Swimming is a fun activity, but chlorine is not good for your skin. While chlorine does protect you from the harmful bacteria that grows in pools, it actually can strip your skin and hair of the oils in charge of keeping your skin and moisture in, while drying out your skin and hair, making it sensitive, flaky and itchy. It also makes your hair and nails brittle and dry. So how do you protect yourself against the negative effects of chlorine? Read on to find out.
Rinse Before Swimming
It is very good for you to rinse before swimming. You should also rinse your skin after you get out of the pool. While it is waterproof, our skin has the chance to absorb chemicals from the water, including chlorine, which causes irritation. If you wet the skin with non-chlorinated water before you go swimming, it actually can prevent the irritation later on. It seems odd, but if the skin is already absorbing that, it can be really beneficial for you.
Now, if you do have the option, swim in the ocean or salt water pools, since they don’t need chlorine tablets. But, rinsing or showering right after you go swimming can help with reducing the moisture that’s lost, and help the skin so that it doesn't get hurt from the prolonged contact.
Apply A Chlorine Neutralizer
Doing this before you go swimming prevents the rashes that are caused by chlorine, and if you have dry skin that is sensitive, you should get the kind that works with sensitive and dry skin. Always make sure that if you're swimming on a sunny day, apply sunscreen before you go into the water.
This is super important to do after you shower, and you should do this whenever you finish showering after you go swimming. You should make sure that you get a lotion that will moisturize and contain ceramides, along with alpha hydroxy acid in order to hydrate and restore the pH of the skin. Most brands have one of these, and you should moisturize your skin, taking a lot of care within the nail area, since this is where the skin is thinnest, and thereby most susceptible to the damage of chlorine. You should always make sure that you take some time and apply it thoroughly against the nails since they can become brittle with time.
Drink a lot of water to help prevent dryness of the skin, hair, and nails. If you are dehydrated, you’ll actually wreck your natural defenses which prevent the chlorine from coming in. What that creates is skin that is dry and can also cause your skin to be further damaged by chlorine. Seriously, you’re essentially hurting yourself even more if you're not drinking enough water, and instead of having healthy skin, you’re only making it worse.
The best thing to do is make sure you’re drinking water every single day. When you go to the bathroom, check your urine. Make sure that it’s never at a darker shade than a light yellow. Water is a big part of your skin’s personal defenses, and our bodies need water, not just to live, but also to prevent the effects from the chlorine.
If you aren’t doing it already, scrub down your body at least two to three times a week with an exfoliation medium. This is a good way to prevent the dead skin and product from building up. If you’re going to the pool a lot, you’re going to have more product on your body, so you should make sure that you take some time and do take care when you’re trying to make your body look great. Scrubbing it down will help with improving the state of our body, and also make your skin look healthier.
Hand And Nail Care
Finally, you should take care of your hands and nails. If you’re going to the pool a lot or swimming a lot, your nails will become brittle after a while, and that's due to submerging the nails in the water - there are pool designs that take this into account. You should also make sure that you wear gloves when you do the dishes and don’t use nail polish remover too much. In fact, you should also be careful when getting your nails done period, adding a hydrating coat for the base of the manicure, which will keep the nails strong. Also, apply a cuticle oil as the final step before you go to bed. This is probably the one place that gets attacked by the effects of chlorine, so make sure that you do keep this in mind when you’re preparing to go swimming.
Protecting your skin after you go to the pool is a great way to offset problems related to your skin drying out, and you can have the happiest, healthiest skin possible. If you’re swimming a lot, or just going to the pool every day with the kids, you should protect your skin from these effects, and make sure that you follow these steps. This will help to protect the skin from the harmful effects of chlorine.
Ultimately, the best way to prevent this is to go swimming in salt water pools, but if you can’t do that, take care and read through this, so you can have the healthiest skin possible.
About The Author:
Emily Bartels loves to write on issues related to health. She has been in the health industry for 5+ years and specializes in writing educative content on health and swimming. She loves to read trending news to keep updated!