1. Snorkel Gear - I just got back from a trip to Hawaii and other than our sneakers, the snorkel gear got the most work. I know you can rent a set for $15, but I don't like to think of where those mouthpieces have been... Over the long run I save money, avoid germs and see so many fishes!
2. Wide brim Hat - My motto while at the beach? Hide from the sun as much as possible! A wide brim hat will keep the direct sunlight off your face and keep those fine lines and age spots from creeping up any time soon.
3. Sunglasses - I love Ray Ban sunglasses for everyday life. They have great shapes, colors and UV protection. Honestly though, I usually leave them at home when I head to the beach. Bring a pair of $10 sunglasses because you will most likely break, lose or ruin them.
4. Sunscreen - I love this Kiehl's sunscreen because it is light and fragrance-free. I'm comfortable layering it on my face without concern of breaking out. When heading to the beach, be sure to get an SPF 50+ and reapply often!
5. SPF lip balm - Don't forget those lips when donning your sunscreen! Lips can get burned too! Want a little color? Try the same lip balm in Passion. So pretty.
6. An adorable bikini - Okay, when I went to Hawaii, I brought four bikinis. This Triangl bikini was one of them. I love this one because it doesn't have the traditional halter shape. That means that if I do get a tan, I don't have halter tan lines for life.
7. Waterproof camera - Leave your iPhone at home, get a waterproof camera for all of your beachy memories. Oh, and get one that floats. Totally important.
8. Rash guard - Yes, a shirt. It's totally cute! After layering on the sunscreen, hat and sunglasses, I put on a shirt. No, I'm not alabaster white, I just know a lot about skin cancer! These days it's totally within the norm to see half of the girls at the beach wearing rash guards. And 100% of the children.
9. A Sweet Beach bag - Get a beach bag that you can hose out. Don't bring one that is made of fabric because you will never get the sand out. EVER! This Ted Baker bag is made of heavy plastic and it so pretty.
You might have noticed that I put a lot of sun blocking items in my beach bag. As I've grown into a full-fledged adult and spent several years working as an oncology researcher, I've learned the dangers of too much sun. (I've also seen some terrifying images to back up the knowledge) Two or three scorching burns can put you on the dangerous road to melanoma. This disease can creep up just about anywhere that you have sun exposure. It can appear on the skin, in the eye and even under your fingernails.