There really aren’t any other activities that take a toll on your skin like swimming. Pools present some particular challenges due to their chlorine and other chemical content, but that certainly doesn’t mean open-water swimming is any kinder and gentler on the skin.
Simply being submerged in any water regularly or for prolonged periods can be quite drying and damaging to the skin. And whether you swim in salt water or fresh water, there are minerals and other compounds in the water that adhere to you and negatively affect how your skin looks and feels—and ultimately its health.
However, with an informed regimen of skincare for open-water swimmers, you can prevent damage, dryness, itchiness, and other discomfort. And you’ll help keep your skin looking youthful, vibrant, and healthy!
Skincare Tips for Open-Water Swimmers
- Apply a waterproof sunscreen liberally—even when it’s cloudy—and reapply it at least once every two hours while you’re outside; brush up on these other sun protection tips for outdoor swimmers too
- Towel off immediately after getting out of the water when it’s cold out, as low temperatures and wet skin is an especially drying, damaging combination
- Rinse off after a swim to clear away salt and other minerals from the water
- Dry off by blotting your skin with a clean towel, rather than rubbing your skin with it
- Put on plenty of moisturizer within a few minutes of rinsing off; use a gentle product that contains aloe vera, like Summer Solutions Moisture Therapy
- Check out these additional tips for effective moisturizing for swimmers
- Only shower once per day at most, keeping it under 10 minutes, using lukewarm water and a cleanser specially formulated for swimmers, such as Summer Solutions Swimmer’s Own
- Refrain from scrubbing your skin with a washcloth or loofah in the shower, as this is irritating and can exacerbate skin dryness
- You probably wear flip-flops around the lake or the ocean, but don’t get into the habit of wearing them elsewhere; they lead to dried-out heels and can cause other foot and ankle problems with regular use
- Wear those flip-flops or other water shoes around the water though to protect the bottom of your feet against pieces of shell, stones, debris, and other potential hazards you can step on
- Drink plenty of water and remember to replenish your electrolytes to keep your skin hydrated and prevent dehydration