Chlorine damages hair. There are no two ways about it. So, it is especially important for swimmers to make an effort to maintain healthy and strong hair. (Of course one of the best ways to protect your hair is to wear a silicone swim cap - they are 50% off right now from us at Zone Swimwear!)
But, to step it up an extra notch, there are countless hair masks you can make easily and inexpensively at home! Check out this article for a list of different types of simple hair masks based on the ingredients you have at home. We recommend taking a look at the Milk and Honey Mask to strengthen and the Banana and Olive Oil Mask for restoration.
Your hair is not the only thing that suffers from chlorine: So does your skin!
First and foremost, the best thing you can do for you skin’s health and overall wellness is drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated might seem obvious, but about 40% of Americans drink less than the recommended amount daily.
If you're part of the responsible 60% of hydrated Americans, don't worry - there is still plenty more you can do to keep your skin healthy and glowing! Chlorine is exceptionally drying, so you want to maintain and add moisture to your skin. Use a gentle facial and body cleanser to ensure that necessary moisture is not being stripped from the skin. For best results, choose a soap that is specifically labeled as “chlorine neutralizing” (Amazon recommends Summer Solutions). After cleansing, hydrate your skin with a moisturizer of your choice. (We recommend Cetaphil or CeraVe.)
Next, exfoliate! Exfoliating might seem counterintuitive if your goal is to avoid dryness, and you do need to be mindful not to over-exfoliate. But, if you exfoliate once every week or two, a chemical exfoliant will help remove dead skin and replenish your skin’s natural barrier.
Lastly, wear some form of SPF daily - whether you are planning to swim or not. Even if you aren’t laying out on the beach for hours and receiving direct sunlight, indirect UV rays are still harmful and simple sunscreen has been proven to reduce wrinkles as effectively as many expensive dermatologist recommended creams and serums!
In addition to that daily routine, you can take extra steps to protect your skin on days when you swim. Do a quick rinse in the show before you hop in the water. Rinsing prevents premature aging and excessive dryness. When it's allowed, dermatologists also recommend that you protect your skin with a cream to act as a barrier to the harmful effects of chlorine. Vaseline is a cheap, accessible product perfect protecting the skin. Just as prep work before a swim is important, so are your actions post-swim. Rinsing with warm water as soon as you can will remove any bacteria, sweat, and prevent dryness.
If you want to amp up your hair care and skin care routines, start with one or two of our tips and slowly build it up from there. Ultimately, your goals are to:
1. Maintain a healthy pre- and post-swim routine
2. Stay hydrated (hello, water!)
3. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Now get out there and go - and glow!