It’s understandable to be concerned about a chemical that dries out skin and hair and that has a smell that can linger long after a shower. But for the most part, experts say, there’s no reason to worry.
Chlorine is the most common water treatment to kill bacteria living within it. Chlorine is added not only to swimming pools, but also is often found in tap water.
But the chlorine used to keep out harmful bacteria from the pool water can also strip your hair and skin of its natural oils. This can cause dry skin, brittle hair.
How do you keep working on your swimmer physique while also maintaining beautiful skin and hair? With a couple easy steps, you can prevent and treat the effects of chlorine on your body.
Dry hair will absorb chlorine directly into the hair shaft, but wet hair will slow down its absorption.
Wet your hair and add an oil or silicone-based hair product like conditioner, serum or coconut oil. This will act as a barrier to the chlorine without leaving a residue in the water.
Consider a swim cap. Not the most fashionable, but its 99% effective! It’s still a good idea to wet your hair even when wearing a swim cap since it doesn’t keep the water out 100%. An easy trick is to use some warm water to help get your cap on, both wetting your hair and making it easier to put on.
It’s not recommended to use any barrier products to protect your skin before entering the pool. It doesn’t do much and it also can effect the pools chemistry.
Since Chlorine strips your skin of its natural oils (while also protecting you against harmful bacteria in your pool water) you will want to take care of your skin to prevent dryness and any rashes for those with very sensitive skin.
Right after your swim, go straight to the shower and rinse the chemicals off your skin with soap and water. If your skin is super sensitive, you can opt for swimmer specific body washes that will neutralize the chlorine. Also we would recommend to use the Shower Oil after your swim class, not the gel. It extra moisturizes your skin.
If you’re going to use moisturizer, look for products high in antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin C. These will help neutralize the chlorine as well.
Proper care and maintenance can significantly lengthen the life of your swimsuit.
Your swimsuit should be rinsed as soon as possible in cool, tap water after each time you wear it whether for swimming or sunbathing.
If you have time to allow the suit to soak in cool water for 30 minutes, that is even better for the fabric. This will remove most of the chemicals and sand and body soil that can damage the fabric.
Perspiration and body oils react with the elasticity of the fibers causing them to stretch so removing them as soon as possible is important to help a swimsuit keep its shape. Almost every swimsuit contains spandex or Lycra, so again, prompt cleaning is important. The chlorine in pools and hot tubs can harm a swimsuit’s elasticity and cause the fabric to change color. White swimsuits are particularly susceptible to chlorine and will turn yellow because chlorine eats away the white fibers surrounding the inner yellow cor of synthetic fibers.
After rinsing out the suit, you must hand wash your suit. Plain water does not remove all of the salt or chlorine. Refill the sink with cool water and add just a tablespoon or less of liquid neutral detergent.
Don’t use powders because they may not dissolve completely or rinse away well. And, never use chlorine bleach. If you are in a pinch, you can use just a dab of shampoo to wash your suit. Skip any combination products that contain hair conditioners.
Turn your swimsuit inside out and submerge it in the water.
Swish for several minutes and then rinse well. Gently squeeze – don’t wring – the water out of the fabric. Spread your suit flat to dry in a spot out of direct sunlight. The UV rays from the sun can both fade and break down the fibers in your suit. Never use an automatic clothes dryer.
If you love to visit the pool, consider purchasing a cleanser just for swimwear, you can usually fin in it in big sport shops.
Specially formulated swimsuit detergents neutralize chlorine, fight odors and deter color from fading. Some products also prevent saltwater damage and remove sunscreen. To use a swimsuit detergent, follow the directions on the bottle.