Most swimming pool sanitizers take the shotgun approach: they attack all organic material just to get at bacteria. Unfortunately, “all organic material” may also include your living skin, depending on which brand you’re using.
If you’re concerned about how pool chemicals can affect the health of your skin, here are seven ways to prevent sanitizers from causing damage:
- Shower After and Before
- Use Coconut Oil Before Swimming
- Use Vitamin C Spray After Getting out of the Pool
- Use Alternative Sanitizers
- Monitor Levels Daily
- Clean your Hair
Showering after makes sense for your skin: no need to wear that chlorine all day! But showering before can help you, as well. Dirt and bacteria on your skin reacts with the chlorine, producing by-products that can soak in. Not to mention that when you’re going into a pool unshowered, you’re bringing a day’s worth of grime with you. This can affect not only everyone else using the pool, but it can also affect you next time you take a dip!
Your skin is protected against chlorine by the awesome-sounding “acid mantle,” a layer of oil and acidic moisture that neutralizes alkaline chlorine. Coconut oil is gently acidic and strengthens this barrier against a long swim.
Chlorine and its byproducts stick to skin and hair, and are often difficult to remove. Think about how long after a swim you can still get a faint whiff of chlorine- That’s how long it sticks to you! Vitamin C spray breaks down the chlorine bonds and makes it much easier to remove, and is healthy for your skin to boot.
Sanitizer eats the oil and protein on the top level of your skin, drying it out. If you keep hydrated and moisturized throughout the day, you will have a decreased chance of developing wrinkles or cracks in your skin.
Bromine is a little pricier than chlorine, but it’s also a lot easier on the skin. It’s a good option if you want a less damaging and lower maintenance pool.
An even gentler option are saltwater sanitation systems. Though new, these systems tend to be much easier on the skin than more chemical-reliant ones.
Chemical levels in pools are more stable than in hot tubs, but they do move up and down over the course of a week. If the pH leaves normal bonds, you may open up your skin to rashes, infections, and other damage. Lean towards checking your pool chemistry too much, rather than not enough.
Deep-shampooing your hair after swimming isn’t just about your hair, it’s also about your skin! Hair is a big sponge that soaks up chemicals. If you sweat later, then the sweat will wash these chemicals down into your face. Take care of them before it comes to that.
For more information about how to make your pool water easier on your skin, talk to the experts at Solda Pools!