Skincare for Swimming Season
As the temperatures start to rise, our thoughts turn to vacations and the idea of a long cold swim. As any professional or recreational swimmer will tell you, swimming is great for your body. But it can also wreak havoc on your skin. So if you intend to get in the pool this summer season, you’ll need to take some skincare precautions first. And as any professional esthetician will tell you, there is specific skincare for swimming season.
A beach holiday can cause your skin some serious trauma if you don’t prep first. Even being a regular visitor to the hotel pool can dry out your skin. Do you know that weird chemical smell you get on your skin after a dip in a swimming pool? Imagine what it’s doing to your skin if it smells that bad?
What To Do Before You Go Swimming?
It’s not just the salt, chlorine, and other chemicals that can mess with your skin’s comfort zone. Sitting around in the sunshine getting a tan (please don’t – the shade is so much better for you) won’t help your skin’s condition, not using enough sunscreen with a high enough SPF, forgetting to reapply sunscreen after a swim, and letting the skin get too dry in the heat can all cause skin acre stress.
If your skin is dry and itchy, it’s probably down to chemicals in the pool. They have to be there to kill bugs, but in some countries, they can be a little over-zealous, and the result is itchy, dry skin that doesn’t look great uncovered for your Instagram pool shots. Even ozone pools can irritate some people’s skin, so be aware before you take a dip. Seawater can be harsh on your skin, too; although the mineral content is beneficial in some places and can soothe skin conditions, saltwater can be an irritant.
Keep yourself hydrated – if your skin is thirsty, it’s more prone to chlorine and other damage. Chlorine breaks down your skin’s natural defenses to other irritants, too, so make sure that you drink plenty of water to help the skin resist chlorine’s effects. Staying hydrated also prevents sunstroke and general dehydration, which can creep up on you quickly in a hot climate. Always carry a bottle of water with you and sip from it regularly – your skin will thank you, and you don’t always realize how much extra water you’ll need.
What To Do After?
Always shower after you’ve been in the water – don’t just get straight onto the sun loungers. This washes off any salt, chlorine, or other nasties that might have been in the water and gives you a better base on which to apply your moisturizing sunscreen.
It’s more effective to use a normal sunscreen and reapply it after you’ve been swimming than rely on waterproof. If you wash the chlorine off in the shower after your swim, you’ll be taking some of the waterproof sunscreens with you, and you never really know how much will be left. Opt for a decent SPF (50 if the sun is strong) and keep slapping it on.
Wash your swimwear thoroughly after you’ve been in the water – this prevents rashes and irritation under your costume or bikini.
When you’re indoors again, apply a good moisturizing body lotion all over to replenish the moisture you’ve lost through sun, sea, and chlorine.
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