Even if the Philippines’ rainy season is every June to October, this period brings bouts of summer-like weather. If you’re planning a beach trip soon, here are skin and hair care tips I’ve personally tried and tested through the years.
Before The Beach:
1. Exfoliate. Scrub your skin from face to toe the day before your beach trip. Sloughing off dead skin cells guarantees a smooth and even tan. Make sure you don’t overdo the scrubbing to the point of skin irritation.
2. Deep-condition your locks. Your hair will be subject to intense heat more than the rest of your body, so apply extra conditioner in the shower before the trip.
3. De-fuzz a day before the beach trip, not on the day itself. Whether you prefer a wax, depilatory, threading, or basic shave to get rid of unwanted hair, you need a day for the battered area to rest before exposing it to sun and saltwater.
1. Apply SPF 30 minutes before sun exposure. One of the biggest SPF misconceptions is that you should skip the sunblock if you want to tan. Whether or not you want a major tan, you MUST apply SPF from face to toe. This prevents sunburn, sun damage, and skin cancer. Even if it’s overcast, the sun’s UV rays can still penetrate through the clouds. Majority of skincare experts suggest a minimum SPF of 30, but I personally use 50.
2. Apply hair SPF as well, especially if you have colored or high-maintenance hair. Extreme sun exposure can alter the hair color. If your hair is freshly colored, it’s best to avoiding soaking it altogether. Saltwater can affect your colored hair, whether or not you applied hair SPF. I’ve heard of horror stories from friends whose colored hair turned brassy—or worse, moss green—after stepping out of the ocean.
3. Protect your lips. Use lip balm with built-in SPF to prevent chapped, sunburned lips.
4. Reapply SPF every two hours, and after swimming or sweating.
5. Hydrate regularly. Use cooling gel, aloe vera gel, or facial mist if you’re starting to feel the burn. If you turn excessively red, take a break from sun bathing, cool down, and reapply SPF from earlobes to toes. Drinks lots of water to hydrate your inner system as well.
6. Use other SPF accessories, like sunglasses, a beach umbrella, and a wide-brimmed hat, especially if you have sensitive skin, or like me, early stages of melasma.
After The Beach:
1. Hydrate your skin. Use extra moisturizing body lotion and facial moisturizer for the first few days post-beach trip.
2. Avoid applying thick gunks of makeup for the first three days post-beach trip, especially if you’re peeling or exhibiting signs of skin allergy (see #3).
3. Examine your skin. Even for the seasoned traveler and beach bum, rashes and other types of allergic skin reactions are normal. I personally always come home with rashes on my skin after mountain hiking and beach trips. You never know what type of microorganisms thrive in the plants or bodies of water. If you do spot skin irritations, it’s best to visit a dermatologist who will prescribe antihistamines or topical ointments to address the issue.