We hear a lot about how summer’s more intense heat and sun exposure can wreak havoc on our skin. But the water that we shower in and swim in can cause skin care problems as well.
We drink water to hydrate our skin, we use water to cleanse our skin, and (especially in the summer) we swim in water for enjoyment and fitness. The problem is that water can become contaminated in many ways, and is therefore treated, with chemicals, in order to reduce the contaminants and keep us all from getting sick. One of the most commonly used chemicals for treating water is, of course, chlorine.
We all recognize chlorine: we know the smell, and we know the pretty color of the water in the pools where we swim. And chlorine does serve an important purpose: it kills bacteria. Without it, there is the potential for some harmful bacteria in the water in which we swim. But excessive exposure to even the diluted chlorine that we find in our swimming pools can wreak havoc on our skin, causing dryness, itchiness and irritation. After swimming in a chlorinated pool, it’s a good idea to rinse off as soon as possible with, and moisturize with a light moisturizer that’s easily absorbed.
Chlorine isn’t just found in the pool
Many water supplies are chlorinated to some extent: yes, even your drinking water. And the water you shower in. In fact, showering in chlorinated water can actually have more of an effect than drinking it. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it can absorb a lot of contaminants from the water. You can reduce the chlorine in your water by installing a filter in your shower or, at a greater expense, installing a whole-house filter. If you’re not filtering your water, you can at least reduce chlorine’s impact to your skin by taking a lukewarm shower, rather than a hot shower. And again, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.