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Top 3 Summer Beach Bag Essentials

On a recent holiday in Jamaica (more on that later), we had a chance to test-drive a bunch of beachy products under the hot Caribbean sun. Here’s how the best of the best fared.



For our first dance, so to speak, with the SkinCeuticals brand, we were blown away by the effectiveness of the line’s Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 sunscreen. The 100% mineral sunscreen offers serious broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, and to prove it, one cloudy day, we skipped our body sunscreen–we swear, it was really, really cloudy!–and our face, which we didn’t skimp on out of vanity (the UV Defense gives the slightest bit of coverage so this foundation addict doesn’t feel completely naked), was the only part of our body that didn’t get singed by the sun. (It’s also water- and sweat-resistant and paraben-free and chemical filter-free, so there.) We used it with SkinCeuticals Serum 10 AOX+, which combines 10% L-ascorbic acid with ferulic acid for antioxidant and anti-aging benefits. Serum 10 protects against infrared radiation, as well as UVA and UVB rays, and when combined with the sunscreen, amps up total sun protection. Consider this your poolside BFF.



Another sunscreen that impressed us was Kibio Face & Body Suncare Lotion SPF 50. It shouldn’t have surprised us, really, coming from the always reliable Clarins parent brand, but the natural nature of the product still made us skeptical. (We really need to stop underestimating natural/organics–they’ve come such a long way!) As a UVA/UVB sunscreen, it kept us completely unscathed, though the white film it left on our skin is not a single gal’s best friend. Moms will love it, though, as it’s safe for kids too, formulated exclusively with mineral sunscreens of 100% natural origin, and water-resistant (though water exposure does make the white film even more noticeable). If the white film really bothers you, though, there’s Kibio Moderate Protection Body Lotion SPF 20. We used it on our legs and less sensitive areas, and didn’t notice the white film. The mess-free twist cap works wonders too.



Another product we loved, loved, loved was Pureology ColourStylist Illuminating Curl. The 24 Hour Shaping Lotion for Colour-Treated Hair features a Strengthening Antifade Complex, which includes antioxidants and full spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreens, neutralizing free radical damage and maximizing colour retention. ColourStylist gave us shiny, frizz-free Salma Hayek-worthy curls and protected our colour while at it. For realz. Although here’s a tip stylist Howard Barr once shared with us: For the best curls, don’t brush them out–it disrupts their pattern and creates frizz. (Easier done on holiday, we know.) While in Jamaica, we applied Illuminating Curl after each wash, passed on the comb and blowdryer and had one amazing hair moment after another; though since we’ve been back home and on the wash-brush-and-blow routine, there has been more frizz. Just goes to show.


SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, $39; Serum 10 AOX+, $95;


Kibio Face & Body Suncare Lotion SPF 50, $30; Kibio Moderate Protection Body Lotion SPF 20, $28; available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Murale.


Pureology ColourStylist Illuminating Curl, $30;


Photo: iStockphoto (beach)


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