View Full Version : Skin care with swimming every day

October 15th, 2009, 10:46 AM
I just started swimming within the last couple of months; I swim about an hour, every single day. My skin has held up, up until just recently. My finger tips are a bit dry and cracked, my back feels tight when I move around and I have red irritation on patches of my body.

I've read mixed things about showering afterwards and not showering afterwards as the heat opens up your pores and allows the chlorine to seep into your skin.

So, what steps should I take? Should I use a certain body wash after swimming? Should I shower with cold water or warm water? Perhaps, would it be wiser to wear a swimming shirt?

It's hard enough trying to learn how to swim correctly, but now I have to figure out how to protect my supple skin.

October 15th, 2009, 01:46 PM
If I don't get the chlorine off right after swimming, and if I don't moisturize, I get itchy. So now I'm religious about my apres-swim skin care. Hair care, too. I've learned the hard way about that!

I shower right after swimming. First I wash all over with a gentle shower gel (while I'm waiting for my hair conditioner to work). Then, last thing before I get out, I use an oil scrub. The one that works best for me is Trader Joes lavender salt scrub. I turn the water off to apply it, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. I also have used other stuff, other in-shower oil products (Eucerin makes one, Neutregena makes several things along this line, etc) that usually come in bottles or tubes, and they all work pretty well, but the TJ's salt scrub that comes in a tub really does the job for me. It really keeps my skin looking nice.

I've also found it helpful to use "gel oil" type products immediately after getting out of the shower. Towel off first.

Also, if you are swimming daily, make your after-swim shower your only shower. Over-cleansing is terrible for your skin. If you do need to get clean between swims, only use soap in the places you really need it, and don't make the water too hot.

October 15th, 2009, 04:02 PM
This is the procedure I use:

Rinse prior to swimming to moisturize your skin (minimizes pool water
absorption into skin).

Rinse afterwards with water that's not too hot or cold and use a small amount of mild soap.

Good practice to keep suit maintained too.

October 15th, 2009, 06:10 PM
My hair is completely crispy at this point. When I wash it in the morning before work, it dries like it has hair spray in it. My knuckles are dry and sometimes cracked, so I am constantly putting moisturizer on them especially at night. I find coconut oil pretty helpful there, and the dogs like it.

I usually feel the need to get back to work after my lunch workout, so I rinse off with cold water to help cool down and try and get the chlorine off of me.

Do the bottoms of your toes crack? It seems like pushing off the walls wears out my feet. So sometimes I will put moisturizer on them at night too, or crazy glue the cracks back together.

October 15th, 2009, 06:28 PM
I can get away without an after-swim routine in the summer, but by this time of year I have to start my routine.

I shower before getting in the pool to minimize absorption of chlorinated water.

I shower afterwards and use the series of Chlor-Off products (check the web): the Body Wash, the Shampoo, and the Protein conditioner. They do seem to moisturize the skin a little and do remove a lot of the chlorine smell. They also stop your hair from feeling like straw. If you shower with hot water, your skin will be more itchy than if you use lukewarm water. Like others, I use moisturizer (Eucerin or Neutrogena or Vaseline Intensive Care) afterward.

October 15th, 2009, 06:44 PM
I agree thing are easier in the summer. I use many of the chorine out products. I also use a heavy hair conditioner and I use tons of body lotion. I have found a nice product called Eucerine shower oil,it takes the place of soap. It really helps the itchy dry winter skin.

October 15th, 2009, 07:02 PM
I have very long hair. Before swimming in chlorinated water, I put olive oil in it, then put it all under my cap. When it dries naturally (on weekends only) it is very soft.:fish2:

October 15th, 2009, 08:51 PM
I wash with shower gel and a loofah (synthetic) then apply some heavy duty moisture cream (not lotion) while my skin is still damp. I rinse and put conditioner in my hair as well. I almost never wash my hair (maybe every 10 days or so) - the water rinse and conditioner seem to work for me - I determined that all that shampooing was wrecking my hair more than the chlorine was...or maybe it was a combination of the two. My hair looks great with this regimen. GOod luck!
In college I remember having constantly itchy, rashy skin and hair that was like dry straw during swim season. Luckily there are better hair and skin-care products in the 0's than there were in the 70's!

October 16th, 2009, 07:26 AM
Regarding chlorine - last year my oncologist told me to get a shower attachment that actually removes chlorine from city water. Is there a long term toxic danger to spending so much time in pool water even when taking a pre and post swim shower? Any medical studies?

October 16th, 2009, 08:23 AM
Swim, shower (Zest soap), dry and lotion (Curel) --- works for me.

October 16th, 2009, 08:55 AM
I shower immediately after swimming with tepid water (I don't like really hot showers). I have a feeling that there is no real difference between the different kinds of soap and shampoo so just find one you like. I am religious in applying body lotion after toweling down. I "rotate" different brands but I have found Navea cream in tins to be the best (a little greasy though). I think that if you rub yourself down wuth moisturizing cream after swimming, you will be ok.

As to hair - over the years this has become a very small problem for me :cane: but I see many woman using two caps in order to protect their hair.