How to protect your skin from chlorine and swimming pool chemicals

Swimming in summer feels great, right? But there are some unfriendly things that you should be careful of when going swimming, like chlorine and other chemicals that are usually found in swimming pools.

In swimming pools, chlorine is used to prevent infections, kill bacteria and keep water quality. But it can also cause various kinds of skin troubles.

Chlorine is a low-cost option and thus, it's the most common steriliser for swimming pools. Yes, it is cheap, has marvellous sterilising power and it can prevent waterborne epidemics.

However, it is a strong chemical. Furthermore, some swimming pools will not change the water, but inject more chlorine to keep water quality. 

What are the skin troubles that swimming pool chemicals can cause?

Your skin can become dry and rough easily. If you go to the swimming pool regularly, you will notice that your swimsuit will start tearing down and become bleached. Now, your skin is more sensitive than a swimsuit - imagine the damage!

If your skin is continuously exposed to chlorine, it can be dry and rough. You will see this especially with hands and feet, which can feel dry, peel or flake. When atopic dermatitis occurs, it may worsen. Sometimes it can cause pimples, psoriasis and eczema.

Swimming pool chemicals can damage your hair, as well. A disinfectant can make hair lose its elasticity and shine. Plus, if you go swimming, you should always take a shower after and hydrate your skin.

Exposure to the chlorine can result in the following:

  • Discolored hair
  • Lack of shine to the hair
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Skin troubles
  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Allergic conjunctivitis
  • Scalp lesion
  • Damage to cuticles
  • Weakened and breaking nails
  • Accelerated aging in skin
  • Stripping the skin of its natural oils
  • Moisture loss in the skin
  • Dull and dark skin
  • Skin irritation
  • Sensitive skin

protect your skin swimming pool

Still, that does not mean that you should stop going to the pool. Here is how to protect skin from swimming pool chemicals:

Before swimming

1. Remove your makeup before you swim

If you go to swimming pool on a regular basis, your skin can lose elasticity and become dry and dehydrated and it may accelerate ageing. Before you swim, remove your makeup. Chlorine and makeup together can have a chemical reaction and it can cause allergies.

2. Moisturise before you swim

In order to keep your skin in tip-top condition while swimming, it is recommended to apply a moisturising cream before you swim. This provides a barrier between the skin and the swimming pool water, which can help to prevent skin dryness.

3. Take a shower before you swim

Chlorine can cause skin irritation. If they are already wet, hair and skin are less likely to absorb water in the swimming pool. Wetting the skin with water before entering the pool can lessen the amount that can be absorbed and lower the risk of skin irritation with the barrier.

So don't forget to take a shower before you enter the pool to increase resistance.

4. Apply a chlorine neutralising lotion to your skin

Applying a chlorine neutralising lotion to your skin before swimming is a good thing to do. It can prevent rashes that are caused by chlorine and minimise any skin damage. If you swim outdoors, apply sunscreen, as well.

 Read more about how to use SPF products and which are their benefits.

protect your skin chlorine

When swimming

1. Swim in an outdoor pool

If you swim in an outdoor pool, it can allow gases from the chemicals in the water to escape into the air. It will leave less to contaminate your hair and skin. Outdoor swimming pools are also better for your eyes, sinuses and lungs. If you go to an indoor pool, well-ventilated pools are better.

2. Wear a swim cap

You can protect your hair with a swim cap. And you can wear a cap without washing your hair if the cap is of good quality and will prevent exposure. But the best way to combat swimming pool chemical effects is to wash and condition after.

After swimming

1. Don’t leave the pool too quickly

Don’t leave the pool too quickly. If you leave the pool area quickly, the shock of cold air can stress your skin.

2. Rinse skin immediately

Rinse your skin with fresh water immediately, once you get out of the pool. If possible, swim in salt water pools or in the ocean. In order to get rid of all those chemicals, wash hair and skin after swimming.

Wash your hair thoroughly. If you wash it quickly, it can leave some chlorine in the follicles.

3. Apply skin lotion

Apply skin lotion to your skin. It will give you an extra layer of protection. Apply a sun protection if you swim outdoors. If you swim indoors, apply an oil or lotion to your skin.

4. Apply conditioner and moisturiser

When your skin is constantly immersed in water, it can become dry. As soon as you get out of the pool, rinse off the chlorine and apply moisturiser to your skin.

Don’t forget that tap water is chlorinated to some degree, as well. It is important to moisturise after showering. Hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramics are good ingredients for moisturising.

5. Avoid dryers

In order to remove tangles, use a wide-toothed comb. Avoid using blow dryers. It will limit the damage to hair.

Remember these tips in order to protect your skin from chlorine and other chemicals while swimming and enjoy the pool!

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Learn how to protect your skin from chlorine and swimming pool chemicals

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