Life·12 min read

17 Essentials to Help You Make the Most of Summer

Everything you'll need for summer 2022
Design: theSkimm | Photos: Amazon
May 25, 2022

This post was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated.

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Summer, is that you? Since it’s been a minute or two since we last experienced bright sunshine, late sunsets, and warm weather, 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 some more of our best summer picks. We've got roundups of things to bring to the beach, bathing suits that are actually worth your $, and items that’ll zhuzh up your outdoor space. Plus, our guide to this season’s best reads and the ultimate sunscreen explainer.

A rescue stick that’ll prevent thigh chafing...

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)

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A dreamy cowl-neck dress that comes in over a dozen floral patterns… 

We love the asymmetrical silhouette of this silky midi dress — and the 15 vintage-esque patterns it comes in. Reviewers say it’s true to size and a flattering option for curvy bodies. You can dress this one up for a semiformal wedding and then swap the heels for sneaks and get some additional wears out of it for brunch dates with pals. So it isn’t a one-and-done outfit. Party on. ($98, Astr)

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An insulated cooler that’s cute enough to rock as a purse...

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. ($32.95, Amazon)

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An ice cream maker for when you want an afternoon delight...

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)

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Sunglasses to block out all the haters (read: the sun)...

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. PS: Check out all our sunglasses faves here. ($95+, Warby Parker)

Read it

A flattering one-piece swimsuit with an open back…

This open-backed option from Summersalt has full bust and bottom coverage, which we love. The stretchy, recycled fabric will be compressive for long days spent under the sun — but you won’t have to worry about comfort. It comes in both solid and striped options, and runs from sizes 0–26. Customers say it’s good for those with larger chests too. PS: Check out all our swimwear picks here. ($95, Summersalt)

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A three-in-one mini fan to take on the go…

This handheld fan can run for hours and fit in your pocket or bag. 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. ($16.99+, Amazon)

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A 1-gallon, time-marker water bottle to keep you hydrated…

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. ($14.44+, Amazon)

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Towel scrunchies to add to your pool bag…

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. ($11.99, Amazon)

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A mineral SPF that’ll melt right into your skin…

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. ($24.99+, Amazon)

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And a breathable hat to take your sun protection to the next level...

This lightweight cotton hat is the perfect addition to your SPF routine. It has a UPF of 50 (aka an ultraviolet protection factor…which is a good thing) and an inner drawstring for a custom fit. Rock it on your morning dog walk, during your beach trip or just while running errands to keep your face protected. Yes-PF, please. ($36, Anthropologie)

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A suction tool to help relieve those itchy mosquito bites... 

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. ($9.99, Amazon)

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An underwater camera that’ll capture the moments you don’t want to forget…

Like catching the perfect wave or that sandcastle you spent hours building. You can take photos in and out of water. Plus, it has a wrist strap so you won’t lose it once you hit the waves. Say cheese. ($29, Urban Outfitters)

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Tevas to rock at the beach, on a hike, and everywhere in between…

These truly comfy sandals have it all. They’re made from recycled plastic and feature quick-dry webbing, a rubber sole for traction, and a molded midsole that’ll provide arch support. Whoa. The hook-and-loop closure makes '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. ($41.25+, Nordstrom)

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A probiotic deodorant to help you smell fresh during the season of sweat…

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, Ulta)

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A bottle of rosé for your outdoor happy hours…

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. ($19.99,

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And an instant drink chiller for when you forget to throw your wine in the fridge...

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. ($24.48, Amazon)

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Some floats for your weeknight pool party...

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. ($16.99, Amazon)

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And a matching kiddie pool for your little ones...

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. ($16.99+, Amazon)

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