Cannonball!!! When the heat arrives, is your first thought to immediately jump into a beautiful pool? Same, girl. Same. Summers are meant to be spent by the water so you can easily stay cool, float, frolic, and swim.
You’ve probably got your beach bag ready with a new swimsuit, towel, and good book. Before you dive in, let’s spend some time prepping your skin, too. We’re sharing our pre and post-swimming tips for magical mermaids to keep your skin balanced and gorgeous.
My Chemical Romance
Not to rain on your parade, but this is your reminder that pools are riddled with irritants, like chlorine. I’m a weirdo and seriously love the smell of chlorine. Don’t judge. Chlorine is a chemical substance added to pools to protect you from the bacteria growing in them. It can leave skin dry, tight, and raw if you skip some basic skincare tweaks.
Chlorine is the most infamous complexion-wrecking culprit due to its propensity to strip skin of its natural oils as it messes with pH balance. Once you change the pH of the skin, you start to disrupt the skin barrier. It can start to lose water and become dry and irritated.
While chlorine’s harsh effects on the scalp (hello, green hair) get a lot of attention, it turns out that pool chemicals may be equally unkind to your skin if you’re not careful. If you’ve ever felt itchy after swimming in a pool, you know what we’re talking about.
You may be wondering about saltwater pools as an alternative. They do tend to be kinder to skin but are still more foe than friend to a swimmer’s skin. Thankfully, there are some small but effective skincare swaps and swimming etiquette switch-ups that can make a world of difference both in and out of the pool.
SLATHER UP BEFORE YOU DIVE IN
Now is a good time to consider your boundaries. Before exposing it, prep your skin by creating an extra barrier between your skin and the pool or sea water. Apply a natural moisturizer all over and an emollient on areas prone to irritation. Look for products with glycerin, oils or petrolatum listed on the ingredients. Even just some cream around the eyes where you put your goggles will do the trick.
Troublemaker Note: Not all pools allow moisturizers to be worn by swimmers, as they may interfere with the disinfecting chemicals. Check the rules before lathering up.
KEEP YOUR HAIR HAPPY
Our hair can also be stripped of moisture after spending time in the pool. To prep your hair pre-swim, try wetting your hair with regular water and applying a leave-in conditioner. If that’s too much work, dig into some coconut oil or any natural oil. Massaging the oil on the roots of your hair will hydrate it enough.
Additionally, consider a sweet swimming cap to help protect your hair from coming in direct contact with the water as much as possible!
POST SWIM TIPS
DON’T WAIT TO AIR DRY!
After a cool dip, you may be tempted to just retire to your towel and let the sun dry you off. You may think that air-drying is beneficial for the skin, but that’s simply not the case. Air-drying will lead to more dryness!
The longer that you leave pool water on your skin, the more time it has to have its way with it. Use a mild and hydrating cleanser or body wash to begin restoring the skin’s pH balance from the pool chemicals.
We recommend rinsing off with warm-to-cool, clean water to avoid additional dryness that hot water adds. After rinsing off, dry yourself with a cotton towel reapply a moisturizer to restore hydration to the skin. If you’re planning to stay in the sun after that, it’s time to apply more SPF, of course.
For your hair, It is best to use a clarifying shampoo as this can help in balancing the pH levels of the scalp after coming in contact with chlorine. Don’t scrub your scalp too much as this can cause irritation. Let your last hair rinse be with cold water to protect your roots and seal this off with some leave-in conditioner.
LOCK IN THE MOISTURE
If your skin is still feeling dry or flaky after you get home from the pool, switch to a thicker moisturizer or ointment. Remember, lotions are not as hydrating as creams. After a long day in the sun, apply a thick emollient (ointment) to the skin from the neck down before going to bed. This will further help keep skin barrier intact. The stronger it is, the less damage that pool or sea water can cause.
As for your moisturizer, its role should be to hydrate and lock moisture in. A moisturizer with ceramides, like Serene Marine natural body cream, in it to help replace the fats swimming strips from the skin. Ceramides are lipids that are naturally found in the upper layers of the skin that act as ‘bricks’ between skin cells. They’re vital for a strong barrier and firm skin.
Creams with glycerin are also worth looking out for when reading your labels. Glycerin is a humectant that further boosts hydration levels.
DON’T FORGET YOUR FACE!
Remember to rinse your face right after the pool, too! Hydration before and after a pool day is key. Luckily, swimming doesn’t usually lead to breakouts on your face. However, it may be as dry and irritating for the face as for the rest of your body.
Layering can be an effective plan of action when it comes to your face. If your skin’s especially dry, try a serum containing hyaluronic acid which can hold 1000 times its weight in water. It increases the hydration of the outer layer of the skin. And, bonus, it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
PRO TIP: Our Cactus Crush and Serene Marine natural creams contain botanical hyaluronic acid, so go ahead and try these light creams on your face!
BONUS: Nail care
Constant contact with Chlorine makes the nails brittle and damages the healthy, top layer of your natural nails. To pay extra attention to your nails, avoid using acetone nail enamel removers too often. Use regular olive oil or cuticle oil to massage your cuticles every night and protect them with a hydrating basecoat before a manicure.
Using a hand cream with hyaluronic acid and softening rosewater, like Rose Glow hand cream, after the pool and after hand-washing keeps the delicate skin hydrated, soft, and plump.
There you have it! Just follow these simple methods so your skin and hair remain their healthiest as you soak up the summer vibes! Be a mermaid but take a pass on those scales.