Skin and Hair Care Tips for Active Swimmers

“The sea cures all ailments of man.”

Active swimmers need a special kind of body and hair care.  Chlorine in swimming pools can be harmful to hair and skin even when the substance is used correctly in keeping the water free of bacteria. Even swimming in a saltwater pool can have side-effects as chlorine is still used to keep such pools clean. But first: is swimming in the sea good for your skin?

Is swimming in the sea good for your skin?

The short answer is yes. Seawater is rich in vitamins and amino acids, as well as minerals like magnesium, potassium, and sulfur. Benefits of swimming in the sea have been known since ancient times. Hippocrates knew this well and he insisted on the benefits of bathing in natural hot springs and in other waters. His theories formed the basis of modern hydrotherapy and balneotherapy. Hippocrates even recommended baths in hot seawater as a form of therapy.

man in the sea at sunset

“The sea cures all ailments of man.” This quote by the Greek philosopher Plato, can be a motto for Thalassotherapy. While the Greeks had little knowledge of the nutrients present in seawater, they had time to observe its natural benefits. Only at the beginning of the 20th century, Rene Quinton revealed that seawater “contained all the 104-odd minerals and trace elements present in human serum, or plasma.” His discovery led to the birth of the first seaside balneotherapy resorts. In an article detailing the benefits of water therapies, David Osborn writes:

Some of the health problems treated by Thalassotherapy include eczema and psoriasis, joint problems, arthritis, poor circulation, immobility and post-operative conditions, which are treated with seawater baths and sea algae packs. Thalassotherapy is also very beneficial against the ravages of stress, fatigue, and aging, and also other minor or banal health complaints we all suffer from, like depression, overweight and joint and back pThalassoch can slowly sap our vitality and immunity.

Obviously, you do not need a thalasso spa to enjoy the full benefits of seawater, but it is recommended to follow up swimming with a specially-designed wellness treatment to maintain moisture in your skin. Thalasso by Aegeo Spas is one of the best destinations in Greece for such treatments. If you cannot go to the spa, just rinse off the seawater and apply a rich moisturizer.

How to take care of your skin after swimming in the pool

active swimmer

Pools are great fun, but, as we’ve explained, often exposure to chlorine can damage your skin. Active swimmers can take a few steps to protect themselves against harmful chemicals in the pools.

Before you plunge into the pool, take a shower to hydrate your skin. If your skin is well-hydrated, it will absorb less chlorine. You can also apply a good pre-swimming lotion that will shield your skin against chlorine and bromine. Ideally, you should also protect your hair, either wearing a silicone swim cap or by applying olive oil or coconut oil to prevent damage. Chlorine has all kinds of nocive effects on hair (particularly on colored hair):

For one, it dries out the hair shaft, causing the hair strand to become coarse, brittle, and prone to breakage. Chlorine in the pool strips the sebum from the hair, and this causes the hair strands to dry out and crack. This leads to a loss of shine, breakage, and split ends.

Shower thoroughly after you swim in a chlorinated pool. You can use chlorine-neutralizing shampoos, but if you don’t have any handy, you can rinse with apple cider vinegar then apply conditioner. Allow your hair to dry naturally – do not use hot dryers. Last, but not least, apply a rich body moisturizer on your skin.

You can always follow up your pool experience with a signature treatment by your Aegeo Spas.