Although fun in the sun is what summer’s all about, a dip in the pool is also necessary to stay cool. Enjoying a germ-free swim is probably your number one priority — a key reason that pool chemicals like chlorine are added to the water. However, chlorine can also dry your skin’s outer layer and make it look less hydrated. To help protect your skin from chlorine irritation, follow these dermatologist-approved tips.
The Effects of Chlorine Exposure on Skin
It’s easy to lose track of time while swimming — the water feels so refreshing on those blistering hot days. But there are downsides to spending a lot of time in the pool.
“Chlorine is added to swimming pools to disinfect and prevent the rise and spread of bacterial, viral, and protozoan diseases,” she explains. “Due to its caustic nature (the ability to burn or destroy living tissue through chemical action), chlorine is a cause of irritant contact dermatitis, namely red, dry, itchy skin.” The term chlorine rash may ring a bell.
Do you need to avoid pools altogether because chlorine isn’t always friendly to skin’s natural moisture levels? Not necessarily. Taking the right steps before and after swimming can help ensure that your skin remains hydrated and healthy.
How To Protect Your Skin While Swimming
The American Academy of Dermatology Association outlines steps to avoid summer skin problems on their website. Try to follow these top three tips before jumping in the pool:
- Apply sunscreen before heading outside. Look for a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, SPF 30+, and water resistance. Reapply approximately every two hours after swimming or sweating – following the bottle’s directions.
- Rinse away the pool water from your skin. Take a shower immediately after getting out of the pool. Use warm water and a mild cleanser or a body wash designed for swimmers.
- Use a fragrance-free moisturizer within five minutes after a shower. Slathering on moisturizer once you’re done showering locks the water in your skin and keeps it hydrated.
For extra protection, try a moisturizing oil like Loumi Skincare’s Rose Glow Illuminating Face Oil (Buy from LoumiSkincare.com, $36). Gently massage two to five drops of oil onto your face and neck area after cleansing to keep your skin nourished all season long.
Spending time in the pool doesn’t have to harm your skin — utilize these tips and you’ll get nothing but fun out of this summertime activity!