Every year in the U.S., more than 90 million people over the age of 16 swim in pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans to keep fit. Doing laps in the water not only helps to keep you in good physical condition, but it also promotes mental wellness as it’s an excellent way to relax after a stressful day. But while swimming may be good for the body and mind, it can cause a host of skin problems such as excessive dryness, itching, and rashes. To keep your skin healthy and reduce the risks of having such skin conditions, proper care and prevention is a must before, during, and after swimming. If you’re an avid swimmer, here’s a guide to caring for your skin.
Protect your skin from chlorine
If you’re not a strong swimmer, the pool can be the best place to learn water safety and swimming techniques. Because you’re in a controlled environment, you can build water confidence over time in the pool and have lots of fun while getting a good workout. However, the chlorine in the water may cause scalp irritation, overall skin dryness, and rashes. To protect yourself from head to toe, you’ll need to take some precautions before diving in. Head to the shower, then wet your hair and scalp and apply a generous amount of leave-in conditioner from roots to ends. The conditioner will form a protective film and keep your hair and scalp from drying out while you’re in the water. If you’re swimming in an indoor pool, you can create a barrier on your skin by smoothing on a slow-to-absorb lotion or oil such as shea butter or sweet almond oil. If you’re swimming outdoors, putting on an even coat of sunscreen will do to keep your skin protected from the chlorinated water.
Don’t swim if you have open cuts or wounds
Even a nick from a shaving accident or a small cut can get infected if you swim in rivers, lakes, or oceans as these bodies of water may contain bacteria that can be harmful to your skin and your entire wellbeing. Don’t swim if you have an open cut or wound, and make sure that it’s fully healed before taking to the water. You may also want to head to a swimming pool as swimming in chlorinated waters is safe even if you’ve gotten nicked while shaving, but for extra protection, cover the cut with waterproof plasters before getting in the water.
Rinse off and moisturize after swimming
Whether you swim in a pool, in freshwater, or in saltwater, make sure to properly rinse off after swimming to keep your skin in good condition. Rinse off with clean water as soon as you get out of the pool, ocean, or lake, then once you’re in the shower, use a mild soap and shampoo to thoroughly get your skin and hair clean. Pat yourself dry, then immediately apply a lotion or a hydrating body oil to moisturize your skin and to keep it supple.
Swimming can be quite tough on the skin, but if you take precautions, you can have a smooth, supple, and clear complexion even if you’re a frequent swimmer. Try these tips to keep your skin looking healthy and glowing, and keep swimming for your health and happiness.
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Jennifer Trent is a freelance writer and editor. As a former nutrition consultant, her specialist areas include health and nutrition. When not working she loves to read, travel and spend time with her young family.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.