Right from toning your body to cooling it down, a bit of swimming helps you achieve it. Unfortunately, what comes along are the ugly sun tan marks due to the chlorine-treated water in combination with sun exposure. Yes, tan marks are left behind when you spend even a little amount of time swimming in the sun! While chlorine in the pool water by itself will not darken your skin, in combination with the sun, it can be the cause for a pretty bad tan. Sadly, it takes months for these suntan marks to fade away. It is usually accompanied by wrinkles, age spots, skin thinning and worst skin cancer.
Fearing this has made you give up your favourite hobby? Here’s how to prevent sun tan during swimming. Also, read How to Remove tan.
Taking following precautionary measures before stepping into the pool will limit the sun damage.
Tip #1 Avoid swimming outside between 10 am to 4 pm.
Try avoiding peak hours. Sun rays are the harshest between 10 am to 4 pm, try staying indoors during this time to prevent ugly suntan. Avoid exposure to the sun; prevention is always better than cure, plan outdoor activities for the early morning or late afternoon. However, indoor pools are a better option.
Tip #2 Apply water-resistant sun blocking cream & moisturizer before swimming.
This is a must-follow step. Never forget to apply a generous amount of sun protection cream to all your exposed body parts 15-minutes before going out in the sun or a swim. They do their best to protect you from sun damage. Sunscreen also acts as a protective layer against the harsh chlorine and other chemicals of the swimming pool water. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 and above for reasonable protection. It protects you from harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. Also, chlorinated water can trigger eczema if your skin is not shielded and moisturized, this is why you must always apply sunscreen & moisturizer before you go for a swim.
Tip #3 Re-apply sunscreen as soon as it wears off.
Sunscreen has its limitations; it does not protect you all day long! You need to re-apply sunblock as soon as it starts to wear off. Re-apply it every 30 minutes or shorten your swim time accordingly. However, no cream or lotion is going to provide any significant protection. No matter what you do or apply, you will definitely turn a shade darker with chlorine water. But, you can avoid getting 2-3 shades darker. Choose sunscreen wisely as per your skin type.
Tip #4 Take a quick shower, rinse your hair and skin with fresh water.
The important thing right after swimming is to rinse away all the chlorine water that is on your skin. Once you’re out from the pool, quickly take a shower with freshwater and rinse your hair and skin. Then, apply a home-made suntan removal pack with your kitchen ingredients or apply a de-tan cream for 15 minutes. Then wash it with water. Quick cleansing will remove tan and prevent further tanning.
Tip #5 Cover your body parts as much as possible.
Try wearing a swimming suit that covers your hands and legs entirely. Exposing your skin to the harsh rays of the sun is a sure way to get tanned.
Tip #6 Keep your body hydrated with water
Sip some water while you swim. Keeping your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water can boost skin’s ability to fight damage. Dehydration makes your skin more likely to be damaged by chlorine. Consume water throughout the day to maintain a hydrated body. Ensure that your urine is never darker than light yellow.
Tip #7 Exfoliate your skin at least once a week
Scrub your face and body at least once a week as this allows you to get rid of dead skin and any product build-up. The removed dead cells will leave space for the “active” cells- stimulating the melanocytes to produce the melanin, responsible for the damage protection and repair from sun’s UVA and UVB rays, and the skin colour. Remember to hydrate after your skin exfoliation job.
Tip #8 Follow a Skin Care Regime everyday
Skincare is a life long process. Make sure you apply skincare products that cleanse, repair, nourish and moisturize your skin on a daily basis. Remember, skincare is a life long process. This will not only help you avoid suntan, but it will actually help improve the health of your skin.
There you have it, a complete swimmer’s prevention guide to avoid sun tanning during swimming! Carry on and enjoy the benefits of exercise and a little healthy time out in the sun.