Most of us already know that swimming is a great activity either from swimming pools, lakes, or the ocean, but the effects of that water could be more damaging than you think. If you want to know what the most important thing you need to do after swimming involves, this instructive guide will tell you everything you need to know.
It should seem fairly obvious that you should shower right after swimming, but this isn’t always the case. Different types of water all have elements that are within the water which can be damaging or harmful to your skin. Swimming in a chlorinated pool, in a saltwater ocean, or at a freshwater lake will all require showering afterward.
The additives or natural attributes within the water simply need to be washed off of your skin and hair for health reasons. Here are the reasons why you’ll need to shower right after swimming.
What happens if you don’t shower after swimming?
Since you can’t see the chemical properties of water doesn’t mean that they aren’t present. Tiny organisms and bacteria can be present along with pool chemicals, chlorine, pee, and anything else that you don’t want to think about. Even if you’re swimming in the ocean or fresh water, there are plenty of living animals that occupy these waters too. Not so much that your life is in danger, but it’s a bad habit that you want to avoid.
All joking aside, you might notice itching or rashes that can develop on your skin from irritants within the water. You can also experience dry skin that’s filled with salt or minerals that your skin isn’t used to. Depending on the time of the year, there can also be organisms too small to see that need to be washed off your skin. These are more common in open bodies of water including salt, lake, and stream water.
Swimming pools are treated with chemicals that kill these organisms and keep the water clear, but that doesn’t mean it’s less irritating or problematic. No matter what kind of water you decide to go swimming in, you’ll need to take a shower when you get out.
Is it safe to not shower after swimming?
It’s better to be safe than sorry after you come out of any type of water, whether or not it’s pool water and fresh or salt water. While health experts recommend that you shower before going into the water, it’s equally important to wash off when you come out. Your skin absorbs water immediately when you go swimming, which is why you can see your fingers and toes getting puckered.
Refreshing your skin with clean water in the shower removes anything that was on and just below the surface of your skin. Even though swimming pools can kill bacteria effectively, trace amounts of E-coli, sweat, sunscreen and organic matter are still floating around in that water. This is another good reason to wash off once you’ve gotten out of any body of water. It’s a health precaution that can prevent illnesses from showing up hours or days afterward.
Swimming in a public or backyard pool is less likely to cause health problems but does contribute to HBPs (halogenated by-products) that mixes with our skin and can create toxic skin effects including rashes, eye irritation, or worse. Extreme cases include coughing, asthma symptoms, nose or throat pain, and sickness. Natural water will all have different effects that have more to do with microbes and living bacteria.
What to do after swimming?
Washing off in a shower with plain water is fine in most cases but that doesn’t always remove the surface oils and other things on your skin. You might have used sunscreens and lotions that work great for avoiding sunburns, but don’t prevent water from soaking into your skin. Using a mild soap will help wash away anything off the surface of your skin and further washing away dead skin cells.
There’s no need to scrub since your skin will expel most of the water once you start to dry off. A simple wash down is all that’s needed with a shower soap that gives you a good lather. Just slathering this onto your skin will wash away 95% of the elements your skin was exposed to and that’s perfect for any swimming pool. Saltwater is pretty aggressive for our skin anyway so you just need to wash off the residual salt and anything else on your skin.
When it comes to lake water and fresh water pools at a park or in nature, you’ll need to be a bit more thoroughly to wash away any kind of algae and microbes that could be living in the water. In general, soap and water are perfectly fine to wash these away completely.
Taking a shower after swimming is the best approach to washing off
You’ll find that using a good washing gel is going to make a big difference in helping to keep your skin from getting dry or itchy. The same will apply to your whole body including around your eyes, mouth, and all through your hair. Water is not always equal depending on where you live so the water can additionally be harder or softer depending on the minerals within it. Here’s what you need to know about the best approach to washing off.
· What’s the first thing to do after swimming?
Always have two towels that are used for swimming. One towel is for getting out and can be used to dry off while getting to a shower and the other is used for after you shower. Never mix these two towels since you want to separate anything from getting back onto your skin after you shower. As recommended for hard water minerals or harsh water like seawater, you want o use a moisturizing body wash soap.
This helps put some extra moisture back into your skin if that water has taken away the natural oils on your skin’s surface. Softer water will need a body wash soap that is going to help wash away minerals that want to stick to your skin. In both cases, these body wash soaps need to have added moisturizer so you feel refreshed after showering. If they don’t, you can always bring a lotion that can help soothe and refresh your skin.
Is it OK to not wash your hair after swimming?
Another major point is to wash your hair after swimming in any type of water. Your hair is different than your skin and can be damaged too easily from drying out in the sun. Since hair is made from Keratin, it can be weakened by the pH levels in the water. Chemicals such as chlorine and salt water will certainly cause problems for your hair if you don’t wash it too. Since you don’t want to cause damage to your hair, it’s never OK to skip washing it.
What happens if you don’t wash your hair after swimming?
The main problem is weakening your hair to the point that it can get brittle. The keratin in your hair is very different than your fingernails. These are fine strands that grow from the root of your scalp within a hair follicle. This continually allows a hair to grow outward throughout your lifetime. If a hair follicle becomes clogged, it will not produce hair and is usually the reason for not washing your hair in general.
When you go into a swimming pool with chlorine, this will cause the hair to become dry and bleached in a short time. It also makes your hair brittle and can snap easily as a result. This is even more evident when you allow your hair to dry when swimming in a chlorinated pool. You always need to wash your hair after being in pools with chlorine or pool cleaning chemicals to avoid having these issues.
Do you need to shower after swimming in a saltwater pool?
The answer is always yes when it comes to swimming in saltwater. Salt is very corrosive for your skin and can make your skin dried out. It can make your skin feel dry and itchy but also feel tender due to the level of saltiness. Too much time in seawater can actually cause your skin to turn white and start to peel off. Although this takes several hours, it’s not a comfortable feeling if too many of your epidural layers are stripped away.
It’s recommended to swim in salt water for one hour but not more than 2 hours unless you have skin protection or a wetsuit. This is because your skin can absorb the salt from seawater or saltwater pools, and will dehydrate you. Showering with fresh water immediately after being in saltwater will help wash away this salt from your skin. This is aided further with a gentle body wash soap that can flush out any salty muck left over.
Does a chlorine pool clean you?
It’s a two-way street when it comes to swimming in chlorinated pools. One hand of this case, you might have skipped taking a shower getting into the pool. This will wash off skin cells, dirt, oil, and all sorts of bacteria that live on your skin. This goes directly into the swimming pool which can mix with anyone else who is inside the pool with you. So this is why you need to shower before getting into a pool with chlorine.
The downside to this is that the chlorine gets into the surface of your skin afterward and will need washing off. So even though you think your skin is washed off by the water itself, all the chlorine and potentially all the other trace amounts of bacteria or toxins from other people might be on you additionally. So it’s the best move to wash off in a shower once you get out of all swimming pools with chlorine.
What cleans chlorine from your hair?
To wash your hair and get out any residual chlorine, all you need is a regular shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo will remove the chlorine safely after lathering your hair with a normal amount of shampoo used. If you have colored hair, you might want to use a color-safe shampoo that helps bind the color onto the keratin, to prevent the color from fading. If the pool was treated recently or smells especially chlorine-like, then wash your hair twice.
Use a conditioner that gives extra amounts of moisturizing softness to your hair and scalp. This is so you can feel that your hair follicles and hair are protected even after you’ve dried it. The effects of the chlorine will be washed off safely and won’t cause your hair to become dry or brittle as a result.
Does swimming count as a bath?
As a final word, this is not the same as bathing in your bathtub since there aren’t any soaps or skin cleaners used. Swimming is simply not a substitute for a bath. Being in any body of water will indeed wash off your skin to some degree, but this water is not the same as standard bathing. In any case, you’ll still need to take a shower once you get out of a pool, lake, or ocean.
You don’t want to risk allowing any foreign bacteria, slimy muck, salt, or chlorine to leech into your skin, and is never a solution to getting clean.
Trust your gut the next time you step into your favorite swimming spot and be sure to wash off before and after you go swimming. That’s just sanitary and will keep you from unwanted skin problems that could cause bigger problems for you.