Summer is quickly approaching, and that means it’s almost time for people to hop in the pool and cool off. Even though swimming pools can be extremely soothing, the chlorine and chemicals in pools and hot tubs can be damaging to your skin and hair. However, there are some things you can do that won’t force you to give up your summertime fun. Check out these tips on how to protect your hair and skin while swimming.
According to Ann Marie Gianni, chlorine is an “oxidizing” agent, which means that it can remove gross molecules from water that damage DNA, proteins, lipids, and cells. Because it is such a powerful chemical, it can also do crazy things to your skin and hair. Chlorine can actually remove all natural oils and moisturizers from your skin and can create premature wrinkles and fine lines.
pH levels are also very important. pH levels for water range from one to 14 with seven being neutral. pH levels below seven are said to be acidic, and those above seven are said to be basic or alkaline. Unlike pools and hot tubs, seawater tends to have pH levels of at least eight, and freshwater bodies like lakes, streams, and ponds tend to have pH levels ranging from six to eight.
To prevent damage, Stylecraze says the best way to protect your hair and skin while swimming is all about the prep. Before hopping in the pool or hot tub, take a quick shower. The water from the shower will help hydrate your skin cells and keep them from absorbing the pool water and chemicals. Even though your skin will already be decently hydrated after your shower, it’s still important to continuously hydrate your skin from the inside, out.
You should also drink plenty of water before jumping into the water to create additional moisture. After that, make sure you cover yourself in sunscreen with a high SPF. Not only does the lotion help create a barrier between your skin and the sun, it also helps to keep the chlorine from drying your skin out. The majority of hot tub users like their water temperature between 100 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit, so the moisture would protect your skin from drying out in the heat as well.
If you’ve swum in any water growing up and have blonde hair, chances are you may have heard rumors that your hair will turn green. To prevent that from happening, Arena Water Instinct suggests treating your hair with coconut oil before getting in the water. This will act as a barrier between your hair and the chlorine. You can also wear a silicone swim cap. The cap won’t completely keep your hair dry, but as long as it fits right, you can expect to leave the pool with only fairly damp hair. This will also help to reduce any chlorine damage.
Swimming or soaking in a hot tub is a summer essential. It keeps you cool, relaxes you, or warms you up on those colder summer nights. While pools and hot tubs are so beneficial, they can also do some serious damage to your skin and hair. However taking the proper steps to protect your hair and skin while swimming will allow you to take care of yourself while enjoying the summer sun from the water.