View Full Version : Dry Skin & Swim Cap

Runner Deb
November 1st, 2002, 04:16 PM
Hi all,

I've been a runner for a long time, and have recently taken up swimming as a cross-trainer. I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would, but I have a couple of petty questions.

The chlorine is really rough on my skin. I'm wondering if there are any product(s) out there that anyone could recommend, or should I just go with any moisterizer?

2) I have a basic swim cap (Speedo). It said one-size-fits-all, but I have very thick hair and I have a hard time getting all of my hair up under it. It also slides up when I'm swimming. Is there another brand or style that I might have better luck with, and where would I pick one up?

Sorry if these questions seem trivial, but I don't know who else to ask.


November 1st, 2002, 04:48 PM
Hi Deb,

Welcome to the swimming world of dry skin and damaged hair!

I recommend a high quality moisturizer. Try applying it while your skin is still a bit damp from the shower. I'm not convinced that chlorine remover products work. Maybe someone else can comment on those.

As for your hair, I recommend getting a silicone cap. These go on easier than the basic caps. I'd also recommend dusting the inside of your cap with talc powder or cornstarch. Not only will this make the cap easier to slide over your hair, it will also help the cap last longer. For long hair, try braiding it and flip the braid to the top of your head and bring down the cap over the braid. This is much easier than trying to stuff a lot of hair that is loose.

Hope this helps. Happy swimming.


November 1st, 2002, 04:55 PM
All of the brands of caps that I've worn (Speedo, TYR, Keifer) seem to be about the same size-wise.

Is your swim cap a latex cap, or a silicone cap? Latex is cheaper and thinner but requires more care. It must be dried and powdered after each use, if you expect to ever get it onto your head again. Latex caps typically cost about $3.00.

Silicone caps are nicer and last a lot longer. They don't pull your hair nearly as much when you're putting them on. Silicone caps cost around $10.00, but they're worth it in my opinion.

Both latex and silicone tend to slide up on some people. There is one woman I swim with who always has a problem with her caps sliding up, and she has short hair.

Another option might be a lycra cap. They're made of the same lycra fabric that is used in swimsuits. They cost around $10.00. The advantage for you might be that they have elastic around the edge, which could help it stay on. The disadvantages of lycra are that they don't protect your hair (the water goes through them), and they eventually stretch out just like a swimsuit does.

In terms of warmth, silicone caps are the warmest; latex are in the middle; and lycra caps are the coolest. I wear lycra in the summer when we swim outdoors, as our pool temperature can approach 90 degrees!

November 1st, 2002, 05:31 PM
For the skin I like using Alpha Keri bath oil in the shower or I like using emulsified baby oil in the shower--not after. I used to get a serious case of the itchies but no more.

There are some women use a lycra cap to contain the hair then put a latex or silicone over that.

November 1st, 2002, 05:36 PM
Hi Deb -

Here's what helps me: get your hair wet before you swim - your hair will absorb whatever hits it first, whether it's plain or chlorinated water. If you get your hair wet before you swim, the hair folicles will swell and will absorb a lot less chlorine. I also use a mild moisturizing soap on my body after I swim. Clinique mild face soap is also excellent. My skin is very sensitive and I used to break out before I started using the Clinique.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! And drink lots of water throughout the day...

Good luck!

November 1st, 2002, 06:48 PM
I have short hair and it may be different for people with longer hair, but I've found that wetting my hair and the cap first, makes it easier to get the cap on and keep it on (it seems to eliminate air pockets inside the cap).

November 1st, 2002, 08:27 PM
One good thing about getting bald is that you don't
worry about your hair very much;) ........

I've been swimming a long time, but it took me a while
to figure out that a very soapy shower after a swim takes
off a lots of the chlorine that contributes to dry skin. Also,
a lukewarm shower is better than a hot one for itchy
skin. Any generic skin moisturizer helps, especially
in the winter in the northern climates.

November 1st, 2002, 08:29 PM
This might sound wierd, but my friends and I all use Dr. Brommer's Peppermint soap. It is a liquid soap that you can get at any health food store or Trader Joe's. It is the only soap that I have found that helps take away the itchiness. And the scent will wake you up!
Also, don't forget a good moisturizer, like lubriderm.

Leonard Jansen
November 6th, 2002, 02:44 PM
Try UltraSwim shampoo followed by a good conditioner for your hair. You can also spread the Ultraswim over your body after it has been in your hair for a moment. Dr. Bronner's is good, but many people find that the peppermint version is a bit rough on their face. The almond oil version is nice as is the lavender. For skin moisturizing, try Eucerin (sp?) or Curel. I favor the Curel as it seems to work better and is cheaper, although they don't give either of these away.
BTW, I have found that using Ultraswim on a Lycra suit extends its life by 25-50%, but that goes against the common wisdom of "no shampoo on swimsuits", so your mileage may vary...


Tom Ellison
November 6th, 2002, 03:01 PM
I had hair once......

November 6th, 2002, 03:04 PM
I wish I could say this and mean it (well, not really) I feel your pain.