to the ocean and invite you along. And for good reason. After spending months looking at the weather forecast before planning your day, when the sun is out to stay, the beach is the perfect place to be.

But with all the sun, fun, and sand comes some wear and tear on your skin and hair. Sure, when you're out there sporting your favorite swimwear, enjoying the waves, rays, and getting into your best beach reads, the last thing on your mind might be skin and hair self-care tips. But just like experts would tell you that SPF is a must when you're out in the sun or that your hair could use some UV protectant before you go for a swim, they will also tell you that you're better off following a few simple recovery steps after you find your way back to your room. 

Plus, giving your skin and hair some TLC is also a fantastic way to wind down and engage in some mindful (and grateful) reflection of the fun day you've just had. Here are five self-care tips you need to follow after a day at the beach. 

Drink lots of water

The benefits of hydration have long been talked about by health professionals. While drinking enough water on the daily is an important self-care habit to have in your life, it becomes even more important after a day on the beach.

Whether you realize it or not, all that sweating and time in the sun would have dehydrated your body (and your skin). And if you were sipping cocktails on a folding beach chair while reading a book, you probably need water a whole lot more. So drink up as soon as you make it to the car, or to your room if you're on vacation. 

As a matter of fact, make water bottles one of those essentials you need to pack for your beach vacation. You can hydrate periodically when you're out there on the beach as well. As simple as this step sounds, it will keep you from tiring out early, and your skin and hair will thank you for it too.

Take a shower (preferably in cool water)

Hot water has a way of irritating already sun-damaged skin, so opting to have a cool shower after a day on the beach is a better option. Besides, you will probably be all hot and sticky from the sea anyway, so cool water going down parched skin is going to feel far more refreshing. 

You're going to want to wash off all that sunscreen, sand, and sweat from your skin and hair too. Use a gentle and soothing cleanser on your face and a similar shower gel on your body. A scrub (used gently) can also help clean off all the sand and sunscreen from your skin. 

If possible, look for antioxidant-rich ingredients or soothing aloe vera in your cleansers. If you usually exfoliate your face (or feet) before a shower, skip that step this time around. Sand is a natural exfoliant, so you definitely don't want to overdo that part. 

Pay attention to your hair

Your tresses need some loving too, so if you feel like your hair is particularly dry and frizzy after all the sun and salt water, try a protein-rich hair mask that will deep condition and nourish your locks. Leave the mask on for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off with cool water. 

Sunlight has a way of stripping your hair of moisture and also weakening the protein structure in your strands, which could lead to damaged or brittle hair if not treated well after a day in the sun. You can also turn to some natural rehydrating oils to get the job done. An organic virgin coconut oil mask is a great after-sun haircare essential. 

Once you're in the shower, use a regular shampoo and thoroughly cleanse your scalp and mane from all sand and sea residue. If you have oil on, make sure you remove all of the product to avoid any build-up. A leave-in conditioner can also work wonders when it comes to sealing much-needed moisture in your hair. 

Moisturize your skin, lips, and feet

Once you're out of the shower, it's time to moisturize your skin. If you're sunburned, look for moisturizers or body butters that are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and aloe vera, since these are known to help reverse sun damage. 

Don't forget your lips and feet. You should be wearing lip sunscreen while at the beach, but for post-care, opt for your regular occlusive lip balm to lock in moisture. In fact, make this a regular item in your self-care magic bag while spending time by the ocean.

Walking is a favorite pastime while at the beach, and so is running if you're into beach sports like volleyball. And this means your feet, particularly the skin underfoot, are exposed to some sand and friction throughout the day. So, it's time to give them some TLC afterward. If your feet feel particularly dry, you could try a foot mask, but otherwise, simply applying some of your favorite moisturizer should suffice. 

Eat the right foods after a day at the beach

Adding hydration to your body, skin, and hair has to also happen from the inside out, and one way to do that is to eat as much moisture-rich food as you can after a trip to the sea. 

Fresh fruits are your best friend in this scenario. Watermelon, pineapple, mangoes, oranges, and cantaloupe are great choices, and so are vegetables like avocado, tomato, and cucumber. 

Ultimately, taking care of your skin and self is not only about squeezing in self-care during a busy work week. It's important to remember the steps when you're having fun too. Even if it means you're going to run a little late to join your friends for dinner or drinks at your favorite place downtown, prioritize giving your body the love it needs. You'll feel rejuvenated to tackle whatever the rest of the day brings.