Swimming remains one of the most fun and enjoyable forms of exercise. Not only does it help in weight loss, but it also tones your entire body and keeps your cardiovascular health under check. However, as much as swimming is great for your body, it can spell doom for your hair and skin, due to the presence of chlorine in the water. However, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can take good care of yourself, while enjoying this aquatic exercise. Read on as Dr. Abhishek Pilani, MD Dermatologist shares tips to take care of your skin and hair before and after swimming.
Lather up on the sunscreen
The more open your pool is; the higher SPF you need. Apply a waterproof sunscreen of 50 SPF or more, 15 minutes before you step into the pool - make sure to cover all exposed areas of your body, including your back, neck, and legs. In case you intend to spend more than three hours in the pool, reapply it whilst you take a break.
Take a cool shower
This will close up your skin pores and an already wet surface will absorb less of the chlorine water in the pool. For hair, you can also apply a leave-in conditioner before you enter the pool. On another note, showering before a swim will also help keep the pool clean for you and the others.
Also Read: From Asthma to Sleep, Know the Many Health Benefits of Swimming
Invest in good quality swimming caps/goggles
While most pools make it compulsory to wear protective gear before you step into the pool, make sure to buy yours from a reputed brand. Both the cap and the goggles should fit you well and not be loose, thus making it easier for chlorine water to find its way in.
Use a hair spray with sunscreen
This one will go a long way in protecting your tresses, which, despite the head covering, can be subjected to the harsh rays of the sun. For best results, use it all over your hair before you comb or brush, 15 minutes before you step inside the pool. Use hair spray with sunscreen to protect your hair.
Oiling your body and hair will form a protective coating and you will absorb less of the chlorine water. You do not have to invest in any fancy product for this, just your regular coconut oil (preferably cold-pressed) will do the trick.
Keep yourself hydrated
Dehydrated skin can manifest itself as dry, itchy, and flaky; this can further be aggravated by the harsh chlorine water. Make sure you keep sipping on the water before you step into the pool, or whenever you take a break. You can also try herbal/green teas for their antioxidant properties.
Also Read: 9 Herbal Drinks For Fasting to Keep You Hydrated
Take a shower soon after
Rinse your body well with fresh water as soon as you step out of a pool. For your hair, use a chlorine removal shampoo, followed by a heavy conditioner to tackle dryness and an itchy scalp.
Chlorine water can quickly dry out your skin, so make sure that you replenish it by applying a thick, soothing moisturizer. If your skin feels itchy and red, use an aloe-based moisturiser with cooling properties.
Take care of your swimwear
Chlorine as a substance can not only fade your swimwear, but if not washed off properly, it can wreak havoc on your skin. Make sure to wash your swimwear thoroughly after each swimming session and dry it in the sun for some time before you hit the pool again. If you are someone who swims every day, invest in two or more pairs so that you can use a fresh one each time.