Protect yourself against the negative side effects of chlorine on your skin, hair and nails.
Ahh the sweet smelling summer breeze — for some it’s the smell of the ocean, salty with a pinch of sunscreen, for others it’s the less-glamorous, synthetic smell of chlorine. If you’re in the latter group, don’t worry about the smell. Instead, focus on keeping your skin, hair and nails safe and healthy.
The effects of chlorine on your body
First of all, we have to be grateful for chlorine. If it wasn’t for this convenient little chemical, we would be swimming in pools filled with bacteria and pee. Yuck, I know. Thankfully, chlorine in swimming pools won’t cause any kind of permanent damage to our system. Actually, it keeps us safe from diseases and infections due to its potent antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Nonetheless, it comes with some unwanted side effects.
Our skin is protected by a barrier of natural oils and fats. Even prolonged exposure to water can damage these protective layers and in turn, make our skin more sensitive. When you add chlorine to the mix, you have a bigger problem on your hands. Once it contacts the water, bacteria and all the nasty gunk in the pool – it produces hypochlorous acid. This acid easily strips our skin of its natural oils. As a result, our skin gets dry, itchy and irritated. Maybe that doesn’t sound so scary now, but remember, dry skin is best friends with aging signs. On the other hand, most skin doesn’t deal well with this sudden dryness. Usually, skin stripped of its natural oils will go into oil overproduction to try to make up for the loss. This means excess oil that can cause breakouts and acne.
Your scalp experiences similar problems. It also produces oils to protect your hair from day-to-day damage. Chlorine breaks down these oils as well, leaving your hair sensitive and prone to damage. If you don’t protect your hair but use the pool on a regular basis, your hair becomes weak, dry and rough. Additionally, exposure to chlorine can damage your nails as well as irritate your eyes.
Protect yourself against chlorine
Not planning on giving up the pool anytime soon? No need to despair. We have you covered! Just follow these handy tips and tricks and your skin, hair and nails will remain in top-notch shape pool day after pool day.
First and foremost, drink plenty of water to make sure your skin stays as hydrated as possible. Secondly, shower immediately after using the pool. But don’t use hot water. The steam might open your pores and allow the chlorine to penetrate deeper before you had the time to wash it off. Use a simple cleanser to make sure you get rid of all of it. Finally, after your shower moisturize generously. All that pool water is making your skin unbelievably thirsty. When it comes to your face, treat it extra special on a pool day. It’s been through a lot, remember? Pull out all the stops, go get your favourite skincare products and start pampering!
Your hair acts somewhat like a sponge – it soaks up water and moisture. Therefore it’s crucial to prep your hair for the pool. Soak it in regular tap water before you take a dip to keep out the chlorinated pool water at bay. Use oils or leave-in conditioners to maximize the effect. Ofcourse, you can always go all in and opt for a swim cap. After you swim, make sure to wash off the chlorinated water and rinse well. Another great idea for regular swimmers is a protein-based leave-in conditioner. It will soothe your hair and prevent split ends.
Your nails are no exception to water and chlorine damage. As a matter of fact, they can also absorb water. Hence why they become brittle when submerged for long periods of time (like when you’re doing the dishes). That’s why you should treat your nails to hydrating base coats and lather on those cuticle oils. If you’re planning on lounging by the pool for days but want your nail polish to last — glittery polish might be your best option. It’s a lot more durable than regular nail polish.
Are you more of an ocean dweller or a dip-in-the-pool type? Let us know in the comments & stay summer-ready with our SPArkling deals!