Your ultimate summer camp beauty routine, right this way

Your duffel's stuffed with its final Squishmallow, your school squad group chat said it's teary goodbyes and your comfort hoodie is ready for the a.m. bus ride. Yep, you know it—it's the night before sleepaway camp.

Let's be real: This time away is all about experiences and fun, not glitz and glam. But it's also understandable to wonder how your acne/frizz/under-eye circles are going to hold up through so many amazing-but-exhausting days in the sun. 

Psst: Check your camp's policies first (FYI, some don't allow makeup at all), then stash these beauty-expert-approved picks and camper faves in your shower caddy. Because sharing one bathroom with a dozen bunkmates doesn't have to mean completely sacrificing your GRWM...


There's just no skipping it: "You need a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every single day," explains dermatology nurse practitioner Dr. Jodi LoGerfo (grab a couple tubes of La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen SPF 60, $26, And one application in the morning isn't enough. "Apply one ounce [about golf-ball size] of sunscreen to your whole body 30 minutes before going outside, then reapply every two hours and after sweating or swimming," she reminds us.


"Braids are the best for keeping your hair out of the way and avoiding overheating," shares veteran camper Makena T., 15. So pack plenty of hair ties that won't snag or damage your strands. Makena adds L. Erickson Grab & Go Ponytail Holders (15 for $22, to her cart because "your bunkmates are bound to need to borrow some, too. You'll be the sleepaway savior!"


"At camp, skincare is way more important than makeup or hair," notes camper Lilly P., 14. Banish all the sweat and sunscreen buildup before bed, says Dr. LoGerfo: Start with something oil-based to cut through the grime (like Glossier Milky Oil Waterproof Makeup Remover, $18,, then follow up with a foam (we heart Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser, $11, for the rest.


It's easy to forget to apply sunscreen to your lips, but it's so important. Keep an SPF-based gloss or balm in your pocket and reapply often. Plus, it keeps your lips feeling hydrated and gives a glossy finish. (Our fave? Supergoop! Lipscreen SPF 40, $22,


Rocking a full face of makeup to canteen? Not the move, advises longtime camper Adelyn H., 16: "No one really wears makeup at camp other than for a special event like a dance or Fourth of July." But if you're nervous about leaving your beauty bag behind, go for just one thing: a waterproof mascara (Adelyn swears by L.A. Colors HD Waterproof Mascara, $4, that won't run down your face during swim relays.


No matter your hair type, sun and lake water damage can create dryness and damage. "A leave-in conditioner can help protect your hair from heat and the sun," says Gina Rivera, hairstylist and founder of the Pheniz Aalon Suites (we'd pack Moroccanoil All In One Leave-In Conditioner, $30, Mist it through the lengths of your hair post-swim to detangle *and* keep frizz at bay.


So you spent your free period polishing your pottery project, and now you have zero time to wash your hair before dinner and the talent show. "Dry shampoo is great to take your hair from day to night without washing," says Rivera. Spritz it at your roots (try Dove Care Between Washes Dry Shampoo, $7, and let it soak up oil and sweat. Once it's dry, just shake or brush it out.


Sharing a bunk with your besties is pretty much fantastic...until you also have to share a mirror that's barely bigger than the iPhone you left at home. Your bathroom time is best used for a quick cleanse 'n' brush (that's teeth and hair) sesh, not a 10-step routine. "Pack a portable mirror so you don't hog the main one," shares Evie S., 14. She hearts FunTouch's Rechargable Travel Makeup Mirror, $20, "The built-in lights do double duty as a flashlight for late-night blindfold makeover reveals!"

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our June/July 2024 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.

Slider image: @dior.n.goodjohn


by Erin Reimel | 6/18/2024