Craving a little extra vitamin “sea”? So are we. Neroli Downtown’s Aveda Advisor & Marketing Coordinator, Emily took a week away from our retail store to jet to the sandy and beautiful South Carolina. During her trip, she took note of her do’s & don’t’s of packing for a beachy vacation.


Skin care should always be an essential part of your packing list. Especially if you spend a lot of time working on perfecting your skin, traveling can quickly revert your progress. My skincare packing was (I must admit…) pretty decent. I do have a slight skincare obsession so I occasionally overpack, but I believe these products are essential for my trip and could be for you, too.

If you are going on a trip where you will be spending the majority of your time at the beach — SPF is the most crucial of them all. If you have particularly sensitive skin, I suggest bringing two different sunscreens, one for the body and one for the face. I packed the Ultra UV Protective Mineral Defense SPF 50+ for my face and a separate sunscreen for my body.

The following skincare recommendations are interchangeable, but the general guidelines are to bring a cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and a lip balm. I chose to bring quite a few things, but these cater towards my sensitive/acne prone skin.

Pro tip: the specific items you choose to bring should target your skin type!


Ultra Balancing Gel Cleanser

This light lathering gel cleanser helps unclog pores while removing excess oil and acne-causing bacteria from the surface of your face without disrupting the skin’s natural moisture balance. This cleanser is also great for removing makeup or SPF after a long day of being a beach bum.


Ultra C Firming Serum

This age-defying serum combines two powerful peptides with pure Vitamin C to help visibly smooth wrinkles and improve the appearance of skin firmness. It‘s great for all skin types!


Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Water Gel Cream

This lightweight, instant hydrator reduces redness, restores radiance and is great for any skin type – even those with sensitive skin like me. This is Aveda’s most recent release, and I’m in love. 

Lip Balm:

Aveda Lip Saver

The Aveda Lip Saver is a great vegan hydrator for your lips. It’s made from naturally-derived waxes and instantly absorbs (so it doesn’t make your hair stick to your lips when a gust of wind comes by!).

When packing skincare for a trip like this, it is best to stick with what your skin loves. This is not the best time to test a bunch of new products, except for maybe a fun sheet mask or two so you can enjoy your best vacation glow. Just shuffle through your skincare cabinet at home, and always make sure you use a great sunscreen to safeguard all of your hard work.


With hair essentials, it is important to pack what works for your hair type and for the weather you’re about to experience on your travels. If I can be fully transparent with you, I missed the mark when packing hair products. I completely forgot shampoo and brought two different types of body wash. Yes, you read that correctly. No shampoo. Oops!

What I would’ve brought if I had packed more carefully would have been shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, hair mask, and sea salt spray. Although I forgot the most basic of hair products, I did remember to bring Aveda’s Nutriplenish Leave-In Conditioner and Texture Tonic. The combination of those two products was a life saver. They helped me fulfill my beachy mermaid hair dreams.

Here is what I should of brought:


Nutriplenish Light Moisture Shampoo

This shampoo cleanses and replenishes dry hair with nutrient-powered hydration. It’s the ideal shampoo for fine-to-medium hair lacking a boost of moisture without being weighed down.


Nutriplenish Deep Moisture Conditioner

This conditioner is amazing for dry to very dry hair types. It helps condition and replenish hair and it also leaves it feeling soft and smooth. There’s extra butters in the “deep” version of this conditioner, so prepare for it to be a bit heavier. I have dehydrated and long hair, so I need lots of moisture especially after long days at the beach.

Leave-in Conditioner:

Nutriplenish Leave-In Conditioner

The leave-in spray is super light weight and nourishing. It hydrates and replenishes your hair for 72 hours while detangling and protecting from heated hair tools. It also features sand ginger which has a natural UV filter to help protect hair from the drying effects of the sun! 

Hair Mask: 

Botanical Repair Intensive Strengthening Masque: Light

This hair mask is my absolute go-to as someone with long hair and split ends at times. It is formulated for weightless conditioning and makes your hair feel healthier, softer, and shinier while instantly repairing and strengthening the bonds of your hair. Plus, the Botanical Repair aroma is so yummy and unique. 


Texture Tonic

This spray defines and enhance natural texture to create the perfect piece-y look. Cane sugar and salt work together to create naturally tousled texture and flexible hold without the need to further styling. Just spritz, tousle, and go!

Overall, keeping your hair hydrated is so important when planning your beach vacation. Salty sea water can strip the moisture out of your hair and the intense beach wind can also make your hair quite tangly. Adding lots of hydration to the hair prior and during the vacation can help to keep your hair looking soft and touchable during and after your vacation.


Comfortable Shoes

My main takeaway from this vacation was to pack comfortable shoes. I underestimated the amount of walking we would do when we were off the beach, so do not forget about your shoes! It’s also ideal if they are versatile and can be worn on many separate occasions. While I was on my trip, I bought my favorite Teva sandals – black platforms. They are super cute and have Velcro straps that make it oh-so easy to take on and off. They are also my most comfortable shoes and I am so thankful I packed them.  

A Good Book

I was so dependent on books on this trip. I would advise bringing at least one book that you are truly enthused about and will want to read. I brought The Midnight Library by Marr Haig and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. They were both amazing reads and perfect for lounging at the beach. If I had to take one book to a deserted island it would definitely be The Midnight Library.

I’d also advise taking items like a frisbee, beach ball, or even (if you’re still a kid at heart like me) a little bucket and shovel because sitting at the beach can get a little boring after multiple days.

Sun Hat

A large sun hat would be the best item to carry if you plan on reading books or magazines. Reading can be a little difficult when the light is particularly bright on the beach, and it’s so much more pleasant if you can protect your eyes with the shadow of a sunhat. I didn’t want to put on my mom’s outrageously large sun hat at first, but I ended up loving it because it was getting difficult to see. Plus, sun hats protect your face from too much sun exposure. We love a win-win!

Water Bottle

Finally, bringing a insulated water bottle was a life saver. Adding slices of lemon or cucumber can also boost the hydrating & refreshing qualities of your water.

The best advice I can provide is to bring things that are comfortable for you. Bring items that make you feel like you, whether they are your go-to skincare products or a dress that makes you feel confident. This allows you to fully experience your surroundings and concentrate on having a fantastic vacation rather than worrying about how your hair looks or how much your feet hurt.

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