Seaside in Croatia: How I Protect My Skin Year Round

Where to stay in Dubrovnik
Best hotels in Dubrovnik

Croatia had everything I was looking for in a summer vacation including good food, sunshine, swimming in a crystal clear sea, an interesting history, and a lot of nature. I especially loved our stay at Grand Villa Argentina on the coast of Dubrovnik.

Here we were given a room with a stunning sea view of Lokrum Island and the Old Town, and the sweetest welcome treats. Each morning we enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast on the restaurant patio with the same view. Try the banana bread, it’s so good even Dan liked it!

In the afternoon, we would relax on the beautiful pool deck, jumping into the sea every now and then to cool off from the intense summer heat. I loved swimming and floating in the sea, the salt water felt so refreshing on my skin.

Outfit Details Look #1: J.Crew Bikini, Jeffrey Campbell Raffia Sandals, Tory Burch Aviator Sunglasses, Shiraleah Woven Tote Bag, Nordstrom Beach Towel

Dubrovnik Travel Guide
View from Grand Villa Argentina
How I Protect My Skin Year Round

I wear my favorite Supergoop sunscreen every day now, so I made sure to bring it with me to Croatia as well. Supergoop is the only brand I have ever used besides this one that actually protects my skin from any redness. What makes Supergoop my go to, though, is that it’s not greasy! The Unseen Sunscreen goes on so evenly and dry under my makeup. If I need to reapply, I just use the resetting mist for continued protection. 

I was not always good about using sunscreen growing up because I was so in love with being tan. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that suddenly all of the damage I had been doing to my skin finally showed up in plain sight (sorry, Mom, you were right).

Now, I struggle with dark splotchy spots (melasma), loss of melanin, and of course fine lines. My future skincare routine will almost certainly require needles and lasers. Needless to say, I take sun protection way more seriously these days. Instead of laying out in the sun, I wear a hat, lay under an umbrella, and constantly reapply sunscreen. (Disregard photos of me doing the opposite, it’s hard to take photos in the shade!)

Dubrovnik Travel Guide
Where to stay in Dubrovnik
Lokrum Island across from Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik Travel Guide
Summer in Croatia

I still love my tan, though, so I have tried many of the sunless tanner brands on the market. Eventually I’ll share a comparison post, but my current go-to sunless tanner for traveling is the St. Tropez Express, mainly because it comes in a travel size. You know I hate to check a bag.

A few days before a trip, I will apply St. Tropez Dark to my skin daily. Then I will use the St. Tropez Express each morning of the trip to maintain my color. Finally, I always make sure I have my favorite colored lip balm with SPF and a good pair of 100% UV protection sunglasses. I know it can be tempting to get the cheap trendy sunglasses but you need to protect your eyes!

Best hotels in Dubrovnik
Dinner at Victoria Restaurant in Dubrovnik
Where to eat in Dubrovnik
Sunset view for dinner in Croatia
Sunset view of Old Town Dubrovnik

Outfit Details Look #2: Topshop Ruffle Midi Dress (also in pink, royal blue), Schutz Nude Sandals

After the sun went down, we would head out in search of dinner. One night we enjoyed an amazing Peruvian inspired meal at Villa Orsula’s Victoria Restaurant next door. This property is a smaller, luxury boutique hotel that shares amenities with our hotel Grand Villa Argentina.

The restaurant sits on a beautiful grapevine-covered terrace that overlooks the water and the Old Town, providing an amazing view for sunset. I highly recommend dining here and making a reservation for dinner at sunset. The staff could not have been kinder and the food was divine. Order every ceviche dish on the menu and the tres leches for dessert!

My final tip for dining out in Croatia is to order the local rosé on the menu, it is amazing! I prefer rich and complex wines, nothing too sweet or acidic, and this rosé was the smoothest wine ever.