It’s summer, and it’s hot outside. Nothing sounds better than some exercise in the pool. Swimming a great total-body workout that’s easy on the joints and keeps you lean and healthy. But I think we can all agree that the downside of swimming is all the chlorine.
Chlorine can not only turn your skin itchy and red, but it can also make your hair dry and brittle and shred/fade your swimsuits faster than you’d even expect.
Here are some tips to help you prevent chlorine from wrecking your hair, skin and swimsuit:
- Hair Product: Chlorine will strip out the natural oils that protect your hair from damage and daily wear. Before you go swimming, coat your hair with hair product (oil and silicone-based products are the best…as well as coconut oil). These products will help keep your hair shiny and moist.
- Get Wet: Before jumping into the pool drench your head in the shower. This will help slow down the absorption of chlorine. Your hair is like a sponge and will take on less water when it’s wet. (Swim caps are also an option).
- All-Natural Remedies: Apple cider vinegar is a natural clarifier. Add one part vinegar to four parts water and pour it over freshly washed hair. Then, do a final rinse.
- Pamper Your Skin: Dry, chalky (and sometimes red, itchy) skin is no fun. Chlorine strips away the surface layer of oil that usually locks the moisture into your skin. Once you exit the pool, go straight to the shower, take off your suit and flush the chemicals out of your skin with plenty of soap and water. Specialty body washes and lotions are also available at stores.
- Eye Health: Prolonged exposure to chlorine can irritate the surface of your corneas, causing red, itchy eyes. If you wear contacts, toss them as soon as you exit the pool (daily contacts are a great option). Swim goggles also work great (and are also surprisingly affordable).
- Swimwear: In time, the fabric will shred, the color will fade, and the elastic will break down. Thanks a lot, chlorine. When shopping for swimsuits, check the tag to see if it is chlorine-and fade-resistent. High spandex content is a plus. You can also add a few tablespoons of vinegar to your wash. This will help neutralize chlorine, eliminate the smell, and even stop discoloration.
No excuses now! Jump in the pool and have yourself a nice summer-day swim!