If you’re in the swimming pool a lot, the chlorine, bromine, salt and other chemicals can be very harsh on your skin, hair, and swim gear. Repeated exposure to pool water starts to break down the materials of your swim gear and also depletes your skin and hair of its natural oils. For those with sensitive skin, chlorine can trigger allergies, rash or even sinus problems.

To help you keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe from pool chemical-related problems, we’ve provided tips on how to protect skin, hair, and swim gear from pool chemicals.

How To Protect Skin from Pool Chemicals

Pre-Swim: Take a quick rinse before swimming, or apply sunscreen or lotions

How to protect the skin against chlorine, bromine, and other pool chemicals depends on individual sensitivity. As a general rule, always rinse in cool water before entering the swimming pool to minimize absorption of chlorine. For those more severely affected, giving your skin extra protection can help!
  • Outdoor pools: Sunscreens for children in particular should use non-irritating ingredients, like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These are the most effective at protecting skin from sun damage and also give extra protection against pool water.

  • Indoor pools: DermaSwim Pro is a pre-swimming lotion created to help protect sensitive skin against pool water chemicals.

To prevent excess buildup of oils in swimming pools, apply lotion of choice, wait a minute and take a quick shower before getting into the water.

Post-Swim: Rinse with vitamin C after swimming!

Chlorine is a chemical that bonds to our skin and hair, which makes it difficult for water alone to remove it. That’s why after swimming we often carry the smell of chlorine on us for a day or two. Vitamin C has been proven to be an effective neutralizer of chlorine’s bond to hair and skin!

  • You can create a topical spray by mixing one teaspoon (5g) of Vitamin C powder or crystals into about 500ml of water. Vitamin C crystals are available at Trader Joe’s and most health and wellness stores.
  • Another option is to purchase pre-made ones! Swimspray is a common go-to Vitamin C rinse, and is sprayed on to the hair and skin before use of your regular shampoo.

Post-Swim: Use a moisturizing lotion with antioxidants after swimming.

Chlorine, bromine, and salt aren’t the only irritants for our skin. Water itself removes the layer of oil from our skin that allows dryness to set in.


How To Protect Hair from Pool Chemicals

Pre-Swim: Wet hair with cool tap water before swimming, OR use pre-swim hair products!

Hair is porous and absorbs easily. An easy way to protect hair from chlorine, bromine, and salt is to rinse it with cool tap water, making it less likely to soak up chlorinated pool water.

  • Pre-swim conditioning shampoos such as Ultraswim keeps hair healthy while swimming.
  • Coating your hair with olive oil, baby oil or coconut oil before putting on a swim cap also does a good job of protecting it from chlorinated water!

Post Swim Treatment: Rinse your hair immediately!

  • Use a shampoo that neutralizes the bond of chlorine and can strip it fully from your hair, or use Chlorine neutralizers like Swimspray alongside your regular shampoo and conditioner.

  • After showering, use a low heat setting on your hair dryer to prevent drying your hair out even more.


How To Protect Swim Gear from Pool Chemicals

Pre-Purchase: Check the tags before you buy!

Pre-Swim: Rinse your swimsuit before swimming in cool water!

  • Warmer water has degenerative effects on your swim gear, so be sure to rinse in cool water. Like hair, wetting your swimsuit before getting in the pool protects it by preventing too much absorption of chlorinated pool water.

While swimming: Pay attention to where you sit!

  • Poolside surfaces, seats and decks might be too rough for swimsuit material and cause wear and tear much faster.

Post-Swim: Hand-wash your swimming suit in cold water and air dry!

Rinsing in cold water immediately after swimming helps remove a lot of chlorine or salt before it can permanently damage the suit.

Do not use bleach or the washing machine! This will cause your swim gear to deteriorate quickly.

Use specialty detergents for your swimsuits to preserve its condition, and slow down wear-and-tear.

  • The ZERO detergents by Woolite is a great detergent for washing your swimsuit.
  • For simple at-home solutions, use baking soda to remove sunscreen stains by letting it sit in the baking soda water mix for 1-2 hours before washing.
  • Another option is to add a few tablespoons of vinegar when washing to help neutralize chlorine.
  • Keep your swimsuit out of the sun and give it 24 hours to completely dry and regain its original shape before using it again! This also prevents bacteria and mildew from growing in the fabric.

Do you have tips on how to protect skin, hair, and swim gear from pool chemicals? Share with us below in the comments section!