For Adults Only: • Prior to shaving or immediately afterward use baby oil on the shaved skin. Saltwater will sting and a sunburn will come more quickly to freshly-shaven skin, and baby oil will at least take the irritant factor out of the equation. Make sure to put sunscreen on those same areas when you get to the beach, though. • Take one big towel to lay on (or sand-repellant towels, blankets and mats are available online with prices ranging from $17 to $50) and at least one smaller towel for drying off if you hit the water. • Plenty of sunscreen should be in the beach bag, and leave-in conditioner in your hair will make it easier to comb through later. • Keep close track of your phone and/or your camera. Even with the cleanest of hands, sand can still find their way into the crevices of cell ports or the lenses of cameras. At the very least keep them in a plastic bag. Cell phones can be easily kept safe with a number of products, including cases made 54GASPARILLA ISLAND July/August 2017 By Marcy Shortuse When you’re in Florida, more than likely you’ll end up spending some time at the beach. What sounds like a great day when you’re planning it, though, can quickly turn to annoyance if you don’t know some easy tricks to make your time there a little more comfortable. Salt water and sand are quite sticky when mixed together, but with prior planning it’s easy enough to defeat their foibles. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Follow these recommendations to help protect yourself and your family. by a local company called Duk Gear. You can still take pictures and use the phone (even in the water) and they float. • Take off all jewelry you can part with prior to hitting the sand. Some people experience allergic reactions when the skin in contact with their jewelry is also coated in salt water and sand. Keep them with your phone in an empty “Pringles” can or other receptacle for safety. • Keep close watch on all open wounds after a beach trip, particularly if you have a lowered immune system. Fresh tattoos count in that mix, so make sure your tat is completely healed prior to hitting the warm Gulf water where bacteria thrives. • Make your own skin spritzer with a spray bottle, some water and some strongly-steeped green tea. Mix water and tea in a bottle (or just tea if you’re feeling froggy), then put it in the cooler at the beach, or freeze it at home prior to your trip.
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