This post was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated.
ICYMI: summer 2021 is gonna be one for the history books. It’s been a minute or two since we last experienced a June, July, and August where we could actually do things and go places safely. So we rounded up everything you’ll need to make the most of the season. We’ve got stuff for trips to the pool or beach, things for the park days that turn into nights, and essentials to use at home. Time to enjoy the sunny days ahead.
Oh, and check out our other summer picks: like things to bring to the beach, stuff to help you drink smarter, and items that’ll zhuzh up your outdoor space. Plus our guide to this season’s best beach reads and the ultimate sunscreen explainer.
Because soaring temps = actual hell for our thighs (IYKYK). This nontoxic one from Megababe works like a deodorant...but for your legs. Just glide it on, let it melt into your skin, and voilà. It’ll create a frictionless barrier so your thighs will stay cool and irritation-free. It has all the good stuff you’d want in a beauty product too, like aloe, vitamin E, pomegranate seed extract, and grapeseed oil. Sweet relief, coming right up. ($14, Ulta)
This one can hold up to 20 cans and is made of microfiber lining that’ll keep your stuff chilled. The shoulder straps allow for comfy transport — a major win, since rolling coolers just don’t work on sand. It’s also perfect for your next rooftop hang or backyard BBQ. Throw in your ice pack and carry it around like it’s the hottest handbag of the moment. ($26.99, Amazon)
Ice cream? For summer? Groundbreaking. This Cuisinart device can make frozen yogurt, ice cream, or sorbet in 20 minutes or less. There’s a double-insulated freezer bowl so you won’t need to add ice. And it has a big spout that makes mixing in ingredients easy and mess-free. I scream, you scream, we all scream for DIY ice cream. ($69.95+, Amazon)
These shades from Warby Parker come in readers, single-vision, progressives, and nonprescription options. And you can choose from multiple color and width options. Bonus: the lenses are scratch-resistant and block 100% of UV rays. We love to see it. ($95+, Warby Parker)
Because you can’t have a hot-girl summer without some new looks. This Limited-Edition Rifle Paper Co. x Summersalt collection includes one-pieces, bikinis, and coverups — all designed with the stationery-turned-lifestyle brand’s signature florals. They’ll fit like a dream, thanks to Summersalt’s data-backed approach to fitting (think: 1.5 million measurements from 10,000 women). PS: Skimm’rs get $10 off with code SKIMM10. Go ahead, make a splash.*
This hand-held fan can run for hours and fit in your pocket or bag. It's chargeable by USB power adapter. Some extra features that make it great? It has a flashlight (hi, summer camping trips), doesn’t make a lot of noise, and has an USB output port so you can charge your phone on it in a bind. PS: the blades are soft, but if you happen to touch ‘em while they’re on they’ll automatically stop to keep you safe. ($14.99+, Amazon)
This BPA-free option will measure your daily H20 intake and make it easy to remember to drink enough throughout the day. It has a strap and leak-proof lid with a locking feature, so it’s a breeze to carry to the pool, gym, or just around your house. The wide-mouth opening makes cleaning it and adding ice cubes super easy. Plus its size means you won’t have to constantly refill it. Hydrated-girl summer, here you come. ($18.99+, Amazon)
This six-pack of microfiber scrunchies can absorb water and keep your hair looking cute. Just pop one on after a swim (or a shower) and they’ll help your mane dry quicker. The super-soft accessories will be gentle on your locks and have great elasticity. Hair for it. ($8.99, Amazon)
Because sunscreen = a necessity. This dual face and body option from La Roche-Posay has broad spectrum protection — so it’ll protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. It’s also oil-free, fragrance-free, water resistant, and works for all skin types (sensitive skin included). Plus it’s fast absorbing, non-comedogenic, and dermatologist recommended. Don’t miss it. ($35.99, Amazon)
Bug bites be gone. This genius option works to remove the irritant left underneath your skin that causes itchiness and redness. You’ll be able to stop a reaction in its tracks, leaving the bite visibly smaller. You can even try it on bee and wasp stings. The true MVP of the summer. ($9.95, Amazon)
These truly comfy sandals have it all. They’re made from recycled plastic and feature quick-dry webbing, a rubber sole for traction, a Microban treatment that’ll minimize odors, and a molded midsole that’ll provide arch support. The hook-and-loop closure make ‘em easy to take on and off. Plus you can get them as tight or as loose as you want. Your feet? They’re happy as can be. ($35+, Amazon)
This unscented, aluminum-free option has coconut oil and jojoba oil that’ll nourish your underarms while keeping ‘em odor-free. The probiotics in it help keep the bad bacteria at bay. And you won’t have to reapply throughout the day. The natural deodorant should work for all skin types too. Swipe, swipe. ($14, Blume)
Summer calls for drinks on the patio and happy hours that turn into late nights. Upgrade your next gathering with this McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Rosé. It’s dry and has raspberry and orange blossom aromas that’ll make your mouth sing. We love it for a hostess gift, or any weekend spent in the park. Pinkies up. ($20.99+, Wine.com)
All you’ll have to do is pour your bev of choice into the carafe, and 60 seconds later it’ll be chilled to perfection. It works for wine and coffee (our two essential food groups for summer) and more. Oh, and it’s dishwasher safe so it makes for easy cleanup. Cheers. ($24.99, Amazon)
These inflatable swim tubes work for the whole fam, kids included. The pack includes four fruit-themed floats in different colors. (And they’re made of high-quality material that shouldn’t smell weird.) Feel that? It’s your watermelon sugar high rolling through. ($17.99, Amazon)
This inflatable one is perfect for when your kids want a quick dip in the backyard. You can use a pump or your mouth to inflate it. Oh, and it doubles as the perfect vessel for a ball pit or sandbox if swimming isn’t their thing. It also comes in ice cream– and hamburger-themed designs. Fun in the sun, but make it BBQ-festive. ($19.99+, Amazon)
We’re bringing you products, recs, and suggestions that’ll make your life just a liiittle easier. It all starts with adding us to your inbox.
Skimm'd by Lindsay Schneider, Emmy Favilla
Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter.
Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.
Not all SPFs are created equal. So we chatted with a doc to give us the deets on what to know, what to buy, and how to use ‘em the right way. Time for some (protected) fun in the sun.
We rounded up the best new reads you’ll want to bring to the ocean, the pool, or wherever you’re hunkering down for some sun and good vibes this summer.
So you can kick back and relax. This list has a portable table, an underwater camera, a blanket that won’t trap sand, and more.