Swimming in either a chlorinated pool or a natural body of water can wreak havoc on your skin, with many possible irritants lurking in the water. Skin care remedies that minimize discomfort are easy to do at home, and include washing, moisturizing and purifying your skin after each swim session.
Showering and washing your body and hair with soap and warm water is a skin care "must" after swimming. When you get out of a swimming pool, chlorine bonds to your skin, according to British Swimming. Removing the potent chemical can prevent you from breaking out in a rash in response to the irritant. Swimming in the ocean and other bodies of water can also cause skin problems in some people, due to the high salt content of seawater, and algae and other plant life present in lakes and rivers. Wash your swimsuit with soap as well, to avoid skin irritations the next time you put it on.
Swimming pools are routinely shocked with chlorine to kill bacteria to keep you free of infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control, but the chemical can contribute to dry skin. Applying a lotion or cream-based moisturizer to your skin after your post-swim shower can remedy the dryness over time. Over-the-counter products are sufficient for most cases of chlorine-induced dryness. If your skin continues to be irritated after swimming or if you develop flaky patches consistent with eczema, contact your doctor to discuss your treatment options.
Drinking water is another skin care remedy that you can apply not only after swimming, but before you head to the pool as well. Drinking plenty of fresh water helps to purify your skin, replenishes moisture you have lost through sun exposure and flushes out toxins, of which chlorine may be one. British Swimming concurs, stating that your skin is more likely to feel rough and dry if you are dehydrated. Your skin will stay more supple when you are hydrated from the inside out.
Erica Roth has been a writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her articles appear on various websites.