Beach Sunbathing

Beginner Tips for Beach Sunbathing

For those of us who live close to the ocean in a warm climate, beach sunbathing is as natural as breathing.  However, if you have never actually gone sunbathing at the beach you might not be clear about everything that you might need to do so.  Therefore, here are some things to remember to bring so that you have a successful and enjoyable experience:

Bathing Suit

You will, of course, need a bathing suit.  When it comes to sunbathing, the general rule is that less is more.  Bikinis tend to be uniform for women and trunks for men.  Communal standards vary however, and thus in some locations, such as in Europe, men might show up in Speedos and women topless or in thongs.  The key, however, is to try to get a bathing suit you are comfortable with and to find out what the standards are in advance.  There is nothing more embarrassing than showing up in an overly revealing bathing suit to a beach where standards are more conservative.

Also, be sure to wear some kind of footwear in case you need to walk to the sand, as many beaches require.


At virtually all beaches, you want to have a good beach towel to lie atop.  Beach sunbathing can be an unpleasant experience if you end up right on the sand.  The towel can also be useful if gets cold at the end of the day when you can wrap it about yourself like a dress.  A second towel may also be useful if you plan to go swimming.

Sun Screen

Whenever you go sunbathing, you should be sure to bring sun block or sun screen.  Just lying out in the sun—especially if you are not used to it or are fair skinned—can turn into quite a painful experience.  It is easy, if you are not familiar with beach sunbathing, to end up red and sunburned.  This can make for quite a painful couple of days afterwards where even lying down or putting on shoes can be an excruciating experience.  In addition, people who regularly expose themselves to sun tanning increase their chances of skin cancer.

Sun screen and sun block help to prevent much of the damage to the skin.  You should look to get the strongest variety.  Also, keep in mind that when you go in the water many kinds of sun screen—especially non-oil based sun screen—will wash off and need to be reapplied.

Sun screen can also be a very tricky thing for those with sensitive skin.  Oil based lotions can clog pores and cause pimples and other kinds of skin irritation.  Water based sun screen can be easier on the skin but tend to need to be applied more often in order to continue working.

Finally, if you have very fair skin, sunbathing may not be for you.  Those with fair skin are prone to developing melanomas.  Not only that, but also most fair skinned people don’t really tan to that olive complexion that Mediterranean peoples sport so attractively.  Red heads tend to go from pale to tomato red with virtually no intermediate stage.  If this describes you, you might try long sleeves if you really want to go beach sunbathing with your friends.


Misc. Items

Although those are the main things that you need in order to go sunbathing, a few of the extra things that you might consider bringing are these:

Be sure to bring some appropriate clothing—like a jogging suit to wear over your bikini in case it is a cold day or if you are unsure if you will be comfortable at the beach.

Bring a good book to read.  Sunbathing can actually get pretty boring if you are the sort of person who likes to stay active.  A book can help break the monotony—as can a radio.

Bring a parasol to keep the sun off you.

Follow these instructions and you are sure to enjoy your beach sunbathing experience.