Tips on how to have the best ginger-beach season of your life

Illustration by Momo Lin

It’s almost August, which means beach season for all you red-haired beach bums is only a few months away. And while you might be wondering how the season snuck up on you so quickly, much like the full-body suit you usually wear to avoid getting sunburnt, The Peak’s got you covered. Here’s a quick breakdown of everything you need to know about the forthcoming ginger-beach season, including which long-sleeves to buy and how many SPFs is too much. (Spoiler: no such number exists!)

The latest styles: There have been a few useless seasons in-between now and last ginger-beach season, so anything from last year is obviously tacky and awful. What fashion experts won’t tell you is that Mountain Equipment Co-op actually receives their winter stock at the tail end of the summer, so you can start assembling your wardrobe months ahead of everyone else.

Must-have accessories: Most people focus so much on what to wear to the beach that they completely forget about what accessories they should pair with their outfit. Sunglasses, broad-brimmed hats, beach umbrellas, and those suits that beekeepers wear are just a few cute extras that can take your ginger-beach look up to the next level.

Sleeve lengths: If The Peak had a FAQ section for ginger-beach season inquiries, this question would be at the top of the list. A good rule of thumb to use is this: if that part of your body is visible, it’s probably going to get sunburned and you’ll develop melanoma and die tragically. Treat your appendages like Brendan Fraser’s career in 2015: keep them out of sight.

Sunscreen: Did you know that sunscreen that’s SPF 100 and sunscreen that’s SPF 30 protect against roughly the same amount of Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays? There’s only about a three per cent difference  (99 to 96.7) between the two, but you’d probably feel better having a sunscreen with three digits of SPF in it instead of just two. There’s no scientific evidence that says the our sun is prone to the placebo effect, and yet there’s no evidence that says it isn’t prone. Science!

Caking yourself in mud: Not just for protagonists evading the titular Predator at the end of a movie, covering your body head-to-toe in mud is a great way to make sure you avoid getting sunburnt while also giving you an excuse to lather yourself up in nature’s clay. Just remember to reapply the layer of mud every two hours, or after every time you go in the water.