Summer Swimming: Skincare Essentials

As the days get hotter, exposing yourself to the blazing heat may not be such a good idea. Sticking to a rigorous workout regimen can also become tricky. Hence, during the summer, a fun and healthy activity that plenty of people turn to is swimming. Diving into the pool can be a great way to ease the scorching heat, while also staying in shape. But before you dive in, it’s a good idea to spend some time prepping your skin to stave off the harmful effects of the chemicals that are added to the pool to keep the water bacteria-free. Without proper skin and hair care, this fun workout can cause some adverse reactions.

Most swimming pools contain chlorine, a chemical that can harm your skin and hair by stripping away the natural oils. And excessive exposure can leave your skin dry and flaky, and make your hair brittle and dry. Here are a few pre- and post-swimming skincare tips that are worth keeping in mind:

Always shower before and after taking a dip. It is essential to wet your skin and hair completely before entering the pool, as it will help prevent your cells from absorbing the harsh chemicals. Showering with soap or another skin cleanser before hand also reduces the likelihood of infections, and keeps the pool from getting dirty. As soon as you get out of the water, it is important to shower again, this time with warm water. Soak your body and hair in warm water, as it helps open up your pores and get rid of any dirt and chemicals on you. Finish off your shower with cold water, as it tightens your pores and prevents the loss of moisture.

Drink plenty of water. While you’re swimming, it’s common to feel less thirsty, but you must make sure to drink plenty of water before stepping into the pool. This physical workout can make you dehydrated and you may not even realise it. Try carrying a water bottle with you to the pool.

Apply sunscreen generously. If you are swimming in an outdoor pool, this is a critical step to follow. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen about 30 minutes before entering the pool, as it can prevent your skin from absorbing the sun’s harmful ultra violet rays as well as the chlorine in the water. If you’re swimming indoors, you can use any type of light oil to protect your skin.

Wear a swim cap. Along with proper skincare, it is equally important to attend to your hair before jumping into the pool. While some people prefer stepping into the pool without wearing a swim cap, doing so can lead to significant hair damage. Wearing a cap can prevent your hair from getting exposed to the chlorine, which tends to make it dry and can also lead to hair fall. Swim caps are available in silicone, latex, and lycra, so pick one depending on your preference.

Moisturise. This is a crucial step post swimming. Even after thoroughly rinsing your body with a gentle soap, make sure to moisturise your skin well. It helps keep your skin smooth. Constantly exposing your skin to the harsh chemicals of the pool can make it dry and patchy. Apply moisturiser while your skin is still damp, as it helps to retain your skin’s natural oils. People who swim on a regular basis should use creams instead of lotions, as they provide more hydration.      

- Akhila