Chlorine is used to disinfect pools, and it does its job perfectly. However, it's a harsh chemical that can harm your skin and hair. As much as it's combined with other chemicals to make it safe for use in pools, it can still damage tissues and hair strands over time.
Good news- you don't have to ditch swimming to protect yourself.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND CHLORINE
Chlorine is an "oxidizing" agent. This oxidizing property can encourage the production of free radicals, which damage cells, lipids, proteins, and DNA.
CHLORINE DAMAGE TO SKIN AND HAIR
Chlorine robs the skin and hair of natural moisturizers and oils. Also, it's robust oxidation processes lead to permanent damage that accentuates the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It also destroys fatty acids and vitamin E that the skin needs to remain healthy.
EFFECTS OF REGULAR EXPOSURE TO CHLORINE IN SWIMMING POOLS:
• Discolored hair
• Damage to cuticles
• Itchy, rashed or burned skin
• Dry, brittle, hair that's likely to break
• Frizzy hair
• Dry, flaky skin
• Allergic reactions in the skin
• Accelerated aging in skin
• Lack of shine to the hair
• Weak hair that lacks volume
• Dry, itchy scalp
• Weakened and breaking nails
• Acne breakouts
How to protect yourself from chlorine exposure
1. SWIM IN AN OUTDOOR POOL
Gases from the chemicals in the water have room to escape into the air, unlike indoor pools. Outdoor pools are also better for your lungs, eyes, and sinuses. If you must swim indoors, go for well-ventilated pools.
2. SHOWER BEFORE YOU SWIM
Showering ensures your hair and skin don't absorb as much water from the pool since they're already wet.
3. APPLY CONDITIONER OR HAIR OIL
Applying a deep conditioner or natural oil to your hair before going into the pool creates a barrier between your hair and the chlorine. This step simultaneously nourishes the hair follicles. Make sure you wear a cap if you use oil, otherwise the oil might cause sun damage if you're outside.
4. WEAR A SWIM CAP
Swimming caps are the best way to protect your hair, especially if it's chemically treated. Wear the cap after you've showered and applied a hair oil or conditioner.
5. APPLY SKIN LOTION
Applying lotion on your skin gives you an extra layer of protection, just like conditioner for your hair. Use sun protection if swimming in an outdoor pool and oil or lotion if swimming indoors.
6. WASH AFTER YOUR SWIM
Use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo to wash your skin and hair after your swim. Let your hair soak in the water for some time, since a quick wash can leave some chlorine in the follicles.
7. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR RINSE
You can use apple cider vinegar as a clarifying final rinse. ACV not only washes away chlorine, but also other damaging agents in pools like salt, copper, and other impurities.
8. APPLY CONDITIONER AND MOISTURIZER
Apply a natural, deep moisturizing butter or oil to your skin and a deeply moisturizing conditioner to your hair after washing as soon as you leave the shower.
9. AVOID DRYERS IF YOU CAN
After washing, use a wide-toothed comb to remove tangles in your hair and then gently pat dry. Blow dryers tend to cause damage to hair.
The Sole Toscana Beauty Team