5 Skin-Care Tips: The Swimmer Version

Skin Care

5 Skin Care Tips: The Swimmer Version

Picture this.  It’s mid-winter, you’re walking off the pool deck and into the locker room to change.  As you make your way to your bag, you pass a mirror and – gasp!  You can’t even recognize yourself with all that dry skin you see.  And what is all that red itchiness? Gross.  Sound too familiar?  That’s because if you’re a swimmer, you have put your skin through years of damage without even realizing it.  Chlorine strips away the natural oils in our skin and leads to dryness, itchiness, acne outbreaks, and even sun damage due to the fact our skin is just not as healthy.  Good thing there are some ways to combat all of this.  Here’s a headstart on how to do just that…


Two words.  Premature aging.  I bet you didn’t know swimmers have a higher risk at that just from the dryness and protein damage we undergo.  Applying a little SPF or pre-swimming lotion every morning or before swimming will go such a long way.  It creates a protective layer for your skin and will block chlorine as well as allowing your skin to maintain a decent amount of moisture.  This is more important than you would think because without a consistent skin care routine, chlorine can settle into your skin. For swimmers, this can also be the cause for rashes, acne, and premature aging. 

Shower ASAP

No time to waste here.  When keeping your skin’s best interest in mind, it is important to try and shower or rinse off as soon as you can after swimming.  Also, if you’re thinking about taking a steaming, hot shower, maybe think again.  As tempting as the hot shower sounds (who doesn’t love a hot shower), warm water will open up your pores just fine without harming your skin.  When finishing up, if you turn the water to a colder temperature, you will tighten up your pores again, allowing the moisture to stay in.  

Take Better Care of your Swimwear

Chlorine is more damaging on swimwear fabrics than fresh water and salt water is.  Obviously it can leave bright colors looking faded over time, but it also is not healthy for your skin to be wearing the same, chlorine-filled suit each day without wash.  If you really want to take good care of your suits and skin by going that extra mile, adding a few tablespoons of vinegar to your wash helps in neutralizing chlorine and preventing discoloration.  Also, the whiff of chlorine people smell when you walk by them may be a little less noticeable by doing this, which is always a perk.

Herbal Tea

You may be skeptical about this one, but it has been proven to work, and just makes sense.  Any herbal teas that have a rich antioxidant content will benefit you and your skin. It helps in relieving the stress of oxidative damage your skin undergoes and gives you antioxidants in return.  The antioxidants neutralize free radicals that harm your skin.  In case you were waiting around for my opinion, green tea never disappoints.  However, red fruit herbal tea and matcha tea are both good options, being high in antioxidants and filled with other benefits as well.  


You can lather on all the lotion in the world but that won’t mean that your skin is hydrated from the inside.  As swimmers, if we do not hydrate enough, our skin will absorb the pool water each day from the lack of moisture in our skin.  Aside from the fact that being hydrated regulates body temperature, keeps your joints lubricated, prevents infections, improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood, it is the best thing you can do for your skin and overall well-being.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.