A few months ago my husband asked what I wanted to do for vacation.
“Vacation?” I asked.
It’s a little bit of a foreign concept. My last real “vacation,” as I would call it, was sometime in college when I got together with friends and we headed to a beach in Mexico. Possibly my honeymoon could be considered my last vacation, but either way, it was definitely pre-baby. I knew I couldn’t be the only mama feeling this way, so this list of 5 things black moms need for the beach this summer, could definitely help more than just me.
Now, before y’all start asking, I don’t mean to say that I haven’t travelled. I’ve travelled quite a lot in the last few years, actually, but for me a sightseeing trip is different from a vacation. Sightseeing trips are exactly what they sound like: you want to go somewhere for the purpose of, well, seeing the sights.
Vacations, however, have no agenda. The purpose is to relax. But I don’t do that so well, so I was a bit noncommittal at first. But the more I thought about it, the more I figured Why not? And so we found a beachfront property on Florida’s Atlantic Ocean.
Which brings me to my second quandary: The beach. The beach is fun, the beach is good, but I’ve had two children since my last ocean stay, so I’d be a fool not to think that a lot of my beach norms are going to change.
Normally when I do the beach I spend very little time in the water, which I’m sure many of y’all can say the same. The waves are nice, the surf smell is nice, the salt water buildup on your skin – not so nice. Not to mention if you should be unlucky enough to get sand in your hair. But I figured that two kids and two weeks in a waterfront property weren’t going to allow me the luxury of taking this my way, so I decided to pull it together and up my beach game.
Here are my 5 items that black moms need for the beach this Summer:
1. Black Girl Sunscreen
If y’all haven’t tried this stuff, you’re missing out! No, this is not an ad, just a really satisfied customer. I first heard about this sunscreen from my cousin who has a similar skin tone to mine and she loved it. Even though I live in Florida and should be wearing sunscreen year-round, with COVID happening this past year I just didn’t get around to giving it a try. Well, I bought a tube a few weeks ago and I’ve been pleased with the results. It has absolutely no grease, no funky sunscreen smell, and it doesn’t leave white marks on your skin – so, it’s exactly what it says it is! I even use it on my face as a daily moisturizer because my skin tends to run dry, although this won’t work for some.
2. Deva Curl Super Curly Curls-on-the-Go
One of my favorite things about taking a long trip is the switch-up it affords me in experimenting with my hair. I used to view changing my haircare routine as a pain, but somewhere along the way I decided to use it as an opportunity to try new products. I’ve had some luck with Deva Curl’s supercream styler, so I’ve decided to give the whole line a try since a couple back-to-back wash-and-go styles are feasible for my 3c hair. Plus, the travel-sized bottles will go a long way towards keeping my luggage bag as small as possible.
3. Sun Hat
This was a new one for me. My usual method of sun protection (avoidance) wasn’t going to work for the beach, and I knew that meant I needed a hat. But the problem with sun hats, or any hat, of course, is that they never fit over my head unless I’m wearing my hair out, which I don’t plan to do for two weeks straight. So I hit the internet to see what options I had, and to my surprise came across a relatively inexpensive solution on Amazon: a wide-brimmed sun visor without the top dome. True, your hair will still be exposed to the elements, but my main concern here was protecting my skin.
This one goes out to all the shaving ladies! All that fun in the sun will equate to more time spent shaving, if you’re like me and refuse to get laser hair removal. I found this product last month by accident when Walmart was out of my favorite shave gel. Not wanting to make another trip, I picked this one up, and let me tell you, it was a (very pleasant) surprise! You only need a little bit of this rich, no-lather formula, and the results are smooth skin without the razor burn! I pair it with a good sugar scrub to get my closest shave.
5. The “Mom Swimsuit”
The obvious! Okay, I’m not gonna lie, this one was tough. I haven’t bought a new postpartum swimsuit except for a tankini top to fit over my pregnant belly, and I wasn’t quite ready for the “honest look in the mirror” moment yet. I was still looking wistfully at the Victoria’s Secret swimwear I’d bought for my Caribbean honeymoon, but I figured it was time to embrace my current figure and dress it up for the shores. I opted for a high-waisted bikini I found on Amazon. It’s surprisingly comfortable, and it actually makes me feel attractive again in a swimsuit. Who knew well-fitted clothes could make such a difference?
So now with all these products and items in hand, I’m feeling a lot more confident, relaxed, and excited about our beach vacay. With my 5 things black moms need for the beach this summer list in hand, Atlantic Ocean here we come!
What kinds of things have you found for your upcoming visits to the beach?
Hi! My name is Madison West and I live in Tampa, Florida. I have two children, ages 4 and 1, and a wonderful husband. I enjoy writing, spending time outdoors with my family, and watching hair care reels on Instagram.