Swimming is, no doubt, a fun activity in the summertime. Most pools are chlorinated, you’re probably familiar with how your skin can feel tight or dry when you get out of the water. But is this an issue for the skin? Do the chemicals harm the skin’s overall health? As a Medical aesthetician and biochemist, I certainly would advise aqua lovers to take protective steps to prevent any potential skin irritations or problems.
What Does Chlorine Do To the Skin?
While Chlorine disinfects the pool at a pH of 7.2-7.4, that pH makes it not beneficial to your skin. The skin’s natural pH is 5.5 which means that exposing your skin to chlorine (for even as little as 5 minutes) will inherently raise its pH and put it in an alkaline state. Higher pH's make the skin dry, and that's never beneficial for the skin—particularly for those already prone to dry skin and skin conditions like eczema.
Tip #1 - Prep Your Skin + SPF Away!
Using a waterproof sunscreen is not just a fun thing you do to avoid tanning. SPF will form a protective barrier on top of your skin, keeping the chlorine from drying it out excessively. It will also prevent sun damage (and premature aging if you are a regular swimmer.) The pre-swimming lotion is also a good idea as these are specially formulated to block chlorine and retain moisture in your skin. Protect your skin's barrier, it's a MUST!
Tip #2 - Take a Quick Shower Before & After
A quick shower before a dip is, more often than not, mandatory at most public pools. A shower keeps the pool from getting too dirty and it will also help hydrate your skin cells, keeping them from absorbing the pool water, reinforcing your sun-block barrier. A shower immediately after will save you from chlorine dryness. The longer the chlorine remains on the skin, the drier it gets. Rinse away!
Tip #3 - Hydrate Without Question!
One of the best ways to ensure that your skin does not get dehydrated is to keep sipping on some water while you swim. Make sure that you consume enough water throughout the day so that your skin is healthy and does not try to make up for lack of moisture by absorbing pool water. Another skin-saving hack is to use super hydrating serums like our peptide quench serum. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser once you’re out of the pool, but wiping over the skin with an alcohol-free toner is also a great way to restore the correct pH to the skin. Leave it damp on the skin and immediately follow with a moisturizer so the hydrating properties of the toner will be sealed into the skin, providing essential nourishment and replenishment.
Tip #4: Treat Your Skin to a Post-Swim Mask
Masks are always a way to pamper your skin at your convenience, so throwing in a hydrating mask post-swim is definitely a relaxing thing to do! If you’re more of an oily/combination and acne-prone skin type, use an oil-free, water-based gel mask to deliver hydration deep in the skin. If you lean more towards a normal or dry skin type and your skin doesn’t produce very much oil, then using a cream-based mask will be most beneficial for repairing the skin with its deeply moisturizing and soothing properties. You can also go the natural route by choosing an active but super hydrating ingredient like ALOE VERA, it's a go-to for me (keep it in your fridge for that cold soothing feeling).
Tip #5: Commit To Your Skincare Routine
We want you to enjoy your summer, and wonderful activities like swimming. It's so important to stay true to your simple but active routine. Keep it simple but be so intentional. After swimming be sure to cleanse - tone - serumize - moisturize - protect (SPF). Don't hesitate to connect with us on social @SERUMIZE.