We all understand that time in the sun means time spent applying appropriate sunblock to protect our skin from harmful UV rays. But if you’re planning on swimming regularly in your pool, did you know there are other steps you need to take to protect and replenish your skin and hair?
The good news is there are simple things you can do before–and after–you enjoy your swimming pool that can protect your skin and hair from the sun, as well as from the chemicals in the swimming pool.
Before Jumping In the Pool
Always apply waterproof sunscreen prior to entering swimming pools. This is a must for pool skin care. Look for products that are sweat free, oil-free and offer all-day skin care protection. There are also some sunscreens that contain vitamins A, C and E to help moisturize while they protect which can keep your skin from drying out. Make sure you evenly apply the sunscreen to all exposed areas of your body and don’t forget the tops of your ears and the tops of your feet! Always follow the product’s label for recommended reapplications.
It’s also a good idea to use a conditioner for your hair that contains an SPF. This will prevent your hair from “bleaching out” in the pool due to a mixture of chemical and sun exposure. Hats or swim caps can also protect your hair (while providing some relief from squinting) from the sun and the pool chemicals.
After Your Swim
Shampoo and conditioners specially formulated for “swimmer’s hair” are recommended for those who are in swimming pools on a daily basis. Rinsing hair with lemon juice or vinegar after swimming is an at-home care remedy that can also work well. Create your own home-remedy hair pack by using an egg yolk, honey, avocado or mayonnaise. Massage a few tablespoons into your scalp and then wrap your head in a warm towel and wait about 10-15 minutes before shampooing. Really! This works!
And finally: If possible, shower as soon as you can after getting out of the swimming pool. Use a body wash with petrolatum or glycerin. These help your skin to moisturize and rehydrate while you’re in the shower. Pat yourself dry with a towel instead of rubbing to help your skin maintain more of its moisture. While your skin is still moist, apply a lotion that contains alpha hydroxyl, lactic or glycolic acids which penetrate deeply. Examples of lotions are Cetaphil, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula and Eucerin.
Pool skin care isn’t brain surgery–taking logical, common-sense steps to sun-protection and keeping your skin moisturizing will ensure a summer full of fun while minimizing damage to your hair and skin.