Beauty and the Beach | My Beach Beauty Over 50 Must-Have Products

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

Beach beauty must-haves for women over 50? Yep! I’m your girl. I’m just back from an awesome 5 days at our beach condo in Sanibel Island, Florida, and I loved every minute of our time there. I think the only way Bob got me to come home was by reminding me that we’d be back again in two weeks!

You know me as a Texas girl, but the truth is, when I was growing up, my family moved about every two years! With such a nomadic lifestyle, summertime in Sanibel was a constant in my life. When my parents sold the beachfront home they built and moved to a nearby retirement community, Bob and I knew we had to find a way to keep a presence on the island. We bought a small condo, and then a second nearby for the kids (or guests). Now we come and stay in one or the other as often as we can!

Over the years, I’ve refined my beach beauty routine – rotating products in and out until I found the tried and true products I’m using now. I thought it would be fun to share my beach beauty must-haves with you!

As with all of my posts, click on any pink text link or image you see (including the collage above) for more information!

Beach Beauty Must-Have: Sunscreen

When it comes to SPF, dermatologists say to use SPF 30 or higher, and use plenty. (For example, you should use about the size of a nickel to cover your face.) SPF number is typically determined under controlled lab circumstances rather than real-life use. Since probably no one (except maybe dermatologists 🤣) uses the right amount of product to get to that SPF number on the label, it may be best to take a more is more approach when it comes to SPF.

Dr. Lori Stetler, from the Dallas Center of Dermatology & Aesthetics, says that sunscreen is the most important skincare product that exists. “If you don’t use it diligently, it’s like you’re canceling out the good all of your other products are doing for your skin, and you’re wasting your money.” To check out what the American Academy of Dermatology Association says about sunscreen and sunscreen ingredients, click HERE.

Are you a chemical sunscreen or a physical (mineral) sunscreen fan? Two differences to note:

  1. Chemical sunscreens are partially absorbed into the bloodstream, and the side effects of many of the ingredients haven’t been fully studied. Ingredients like
  2. Mineral sunscreens get to work protecting your skin right away, so you can slather it on and go. In contrast, chemical sunscreens require a little more time. You need to apply it 30 minutes before going out in the sun to ensure that the sunscreen has had time to activate and fully protect your skin.

I use both chemical and physical (mineral) sunscreens! I use both because the ingredients in mineral sunscreens reflect light almost like a mirror, so it distorts skin tone in photos, leaving me looking gray and ashy. So when we’re shooting outside, I use a chemical sunscreen, but I use a physical (mineral) sunscreen if I’m just outside without shooting photos.

Beach Beauty Must-Have: Facial Sunscreen

When it comes to the face and neck area, you preferably want a sunscreen that will not just protect you, but also contains good-for-your-skin ingredients as well. My favorite is EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen, Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. It’s the one Dr. Stetler recommended back in January when she designed an ideal skincare regimen for women over 50. It contains Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants. It’s also available in a tinted version, which I sometimes use too! (Use code ENB10 for 10% off your entire purchase at the Dallas Center for Dermatology & Aesthetics Online Store.)

If I want a clean beauty sunscreen, I use Tula’s Protect & Glow Gel Broad Spectrum SPF 30. It contains things like probiotic extracts, pineapple, and papaya, and it gives you a gorgeous glow! They just released it in a super-size, which saves over $16 and gives you more than two times the product! (Use code 15SUZY for 15% off your entire Tula purchase.)

For the delicate eye area, I use tinted SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50. It’s a physical (mineral) sunscreen made with zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, ceramides (a type of lipid found naturally in the skin that helps nourish and reinforce delicate skin around the eyes), and a universal tint.

Beach Beauty Must-Have: Body Sunscreen

When I’m shooting, and I need to use a chemical sunscreen, I use La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk SPF 60, because it’s highly rated by Consumer Reports, and I love the way it melts into my skin and doesn’t leave me greasy. When I’m out and about and not shooting photos, I prefer Elta MD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47 mineral sunscreen. (Use code ENB10 for 10% off your entire purchase at the Dallas Center for Dermatology & Aesthetics Online Store.)

Beach Beauty Must-Have: Waterproof Makeup

If you’re with a group, or out on a boat, or you’re just vain like your friend, Suzy😂, and you like to wear makeup when you’re in the sun, I’ve got some great recommendations for you! (And lemme tell you, these are tried and true because I think I’ve tried every waterproof/SFP makeup that exists!)

Beach Beauty Must-Have: Lips

We tend to forget our lips when it comes to SPF! Both of my faves have some tint to them because you know your girl Suzy is all about the lips! Both of the ones I like get their SPF from titanium dioxide because, of course, you’d never want to use a chemical-based sunscreen on your lips!

COOLA’s Mineral Liplux Organic Tinted Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 30 goes on like a balm rather than a gloss. It doesn’t have a shine to it, but it does come in six pretty color options.

Revlon’s Kiss Balm Lip Balm SPF 20 is under $5 and has a hydrating formula infused with natural fruit oils. The sheer colors have a little shine to them, and the colors smell (and kinda taste!) like their names! 😋

Beach Beauty Must-Have: Facial Touch Ups

According to dermatologists, you should reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. When it comes to your face, you’re probably not going to do that!

Beach Beauty Must-Have: Chemical SPF Touch Up Spray

I use COOLA’s Makeup Setting Spray Organic Sunscreen SPF 30. It’s a hydrating and weightless mist infused with hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and organic aloe vera. Even though they stuck “organic” in its name, it does utilize a chemical-based sunscreen to provide its SPF. (Moral of the story: READ LABELS!)

Beach Beauty Must-Have: Physical (Mineral) SPF Touch Up Powder

I also use Supergoop’s (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder SPF 35 for touchups. You should know that, as with any powder, it can settle in wrinkles. Also, there are times that I’ve found that the applicator gets clogged, and that can sometimes make it difficult to get the product out. I still love it, though, and it’s easy to stick in your purse. It’s perfect if you’re doing something sweaty, like bike riding. I always take it with me when we go to Walt Disney World!

Beach Beauty Must-Have: Self Tanner

Personally, I find it easier to mix my self-tanner with my sunscreen than to use a separate product. There are two good ones I’ve used. Both are customizable based on how much you use, and neither will make you turn orange! 🧡😂

  • Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Body – Like all Clarins products, this one is plant-based. You add 4-6 drops to your favorite lotion or sunscreen and apply as normal. The downside: It’s expensive.
  • Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops – Made with coconut oil for hydration, avocado oil (high in vitamins A and C) to condition skin, and chia seeds (rich in omega 3 fatty acids) to support the skin barrier. I like that it doesn’t smell! It comes in three different shades, but (trust me on this!) you’ll want to start with the light shade and adjust the number of drops you use.

I’ve put together a boutique below with all of my beach beauty must-haves at the bottom of this post. You can click on any item for more information or to shop.

If you have any questions on anything I’ve shared, please leave them in the comments. Other people might have the same questions, and I want our little ENB community to be one where we want to help each other! Also, if you have some beach beauty products you love, please share them with everyone!

Suzy Mighell

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  1. Do you have a recommendation for a men’s sunscreen?
    My husband hates when it won’t rub into his facial scruff and turns white!

    1. Karoline,

      I’m so glad you asked! I have a couple of suggestions! First of all, you could see what he thinks about the Elta MD (untinted) UV Clear (LINK: I recommended in the post. It goes on white which helps you know that you’re spreading it evenly, but then it turns clear when it’s rubbed in.

      Another idea: If he can get past the packaging, I would have him try Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen (LINK: It’s SPF 40, oil-free and totally invisible, weightless, and scentless. It’s a good one too.

      If he’s not on board with that, you could try Jack Black’s Double-Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20 (LINK: Bob likes that one for every day.

      I hope that helps! Thanks for asking!


        1. Dawn,

          I’m so glad you love it as much as I do! The Derm docs at The Dallas Center for Dermatology & Aesthetics love it too and always recommend it!


  2. Super fabulous post Suzy!

    I’m adding a couple of your suggestions to my regime! I’ve tried high end mascara’s and drug store mascara’s. I like mascara I can remove with a milky cleanser. Late 2020 I made the switch to Thrive Cosmetics Liquid Lash Extension Mascara. I have not worn it in water, however, it does not smudge, leave racoon eyes and makes my lashes look so long. Best part, I can gently remove it with my milky cleanser. It’s a tubing formula, that does wonders for my lashes.
    I’ve also used Super Goop’s Mineral Powder and found the same regarding getting product out, but I haven’t found an on the go replacement.

    A wealth of important information! Thank you!
    Nancy <3

      1. I noticed mention of Super Goop sunscreen. I’ve been using this daily, year round, but I use the Glow Screen. I see they now have a matte version which I will get next time as I need to use finishing powder to turn down the Glow! 🙂

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