If you’re anything like me, you’re planning to make the most of this summer. After spending the last year indoors, I am looking forward to spending as much time outside as possible. 

The hair has been braided, the outfits have been bought and the toes have been painted white in preparation for all the activities in the sun. While I have organized all of my picnic looks, I can’t forget the summer skin essentials.

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These are a few products to keep in your summer bag that can take you from brunch and day parties to boat rides and carnivals. The products below will get you right for hot girl (or boy) summer.

Protection: Black Girl Sunscreen Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion

Contrary to popular belief, Black can crack and sunscreen is imperative when laying out and frolicking in the sun. While only 0.1% of Black people are diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer, the five-year survival rate for Black people is 70% compared to the 94% survival rate for white people.

Protecting our melanin is important but can be deterring when trying to choose a sunscreen in the store. Many leave a white, purple or gray cast against darker skin tones and it’s an issue Shontay Lundy solved when she founded Black Girl Sunscreen.

The Black Girl Sunscreen Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion is a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 aimed to provide darker-skinned women with the sun protection they need, without compromising their complexion. The brand describes their sunscreen as vegan, cruelty free and reef safe — making it not only good for sensitive skin, but the fish you might be swimming with this summer. 

Black Girl Sunscreen Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion starts at $18.99 and can be found at Target, Ulta Beauty and the Black Girl Sunscreen online store

All-day glow: TLB Skin Glow Highlighting Serum

The way the sun glistens off brown skin in the summer months is the thing love poems and jazz songs are made of. The glow of the sun is a natural accessory, but sometimes you need a little boost or are just too impatient to wait to catch the rays.

TLB (formerly The Lip Bar) introduced their Skin Glow Highlighting Skin Serum just in time for the summer months. Infused with vitamin C and green tea, the lightweight serum gives you a dewy glow without making you look oily. TLB’s Skin Glow Highlighting Skin Serum starts at $15 and can be found at Target, Walmart and the TLB online store.

Natural coverage: TLB Just A Tint 3-in-1 Skin Conditioner

TLB’s Skin Glow pairs very well with their Just A Tint 3-in-1 Tinted Skin Conditioner. Packed with SPF 11 and Hyaluronic Acid, TLB’s Just A Tint provides sun protection and just enough coverage for outside activities without feeling like your face is melting. It’s offered in eight shades and retails for $16. Find it at Target, Walmart and the TLB online store

Total body moisture: Cream Blends Body Oil

You might be able to skip the moisturizer in the winter by hiding your legs, arms and feet underneath layers, but those summer outfits will tell on you.

The Cream Blends Body Oil is lightweight, moisturizing without feeling like it’s sitting on top of your skin. The shea butter-based oil comes in a variety of scents perfect for the season including mango, lemon and white tea. Cream Blends also offers an unscented version, perfect for mixing in your own signature fragrance to help make the scent last through a hot summer night.

The Cream Blends Body Oil retails for $20 and can be found in their online store.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels