Swimming is a popular form of activity in summer months for many. While it offers physical benefits including a way to rid your body of toxins, it is not always kind to your skin. Exposure to chlorine and other chemicals found in pool water does more than leave you smelling like a pool. Chlorine strips away the natural oils in your skin and can cause damage including increased dryness, itchiness, acne outbreaks, and even increased sun damage because your skin isn’t as healthy.
Proper skin care for swimmers is crucial to preventing these symptoms. The good news is there are steps you can before, during, and after you spend time in the pool this summer to help.
- Shower before swimming
A quick shower before swimming is a great way to assure your skin cells are hydrated. Hydrated skins cells soak up less chlorine while in the pool. If you take a cooler shower, that cold pool water won’t be as big of a shock to your skin either.
- Use waterproof sunscreen
If you plan to swim in an outdoor pool, you may already be prepared with sunscreen. Investing in a waterproof sunscreen assures it won’t wash off seconds after you take a dip. It also acts as a barrier on your skin, preventing chlorine from drying your skin out.
- Drink plenty of water
Drinking plenty of water is an all-around good skin care tip. By properly hydrating your body before, during, and after swimming, you keep your body from craving more water. This prevents it from soaking in excessive amounts of the chlorine-infused pool water.
- Wear a swim cap
Not only will a swim cap keep your hair dry and healthier, but it will also prevent the chlorine from making your scalp dry and itchy. They come in various sizes and styles, so it is important that you do a little research and make sure you buy one that fits right.
- Shower after swimming
Showering immediately after swimming is the best way to rinse the chlorine off of your skin and prevent it from causing dryness. Start your shower with warm water to open up the skin’s pores and access the chlorine that has made its way into the skin.
- Use a chlorine-neutralizing soap
During your after swim shower, it also important that you use soap and shampoo with chlorine-neutralizing features. This continues the process of ridding your skin of the harmful chemical and minimizing damage.
- Moisturize your skin
Moisturizing your skin with a lotion high in antioxidants is a great way to prevent itchiness and flaking after swimming. Your skin will be craving the moisture and antioxidants will help heal any damage.
- Properly wash your swimwear
Once you are finished swimming, wash your swimwear as soon as possible to prevent the chemicals from getting trapped in the fabric.
Swimming is a great form of exercise for any individual, regardless of age. Before getting in the pool this summer, give some extra thought to your skin care and try these steps to prevent damage. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Windsor Dermatology today.