How Beachy Nostalgia & A Bestselling Scent Turned Vacation Sunscreen Into A Summer Must-Have

by Stephanie Maida · August 11, 2021

    When was the last time you actually looked forward to slathering on your sunscreen?

    Yes, we're all aware of the dangers of sun damage and we know that we have to, but to want to? Well, apparently all it takes is a cheeky dose of '80s nostalgia, a great formula, and a luxurious summer-in-a-bottle scent. Vacation has it all.

    No wonder it's garnered a more than 1000-person waitlist.

    The deliciously retro line of sun protection products instantly transports you to Miami Beach circa the 1980s, from its genius branding to its throwback scent. For a really immersive experience, each bottle also comes complete with a scannable QR code that provides a summertime soundtrack courtesy of Poolsuite FM, the cult-favorite internet radio station that launched the brand. 

    The self-proclaimed "leisure-enhancing sunscreen" is the brainchild of Poolsuite FM's founder Marty Bell and Miami-based entrepreneurs Lach Hall and Dakota Green, who sought to capture the fun-in-the-sun vibes of old school beach clubs, high-cut bikinis, and big hair all while taking sun protection seriously. So seriously, in fact, that Vacation's formula was developed alongside Dr. Elizabeth Hale, a board-certified dermatologist who also serves as a VP of the Skin Cancer Foundation. It's like they've snuck vegetables into our piña colada - and we're not complaining.

    "From a product perspective Vacation was always about making 'excessively good, leisure-enhancing' sunscreen. Sunscreen that people crave to wear and that makes them look, feel and smell like they’ve been to paradise and back," says Hall. 

    "To bring this idea to life in our wider marketing and brand world, we drew inspirations from three areas: sunscreen marketing from the past (it was so much more fun then!), idyllic family 'resort style' vacations that instantly illicit happy memories that anyone could relate to, and finally since we’re a brand born out of the '80s themed Poolsuite FM community (formally Poolside FM), there’s a touch of the corporate excess of that era that comes through – particularly around how we talk about our 'excessively good' products."

    In addition to funky, branded merch like baseball caps, visors, and beach towels, the current lineup of Vacation products includes the standout Classic Lotion, a zinc-only (fragrance-free) Mineral Lotion, and Chardonnay Oil, a.k.a. "the world's most indulgent sunscreen." Each SPF 30 formula is reef-friendly, paraben and cruelty-free, and, most importantly, skin-protecting. 

    "When I connected with the team at Vacation and learned about their desire to bring back the fun in sunscreen, I knew this was a brand that understood the importance of suncare and making products that people will actually want to use," says Dr. Hale. "I was really drawn to their approach of connecting great smelling ingredients (that instantly transport me to my own memories of vacationing in the '80s) with the best in broad-spectrum protection."

    As for the scent? Vacation tapped the pros at ARQUISTE Parfumeur to create a fragrance that "combines notes of coconut, banana, pool water, pool toy, and swimsuit lycra." It's become so in-demand that the company even turned it into an Eau de Toilette (which sold out, like, immediately).

    While we've certainly got a few more weeks of poolside lounging and fun in the sun, Vacation puts you into the, well, vacation mindset year-round. As Dr. Hale says, "I always tell my patients that it’s crucial to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen 365 days of the year (rain or shine) no matter your skin type or tone, to protect you from UVA and UVB rays that can lead to skin cancer, wrinkles, brown spots, and photoaging." So trust, you're going to want to stock up. Why not embrace paradise all year long?

    [Photos via @vacationinc]