Love The Skin You’re In: SwimSpray Series on Healthy Swimming


By Aimee Schmitt.

Every time you get in the pool, you think about the gear you put on your body– goggles, swimsuit, cap, etc.  But, do you think about your skin—the miraculous natural barrier that protects you from the outside environment; the living organ that allows you to feel the water as protects you from it? How well do you know your skin and the gear you need to take care of it?

Skin is the human body’s largest organ.  As such, it performs a range of different functions which include physically protecting your bones, muscles and internal organs, protecting your body from outside diseases, allowing you to feel and react to heat and cold as well as using blood to regulate your body temperature.   Your skin works hard for you and often the environment you expose it to makes it work overtime–especially swimmer environments.  Three of the biggest environmental factors swimmers deal with that affects the skin’s health are:

  1. Sun
  2. Chlorine
  3. Shaving

Your Skin and Sun— Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin.  This damage is also referred to as “free radical” damage caused by oxidation.  Sunburn is a typical example of free radical damage as overexposure to sun causes free radicals . What are free radicals?  Put simply, they are highly reactive molecules that react with (and damage) your healthy molecules. When this happens,  free radicals create an endless cycle of more dysfunctional molecules that battle to rob your healthy ones, and so on–the downward spiral of oxidation…this is what leads skin to start appearing old.

How can you prevent or slow oxidation from happening to your skin?  According to dermatologists, in addition to a good sunscreen to prevent damage from the sun’s rays,  the best defense against oxidation is to use an “anti-oxidant”.  Anti-oxidants prevent the formation of free radicals and keep them from spreading.

In their article on how to reverse sun damage, Women’s Health magazine recommends vitamin-C serums as the best type of anti-oxidant to help repair sun damage to skin.

Swimmers have the best source of vitamin-C anti-oxidant serum available to them in an easy to use format–SwimSpray.  Arguably the best anti-oxidant formula you can buy because the active ingredient in SwimSpray  is a pharmaceutical grade Vitamin-C formula.   The same property that gives it the power to neutralize chlorine is also a powerful anti-oxidant that is good for your skin and for repairing damage from long term sun exposure.

Your skin and Chlorine–While chlorine is an important part of keeping pools sanitary, it is also recognized as a very caustic chemical.  It’s job is to kill living bacteria.  What most people do not realize about chlorine is that it naturally seeks out protein molecules to which to attach itself.  Your skin is made up of protein molecules.  So anytime you enter into an environment that has chlorine, your skin is absorbing chlorine.  Chlorine cannot be washed off with normal soap and water, because it chemically bonds to skin cells.  Remember the free radical oxidants from the above paragraph? That is what chlorine is being–a free radical, and causing things like “swimmers itch”, “chlorine sensitivity”, “swimmers eczema”, and chlorine “burn”.   While swimmers may train for long periods of time and never experience any problems with the chlorine, it doesn’t mean their skin isn’t still carrying around the chlorine. Skin will literally hold on to chlorine until the dead skin cells slough off.  But by then, an active competitive swimmer has been back in the water again and the process starts all over.  The effects of chlorine absorption accumulate, and sensitivities can suddenly appear seemingly out of nowhere.  Many times they will show up at swim meets because the chlorine content is often higher in pools during a meet.   Things like suit rashes,  raccoon eyes–redness around the goggle seals, a burning sensation on the cheeks, acne on the face, all can be attributed to chlorine sensitivities.

“Antioxidants help protect the skin’s DNA to prevent cancer while also protecting the collagen and elastic tissue from free radicals that can cause wrinkles and sagging skin. Vitamin C–based antioxidants are best for reducing uneven brown pigmentation, but you can’t go wrong with any type of antioxidant…” (Women’s Health Magazine, source)

How can you protect your skin against the harsh effects of chlorine absorption?

There is only one product on the market that can neutralize chlorine on your skin and hair.  SwimSpray is a patented formula specifically designed by a swimmer to protect skin from the various sensitivities caused by chlorine. Use after every exposure to chlorine and your skin will thank you.

“Certain pools we would have so many issues with…chlorine burn on my son’s face, chlorine rash all over his body, acne-like rash on his cheeks, etc…this year at this pool, we made sure he showered in between prelims/finals and we also used SwimSpray.  I definitely believe that is what helped us have virtually no skin issues this year. thank you so much for the info on SwimSpray!” – SK from Katy, TX

Your skin and shaving–If you are a competitive swimmer, shaving is a ritual looked forward to for many reasons.  Nothing feels better and faster for a competition than the feeling of freshly shaved skin in the water.  More than removing hair, shaving for swim meets purposefully takes away a layer of dead skin to make the outside layer more sensitive to the pool water.  But, this comes at a price–the outside layer also becomes more sensitive to the chlorine in the pool water.  And that freshly exposed layer of skin is absorbing the chlorine from the pool water which can cause super dry, flaky skin.

“I had eczema of the face for years, especially after shaving, and even went to the dermatologist for a prescription creme because it had developed into where my skin had cracks in my smile creases…nothing seemed to help heal these cracks.  Then I tried SwimSpray, and after three uses my skin is healed.  I no longer use the prescription creme, and shaving my face no longer burns.”  – ATB–Retired Navy Lt. Commander, Carlsbad, CA.

How to soothe dry shaved skin?  Before you reach for the bottle of lotion–think about two other important aspects of preventing dried, flaky skin:  Hydration, and chlorine neutralization.

First, drinking plenty of water is good for your skin.  Staying hydrated will keep your skin cells hydrated.  According to dermatologist  Rachel Nazarian, M.D. “I’ve found that water makes a big difference in skin health. Without adequate water intake, skin appears duller, and wrinkles and pores more prominent.”   An article in Women’s Health goes on to say explain that  a variety of structures in the skin that support collagen require water to work effectively– When skin is hydrated, plump, and elastic, it’s less likely to crack and let in external particles that can cause irritations and blemishes. (source)

Why neutralizing chlorine can help–  According to an article on skin health in Real Simple magazine, “minimizing your exposure to depleting elements―low humidity, harsh winds, dry heat, high altitude, sun, alcohol, long baths―and avoiding stripping soaps can prevent the loss of natural oils.”  (source)  Because swimmers are constantly exposing their skin to the depleting element of chlorine, and because chlorine cannot be washed off, it stands to reason that no amount of moisturizing lotion will help your skin if chlorine remains on your skin.  Using SwimSpray to neutralize the chlorine prior to using a moisturizer will help provide the full benefits of nourishing your skin with a lotion after shaving and swimming.

So what are the basic tools swimmers need to keep their skin healthy and happy?

To protect against the sun, chlorine or shaving–make sure your swim gear bag includes “skin gear” —

  • SwimSpray
  • Sunscreen
  • Lotion
  • Water


Learn more about SwimSpray, to order online, or to locate a retailer near you.

The author of the above article Aimee Schmitt, brings a lifetime of swimming experience to her position as the VP of Sales for SwimSpray. A former USA Swimming National team member and American Record holder, Aimee has also been involved in the world of swimming as an athlete, swimwear designer, writer, instructor, speaker and coach.


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Amanda Dunning
7 years ago

Diane Asbury is this what you had the other day

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