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Dear Soko: How Should I Protect My Skin Before and After Swimming This Summer?

How can you protect your skin and hair before and after hitting the pool this summer?

Last week Klog reader Neki asked: “Since our skin is very absorbent, especially when wet, what is the best way to protect our skin during swimming in the summer months? Specifically, pool water is full of chemicals and germs, not to mention that it dries out the skin. It would be really helpful to see some quick remedies we can use before and after swimming!”

Here’s Soko Glam’s skin expert’s answer:

Many, many years ago, I was a competitive swimmer and I wish I had had someone to tell me how to take care of my skin and hair pre- and post-swim. I just figured this was part of the experience, but it doesn’t have to be!

My skin was always uncomfortable, dry and tight. I wasn’t into skin care just yet and didn’t know how to handle it, so I didn’t and just let it be. I know.

Although I don’t swim as much as I used to, I do, however, know how to make sure the chlorine doesn’t damage my skin and hair.

That, sometimes, tear-inducing smell of bleach in a pool is the chemical solution Chlorine. It is added to pools to kill bacteria and microorganisms that can harm us. Chlorine has a pH level of 7 to 8, which puts our skin in an alkaline state. This creates dryness, itchiness, and irritation and can exacerbate eczema. Chlorine can also encourage the formation of free radicals and speed up premature aging by breaking down lipids and proteins in your skin.

Before you jump into the pool, here are some things you can do for your skin.

  • Apply a super emollient waterproof or water resistance sunblock as the oils will help create a barrier between your skin and the chlorinated water.
  • Apply a hydrating face oil under the waterproof sunblock and an oil, like coconut oil, on your hair.
  • After the #poolsidelife, shower. Rinse off the chemicals that are in your hair and then slather on body lotion.
  • Double cleanse and apply an alcohol-free pH balancing toner (like Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner). This will help bring your skin back to a neutral state and allow the rest of your skin care to absorb better.
  • Apply very hydrating essences and serums that are formulated with hyaluronic acid such as Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence and The Plant Base Waterfall Moist Balanced Hyaluronic Acid 100.
  • To help soothe and lock in hydration, consider the Thank You Farmer Back To Relax Soothing Gel Mask. The key ingredient in this mask is vitamin C and will help fight free radical damage, as well as prevent cell damage and repair sun damaged and aging skin.
  • A great treatment for your hair, both in the shower and as a leave-in treatment, is the British M Hydrate Hair Butter. The shea butter and argan oil will instantly soften your hair.

With proper before and after care, your skin and hair should no longer feel uncomfortable!

Your Skin Expert

P.S. Have a wonderful and safe Summer — always practice sun safety!

+What’s your pre- and post-swim skin care routine? What else would you like to ask the Soko Glam Skin Expert? Share your questions below!

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