Long amounts of time in the water can lead to sun burnt, dry, and itchy skin. But there are things you can do to minimize the negative effect swimming can have on your skin. The following tips explain how to take to care of your skin before, during, and after your time in the water.
Put on Sunscreen
Apply sun protection at least 30 minutes before swimming. This gives your skin adequate time to absorb the sunscreen so it won't rinse off in the water. Choose a sunblock or sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15 and try to use a water-resistant versions.
Whether getting out of a chlorinated pool or the salty ocean, rinsing off with fresh water afterwards removes the chemicals and minerals that dry out and damage your skin. Use soap or body wash and a scrubber to rid yourself of the residual chlorine smell.
It's counter-intuitive, but long periods in the water actually dry out your skin. Prevent dryness, tightness, and even cracked skin by applying lotion after your swim. Look for lotions containing hydrating Aloe Vera, especially if your swims are outside. Aloe helps re-hydrate dry skin. Wearing a wetsuit or swimming a long distance? Consider applying BodyGlide or TriSwim around your neck and shoulders to prevent chafing.
Hydrate your skin from the inside out by always carrying a water bottle and taking frequent sips. Remember that staying hydrated starts before you engage in physical activity. If you wait until you're noticeably thirsty to drink water, you're doing yourself — and your skin — a disservice.
All It Takes Is a Few Products
Luckily, skin care for anyone who spends lots of time in the water is fast, easy, and affordable. Following the above tips will lead to healthier-looking and feeling skin…. and if you're feeling your best, you'll perform your best!