How Do Swimmers Take Care Of Their Skin?

How Do Swimmers Take Care Of Their Skin

For the recreational swimmer, just one trip to the pool can result in dry skin. People who swim regularly as a sport should take extra steps to take care of their skin, as all that contact with chlorine and other harsh chemicals in pool water can be damaging. Here is some advice for keeping your skin healthy and moisturized as a swimmer.

Shower Before and After the Pool

Showering before a swim may sound odd, as you’re getting wet anyway and the chlorine is there for a reason. However, showering before getting in the pool is important for two reasons. First, it protects your fellow swimmers by minimizing the amount of sweat, bacteria, oils, and fecal matter chlorine can only work so hard against. Second, if you let your skin soak up clean shower water first, your skin will absorb less chlorinated water once you get in the pool. Chlorine absorption is what makes your skin dry and itchy.

After a swim, it is important to take another shower as soon as possible. Use soap and water to rinse off the chemicals from the pool water and prevent your skin from drying out as much. It is important to note that excessive showers can also be drying to the skin, especially if the water is hot. As tempting as a hot shower sounds, use warm water instead, and consider turning the water to cool toward the end to close your pores and keep the moisture in.

Wear Sunscreen

Sunscreen is important for those who swim outdoors. It protects your skin from sunburns and premature aging, which swimmers are at greater risk for because of their frequent contact with skin-drying chemicals. Swimmers should apply sunscreen and reapply it every two hours for the best level of protection.


A good moisturizer is a great way to deal with dryness caused by pool water. Apply moisturizer before getting in the pool to provide a protective barrier from dryness and itchiness. Apply more afterwards to replenish dry skin. Over-the-counter lotions work well, and thick, cream-based moisturizers can work even better. Swimmers with sensitive skin may consider visiting a dermatologist to find a moisturizer that best suits their needs.


Swimmers can moisturize their bodies from the inside out by drinking plenty of water. In addition to the health and energy benefits, drinking water keeps your skin moist and protects swimmers from the drying effects of chlorine and other pool chemicals. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, and pack a water bottle to the pool.

Wash Your Swimsuit

Wash your swimsuit with soap and water and allow it to dry before wearing it again. Rewearing a swimsuit before washing it is bad for your skin because of the buildup of pool chemicals and contaminants from the water. Hand washing may be the best option for those who swim frequently, as waiting to put a swimsuit in with the rest of your washing machine load can be inconvenient.


Does a swimmer's skin age faster?

Yes, a swimmer’s skin can age faster because of frequent contact with chlorine. When skin absorbs the chlorine in pool water, it strips away water, natural oils, and sebum from the skin cells. This results in dryness and cracking, which can lead to wrinkles and faster aging. Swimmers can take steps to protect their skin from premature aging, such as hydrating, using a good moisturizer, and showering before and after entering the pool to limit how much chlorine they absorb into their skin.

How do swimmers protect their skin?

Swimmers need to take extra steps to take care of their skin because they have regular contact with pool water chemicals that can be drying and irritating. One way swimmers can protect their skin is by showering before and after a swim. Showering before swimming limits how much chlorine the skin absorbs, and showering after rinses some of the chlorine away. Another way is wearing sunscreen to avoid sun damage from swimming outdoors. Swimmers can also use lotion and creams to moisturize their dry skin. Moisturizing before provides a protective barrier from chlorine, and moisturizing after replenishes moisture in the skin. Hydration is also important, as drinking water keeps your skin moist. Lastly, washing swimsuits before wearing them again is important for skin protection. Rewearing the same swimsuit will make the chlorine and contaminants build up.