The Effects of Chlorine and Salt Water on Skin

Summertime is the season for swimming!  On a hot summer day, nothing can beat a cool dip in the pool or ocean.  But what’s lurking in your swimming water that could damage your skin?  The truth is both chlorine and salt have varying degrees of harmfulness when your skin is exposed to either one in excess. 

Chlorine and Skin

Chlorine is a chemical element used to keep pools sanitary.  Water, especially warm water like a sun-heated pool, breeds bacteria that can be dangerous to our bodies.  The role of chlorine in pools is to kill the bacteria; however it can also irritate skin.  Chlorine is twice as likely to damage skin as saltwater simply because it is a strong chemical.  It has to be to kill all those microbes.  Chlorine can have varying degrees of irritation ranging from dryness and itchiness, to rashes and burns. 

If you have any control over the chlorine in pools where you are swimming, try using a lower concentration of chlorine to avoid a negative reaction.  For those who have an extreme response to chlorine, you may want to seek out salt water or saline pools, or stick to swimming in the ocean. 

When you do swim in a chlorine pool, be sure to wash your body with anti-bacterial soap before and after swimming.  This will help remove sweat from your body before swimming and wash away sweat and excess chlorine after swimming.  When sweat and chlorine interact they form a harmful chemical called chloramine that can be even more harmful to skin.  Be especially cautious around your face.  Using an anti-microbial face wash like our Gentle Foaming Face Wash will help keep facial skin sweat and chlorine free. 

When you’re not swimming apply lotions and oils that will help prevent chlorine from penetrating deeply into your skin.  Our Natura Veda Daytime and Nighttime Moisturizers are an excellent choice because they contain nourishing Moringa Oil with a variety of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and vitamins including skin-healing Vitamin C as well as coconut oil, a natural anti-microbial agent.  After swimming, moisturize your entire body to keep skin cells hydrated and be sure to flush your body by drinking plenty of water.

Salt Water and Skin

Salt water is generally viewed as a more healthful option for skin, the ocean being the top body of water to achieve skin benefits.  There are even therapies that involve submersion in the ocean for increased health and wellness.  While it can be drying, that can actually be helpful if you have oily or acne-prone skin.  Salt water helps draw out toxins, open pores and cleanses skin.  Through gentle exfoliation, salt water can even prime skin for more hydration and moisture retention.  Salt water supports better circulation and a stronger immune system as well, both of which can improve skin health. 

Even with the benefits of salt water for skin, moisturization afterwards is key to locking in its advantages, especially on your face.  If you’re planning to return to the sun the same day, Natura Veda’s Moringa Infused Daily Moisturizing Cream is ideal.  If you’re headed in for the night, try our Moringa Infused Night Time Repair Cream for extreme overnight hydration, nourishment and skin cell stimulation.


Erin Stieglitz
Erin Stieglitz

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