A relaxing day at the beach can rejuvenate your soul, and even a quick swim at the neighborhood pool after work can help you de-stress and improve your mental health. But while you're packing your swimsuit and beach towel, take a few minutes to care for your skin. It needs a little extra TLC before and after swimming to keep it in good condition.
Do apply a barrier product to guard against chlorine
If you're planning on heading to the pool instead of the beach, consider applying a barrier cream to protect your skin from chlorine's harsh, drying effects. Chlorine is known to increase the risk of contact dermatitis, which causes red, dry, itchy skin.
So that the pool doesn’t end up doing laps on your skin, be sure to apply a barrier cream containing dimethicone, glycerin, oils, or petrolatum. Ingredients like these will protect your skin and keep it moisturized—even after a few hours in a hot tub.
Don't forget to apply plenty of sunscreen before your swim
Dermatologists recommend applying sunscreen every day of the year, regardless of whether it's summer or winter. And it doesn’t matter if you're spending the day outside or in an office cubicle—because UV rays can penetrate windows.
This means you should use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen and apply it liberally to all exposed skin before heading out each day. Reapply it every two hours, or as directed by the label.
Using sunscreen as directed will help prevent skin cancer and reduce your risk of premature wrinkles. However, it's still a good idea to pamper your skin with a collagen facial mask to delay those wrinkles a bit longer.
Lastly, if you're using last year's sunscreen, double-check the expiration date. Sunscreen usually expires every three years or so, and it will lose effectiveness after its expiration date.
Do rinse off immediately afterward
Whether swimming in a pool or the ocean, it's a good idea to rinse off immediately afterward. Chlorine and salt can both be harmful to your skin.
Don't use harsh skin cleansers
Although rinsing off is essential, you should avoid the use of harsh cleansing products. Instead, look for gentle, pH-balancing cleansers that will help to restore your skin's natural health. If your skin is particularly sensitive to chlorine or saltwater, you might also want to skip exfoliating for a few days.
Do reapply plenty of moisturizer and more sunscreen
After cleansing your skin and patting it dry, be sure to moisturize your skin thoroughly. In the summertime, most people can get by with a lighter moisturizer (heavier creams are ideal for winter).
Remember to reapply more sunscreen, as well!
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