Swimming is a great cardio yet non-impact workout, but is it bad for your skin? Are chemicals like chlorine actually harming your skin? Most swimmers have left the pool feeling like their skin is dry and that’s a good initial indicator that your skin doesn’t react well to it. Don’t nix swimming altogether; just follow a couple of skincare tips to restore your skin from the harsh chemicals in pools.
Before we get into the preventive measures to take, it’s important to know why your skin doesn’t prefer chlorine. Chlorine is needed to keep stagnate water safe for use, but in doing so it changes the pH levels in an unfavorable way. To keep pools safe the pH level should be around 7.3; however, your skin’s average pH is 5.5. Even as little as 5 minutes in the pool can make your skin more alkaline. People why naturally dry skin or dealing with issues like eczema will notice the affects of chlorine more.
When it comes to applying sunscreen in the pool all skin types are created equal. Apply sunscreen lotion that is made specifically for dry skin. Granted in the summer you don’t want to be feeling greasy or oily, but those oils will act as a barrier against the chlorinated water. A fail proof plan is to look for sunscreens labeled water resistant. Those are created to resist water from penetrating the skin with heavy emollients.
If you are an indoor swimmer or swimming when you aren’t exposed to sun then make sure you have another oil on your skin that will seal it to keep water out. You can sue a few drops of pure jojoba oil to keep your skin from getting dehydrated.
Once you get out of the pool you should immediately shower. The longer you wait the less effective your oil barrier will be and your skin will probably feel dry.
The next step is restoring your skin’s pH levels by applying an alcohol-free toner after you’ve cleansed your face. Once you’ve done that moisturize your face to seal the properties of the toner. If you want to go the extra step you can add a serum with hyaluronic acid after the toner and before your apply moisturizer.
Give your skin some extra TLC with a hydrating mask. Get the right mask for your skin type and its specific needs.
Now you might think that you get a free pass if you swim in a saltwater pool. They have been advertised to think that they are better for your skin, but they still can use chlorine and will dry out your skin. No matter what pool you swim in keep your skin protected from dehydration and restore it once you’re out.
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