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How to protect your skin from chlorine after swimming

Skin Care By Naomi Mruttu
Photo; Courtesy

Swimming is excellent exercise, as it is both enjoyable and tones your body; however, chlorine is a toxic chemical. It is a necessary component of swimming pools due to its disinfectant qualities.

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Chlorine’s harsh composition strips the skin of its natural oils, therefore, exacerbating moisture loss in the skin that leads to dehydration. It can make your skin look dull and dark. To prevent this, take a few minutes to follow these simple tips before you jump in the pool.

1. Rinse skin before swimming

Chlorine can cause skin irritation. While technically water proof, our skin has the capacity to absorb chemicals from water sources. This means that exposure to chlorine, as found in swimming pools, can cause skin irritation in the form of contact dermatitis. Wetting the skin with non-chlorinated water prior to exposure can lessen the amount that can be absorbed and lower the risk of irritation.

2. Chlorine neutralizer

Apply a chlorine neutralizing lotion to your skin before you swim. It will prevent rashes that are caused by chlorine and minimize any skin damage. If you have sensitive or dry skin, you may use a cream formulated for dry and damaged skin before you swim. If you’re swimming outdoors, apply sunscreen as the water magnifies UV rays.

3. Rinse skin immediately

Rinse your skin with fresh water as soon as you get out of the pool. If you have the option, swim in salt water pools or in the ocean. These pools do not require the addition of chlorine tablets or powders, and are less problematic for skin. Showering immediately after exposure can help to reduce the moisture loss by ensuring the skin does not suffer prolonged contact.

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4. Moisturize

When your skin is constantly immersed in water, it can become dry and cracked. As soon as you emerge from the pool; rinse off the chlorine and apply moisturizer to your skin. A moisturizer traps your skin’s natural oil if you apply it while your skin is still damp. If you swim regularly, use creams rather than lotions as they are more hydrating.

5. Keep your body hydrated

Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water and minimizing the intake of caffeine and alcohol. Dehydration decreases the skin’s natural defenses which make the skin more likely to be damaged by chlorine. Ensure that your urine is never darker than light yellow.

6. Exfoliate

Scrub your face and body at least two to three times a week. Exfoliating allows you to get rid of dead skin and any product build up.

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