After a few days at the beach this winter, I was feeling all kinds of refreshed. Like anyone, I was more relaxed than I would be during the work week. However, it was more than that: I felt like I just had a top-notch facial and full-body skincare treatment.
Between the sun, the sand, and the salt water, it's basically a free spa.
After a few days at the beach this winter, I was feeling all kinds of refreshed. Like anyone, I was more relaxed than I would be during the work week. However, it was more than that: I felt like I just had a top-notch facial and full-body skincare treatment. Add to that the salon-quality texture in my hair, and I was ready to stay another few days. These probably aren’t the first reasons any of us might go to the beach, but it’s sure as hell some icing on the cake.
It’s also a good reminder that you don’t need high-priced treatments and science-y products to rejuvenate your hair and skin. Sure, a good anti-aging regimen can wipe a few years off your face, and it’s important to regularly condition and moisturize. BUT, a lot of good can be done for your grooming regimen by embracing mother nature (if you aren’t already embracing all-natural grooming products, it's time to get into the hippie stuff). Take advantage of that vacation and get the some additional benefits from your days in the sand.
Salt Water = Perfectly Textured Hair
There’s a reason you always hear “surfer hair” or ”beach-y waves” touted as benefits for your hair. These refer to the texture your hair has after the salt water dries in your hair. The salt soaks up excess oils, but it doesn’t leave your hair brittle or dried out like a shampoo. Instead, it defines curls, it give sorter styles a natural grit, and you end up looking like you styled your hair with a texturizing paste, only it’s soft and natural to the touch. This post-ocean pomp is considered by styling experts as the perfect, product-free state for your hair, and you’ll soon understand why.
Soft Sand = Mud Mask
If you’ve ever visited the Dead Sea, you’ll see people reaching down into the mud of the shore and applying it all over their bodies. Mud soaks up the impurities and excess oils in the skin, and, just like a mask you’d do at home, it unclogs and tightens your pores, giving you a nice earthen glow. Now, the Dead Sea has its own magical healing powers thanks to its high salinity, but you can emulate this far better with the mud of many beaches than you can in your own backyard garden. I’m not suggesting you go to the beach solely in pursuit of wet earth to put on your face. This one requires a little common sense (please avoid small pools of standing water, okay?). On my last trip, we found a stretch of beach with the softest black sand my feet have encountered—it had a muddy quality to it, like liquid sand really. We lathered it on our face, then let the sun cook us for about 10 minutes before we ran back into the water for a rinse. (This time, Baywatch style.) As a footnote, I suggest a fresh SPF application after doing this.
SPF Application = Important Reminder
It’s easy to neglect SPF in your day-to-day life. But given the certainty that UV rays cause cancer and accelerate signs of aging, skipping SPF every day is like sneaking a cigarette or two every day. It may not matter just once, but it makes a big fat difference if you do it every single day. So, as you clear your head and reprioritize your life on that soul-searching beach escape, consider the benefits of SPF, and how you’ll walk away with a nice bronzey tan instead of a pink, peely lobster burn. The tan isn’t the priority either: It’s that you willingly eliminated the bad, and instead lathered up with skin-nourishing, life-saving goodness. (Might we recommend a good daily SPF moisturizer?
Grainy Sand = Full Body Exfoliation
After you emerge from the water like Daniel Craig in his 007 La Perla swim trunks (Just me? OK, fine), don’t shy away from getting sand all over your legs, and then plopping down onto the bare ground instead of onto your towel. Cover yourself with sand and let it dry on your skin, then brush it all away once it sticks. You’re in no better scenario to exfoliate your entire body than right in this moment, so go ahead and buff away all those dead skin cells. After you rinse off and return to properly dry in the sun (with an SPF re-up, please), you will rub your arms, your legs, your shoulders, and anything else you just scrubbed, and feel an unfamiliar but godlike sense of smoothness. (Just don’t exfoliate your face in this manner, since it’s a bit too sensitive for the heavy friction.) For this entirely free skincare treatment, you are welcome.
Less Stress = Clear Complexion
When your mind is at ease, it shows on your face. Stress ages you—there’s a reason people with high-stress jobs go gray faster or get crow’s feet and dark circles around the eyes—but it has short-term signs too. These typically manifest as stress pimples across your pretty face. So, if just on principle alone, treat yourself to a head-clearing vacation, to hear those waves crash, to get some sand between your butt cheeks, and to remind yourself what’s important in life. (It’s your peace of mind, if that wasn’t already clear.)