Summer is here and we're sure you're all enjoying your swims. Here are a few pointers by guest contributor Emily Matthews on how to take care of your skin and hair while you're out there soaking up the sun!
This post talks about tips and tricks for protecting your skin and hair from chlorine damage when swimming. Let's start off with how to prepare your hair and skin prior to swimming and how to get rid of any lingering chlorine when you’re done!
1. Pre-Swim Rinse
Taking a quick shower before entering the pool hydrates the top layer of the skin which keeps it from drying out. Rinsing your hair prevents it from soaking up chemicals in the water and helps fight against chemical damage. A great tip for those of you with blonde or coloured hair, is to use coconut oil to prevent the chlorine turning your hair green! It hydrates the hair cuticle with a layer of moisturiser that seals and stops the chlorine from affecting your hair colour.
2. Sensitive Skin
If your skin is sensitive to chlorine, you can buy chlorine neutralising body lotion and use this in your pre dip shower! This will help to prevent your skin from breaking out in a rash or being dry and itchy during and after your swim. This is a good tip for those who suffer from eczema so as to avoid any skin conditions from flaring up. If you are a regular swimmer you may want to incorporate this product into your daily skin routine, however for one off swimmers keep a bottle handy to use in the pool showers before your swim!
Some swimmers may find that areas of the body chafe throughout their workout. A good tip is to apply petroleum jelly to these areas prior to your swim to ease the irritation and avoid damage to the skin. Chaffing may affect regular swimmers who do an intense work out as their arms and legs constantly move at a fast pace . Casual swimmers shouldn't find the problem occurring so much, but keep a tub floating around in your swimming bag just in case!
4. Post-Swim Rinse
Once you leave the pool the next step of your beauty regime commences! Make sure you have a thorough shower for several minutes to allow the fresh water to wash away as much chlorine as possible. Lingering chlorine can cause irritation later on in the day and the smell will hang around until you shower again. So, having a good soak straight after your swim is a simple way of eliminating the chemicals on your skin and hair.
5. Cleansing Your Skin
Aqueous cream is a neutral body wash alternative that is perfect for all skin types, especially those with sensitive skin or skin conditions. Other lotions that are lanolin based or contain aloe vera, are also good for the skin after swimming. Using these products will help restore moisture to your skin once you’re out of the chlorine!
6. Eliminating Chemicals in Your Hair
You should wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo that contains EDTA to make sure there is no chemical residue remaining in your hair. Apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy to remove residue in your hair, although I have never taken this to my local swimming baths! Finally, always condition your hair after washing to leave it soft and shiny!
7. Drying Tips
Now that you’re out of the pool and out of the shower, it’s almost time to get dressed! For some reason whenever we go swimming it seems impossible to fully dry ourselves before trying to slip back into our clothes! Apply talcum powder to the areas that are hardest to dry such as your feet and upper body. This seems to work wonders every time and makes it much easier to get dressed.
8. Silky Smooth Skin
The final step is to apply a moisturiser to re-hydrate your skin and leave it feeling smooth! By now your skin has gone through a lot of steps to restore and avoid chemical damage from the chlorine and now that you have washed away all of that chlorine and fully dried the skin, applying any moisturiser will leave you with smooth, hydrated skin!
Looking after your skin is important and if you are a regular swimmer it is a good tip to follow a similar regime throughout the week, so your skin is always prepared. The more sensitive your skin is the more precautions you need to take, so it is important to know what products will help you most and keep your skin in a healthy condition!