D Moms Loves: John Masters Sunscreen, Cover Clothing, and Balenciaga Sandals (i.e. Our Dream Beach Packing List)



Friends, I’m three days away from my annual family trek to the Florida for lazy, beach-filled days… It’s so close I can smell the ocean air. This will be the ninth (!) consecutive year my crew has made this journey, and I can confidently say that I have packing for the trip down to a science. The formula? I don’t bring much. The girlies each get their own bag with a pair of flip flops and a pair of sandals, 3-4 bathing suits (we’re in the water every day, so it’s good to have fresh ones for when the others are drying), a smattering of sundresses, and a pair of leggings and a cardigan for cool evenings. Save a small cache of accessories like some gold bangles, a wood bead necklace and a big sunhat, I pretty much follow the same formula for myself. Any extra room in the suitcases is reserved for the really important stuff — sunscreen and reading material. Done and done.

Here’s what’s making it into my suitcase this yes (plus a few wish list items).

  1. The Sun Protection — I’ll be packing several bottles of John Masters organic sunscreen. The awesome Leslie Needleman turned me onto this during a recent trip to Whole Foods for a beauty product overhaul (more on that later). It’s provides strong sun protection and is totally natural (i.e. safe) —  a win/win. We live in the sun while we’re there, so I’m also planning to pop by Number One to pick up one of my friend Lisa’s UPF 50 Cover Clothing skirts to wear over my suit.
  2. The Accessories — In addition to my trusty flip flops, I’ll bring a pair of dressier sandals. In my dream life said sandals would be these t-strap numbers from Balenciaga, but, sadly, they aren’t in the budget this year. A packable straw sunhat and a long wooden bed necklace from Calypso, however, are.
  3. The Clothes — Easy dresses. Full stop. (Ok, I’ll also throw in a pair of jeans and a sweater to combat the aforementioned cool evenings). I’d love to add one of Ryan Roche’s groovy frocks from V.O.D. to my existing sundress collection.
  4. The Tote — We have a pretty large collection of sturdy L.L. Bean Boat and Tote bags for schlepping our pails, shovels, and towels down to the beach. But I’ll  stash my sunscreen, lip balm, cash (for the snow cone trailer), books, and magazines in a striped Jesse Kamm tote from TENOVERSIX, which leads me to…
  5. The Reading Material — Between the 24 hours (round trip) spent in the car and the eight days of our actual vacation, I do a lot of reading. A lot. I pack loads of magazines and 2-3 books (and usually plow through all of them). Grace Coddington’s memoir, back issues of Kinfolk Magazine that I still haven’t gotten around to reading, and, of course, the Spring/Summer issue of D Moms will be in this year’s mix.


  • If you’d like a highly organic sunscreen product, check out the Green Screen Organic Sunscreen line by Kabana. The formulas contain from 6 to 9 ingredients, the majority of which are certified organic. They also exclusively use non-nano zinc oxide, which is the only active sunscreen ingredient approved for use on children and babies by FDA, and made from the critical mineral nutrient – zinc – as opposed to the toxic heavy metal – titanium. Kabana also offers a vitamin D supplemented formula, which eliminates the concern about the fact that sunscreens reduce vitamin D production in the skin. The Green Screen D formula is soy, corn and gluten free. Kabana has tinted varieties to blend better with various natural skin tones, and they’re the only manufacturer with policies so transparent they publish their SPF and UVA testing reports done by an independent laboratory online, so you know these values aren’t just the marketing department talking smack.