Summer is here and we are spending more time outdoors and pools are open for business. Whether you swim for leisure, regular exercise or just seasonally, this post is for you.
Anyone that has been in a chlorinated pool is familiar with the desert like tight, dry feeling experienced when you get out of the water. Obviously, the issue here is the chlorine; particularly its pH level and how it effects skin. The optimum pH for pool water is 7.4. While chlorine is amazing at keeping us safe (its main purpose is to disinfect), the skin’s natural pH is somewhere around 5.5. Meaning that whenever your skin is exposed to chlorinated water, it will intrinsically raise your skin’s natural pH, creating an environment that generally causes dryness and disruption in the skin’s natural moisture barrier. This is a special concern for those prone to dryness or with skin conditions such as eczema. Swimming is an awesome form of exercise and a fun leisure activity. Following these four tips can help prevent the skin issues associated with it.
CREATE A PROTECTIVE BARRIER
Consider a water-resistant sunscreen or oil; for all skin types. Sunscreen or some tip involving sunscreen will show up in most posts. On every site. Get over it. Save your lightweight sunscreens for fun times out of the pool and reach for heavier sunscreens while swimming outdoors. “Water resistant” formulas are a great place to start as they are heavier, will hold up longer and create a protective barrier that prevents the pool chemicals from doing as much damage. If you’re swimming when there is no sunlight or indoors, protect your skin with oil instead of sunscreen. I prefer jojoba oil massaged into the skin to prevent it from drying out.
You want to limit the skin’s exposure to chlorine as much as possible. The quicker your rinse off after swimming, the better.
APPLY AN ALCOHOL FREE TONER
If you can’t cleanse your skin immediately, at least wiping with a gentle, alcohol free toner is a great way to restore the skin’s pH (remember, chlorine raises it from around 5.5 to 7.4). Follow up with a serum and/or moisturizer to hydrate zapped skin cells.
MASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE
After swimming is a great time to give the skin an added boost of moisture with a hydrating mask to deeply repair and moisturizer. More oily skin types will find relief with oil-free gel masks while a cream-based mask will be more beneficial for normal to dry skin types.
Whether you are a graceful mermaid or a doggy-paddling stud, swimming is a great activity for everyone and should be enjoyed with healthy skincare in mind.
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