How to Protect Your Skin Before Swimming?

As a form of low-impact exercise, swimming benefits your stamina and cardiovascular health while providing a powerful mood boost. Unfortunately, the chemicals found in pool and ocean water can also contribute to dry, irritated skin

Thankfully, you don’t have to give up swimming to maintain soft, healthy skin. In this article, we’ll explore how to protect your skin before swimming with a few simple habits and skincare products designed for swimmers’ needs. 

What Does Swimming Do to Skin?

Swimming exposes your skin to chemicals in the water, which can dry out the skin tissue and make it more prone to damage. 

Whether you take a casual dip in the pool or swim for exercise, swimming can cause or contribute to the following skin conditions:

Dry, Flaky Skin

Dry, flaky, and scaly skin is so common among swimmers it earned its own medical term: swimmer’s xerosis. It’s classified as a type of dermatitis triggered by spending prolonged periods in water.

Swimmer’s xerosis often occurs due to sebum dilution in water. In other words, spending hours in water dilutes the natural oils that keep your skin healthy and hydrated. The long showers that many swimmers take after spending time in the pool can exacerbate this issue. 

Chlorine is the other culprit behind dry, flaky skin in swimmers. It’s a chemical used to clean pool water that acts as a skin irritant. It strips the skin of its natural oils and contributes to skin inflammation. 

Skin Sensitivities

Skin sensitivities like eczema and psoriasis are often worsened by swimming. The drying, irritating effects of chlorine can cause these sensitivities to flare up, leading to redness, inflammation, and itching. 


Dermatitis is a skin condition that can result from exposure to an irritant, like chlorine. It can appear as itchy, red skin and, in some cases, small bumps on the skin, known as hives. With dermatitis, the skin may also feel swollen and sore. 

Skin Aging

The skin naturally produces fewer hydrating oils as we age, which leads to signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. By compromising the oils in the skin, regular chlorine exposure may accelerate the skin aging process.


Chlorine is added to pool water to kill bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Its antimicrobial properties can also benefit the skin by killing bacteria, which may dry out pimples and prevent acne breakouts in some people. Unfortunately, extended periods of chlorine exposure can have the opposite effect. 

If chlorine excessively dries out the skin, it prompts increased oil production, which can lead to clogged pores. Additionally, as an irritant, chlorine can increase inflammation and may worsen acne breakouts in some swimmers. 

What Should I Put On My Skin Before Swimming?

You should put a protective lotion or barrier cream on your skin before swimming. This can help to reduce irritation and damage from chlorine. 

Trihard offers a Pre & Post Swim Body Lotion and a Pre & Post Swim Eye Gel to apply to the skin before hitting the pool. These products contain magnesium chloride, dead sea salts, and red algae to minimize your skin’s chlorine exposure, helping to keep it soft, healthy, and hydrated.  

How Do You Protect Your Skin While Swimming?

You can protect your skin while swimming by wearing a protective lotion, remaining hydrated, applying sunscreen, and taking a quick rinse before getting in the water. 

Protective Lotion

Before entering the pool, apply a lotion that’s specifically formulated to create a barrier between your skin and the chlorinated water. Trihard’s Swimmers Body Lotion is one option that contains magnesium chloride, dead sea salts, red algae, and glycerin to neutralize the absorption of pool chemicals. By applying it before swimming, you can prevent the uncomfortable side effects of chlorine exposure. 


Swimming can cause dehydration more rapidly than other forms of exercise. This is because when it’s in water, your body can’t regulate its temperature as effectively. Additionally, while you’re in the pool, it’s more difficult to keep a water bottle nearby. 

Dehydration contributes to dry skin. So, while swimming, try to stay hydrated by sipping on water frequently. This can protect your skin against dryness and irritation. 


Prolonged sun exposure while swimming can cause sunburn, which can worsen dry, red skin from chlorine. Make sure to slather a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on any exposed skin before swimming outside. Keep in mind that most sunscreens are only water-resistant for a limited period and will need to be re-applied. 

Pre-Swim Rinse

When the skin is dry, it will readily absorb the chlorinated water when you step into the pool. To prevent this, try quickly rinsing off before hitting the water. This will allow your skin to soak up the clean water, preventing its absorption of harsh pool chemicals.

How Do Swimmers Keep Their Skin Healthy?

Swimmers keep their skin healthy by thoroughly cleansing it after swimming and applying a long-lasting moisturizer.

Skincare products that are specially designed for swimmers’ skincare needs contain ingredients that address irritation from pool and ocean chemicals. To thoroughly remove chlorine from the skin after swimming, Trihard’s After-Swim Body Wash Extra Boost is an effective choice.

With magnesium chloride, dead sea salts, and red algae, this body wash thoroughly removes pool chemicals and lingering chlorine odors from the skin. Naturally-derived oils, including coconut and almond oil, deeply hydrate, soften, and rejuvenate the skin, while menthol, red algae, and chamomile extract provide an energizing boost. 

Save money and simplify your shopping with Trihard’s Chlorine Removal Bundle. It contains all of the products you need to ward off the drying effects of chlorine on your skin and hair. 

Is It Okay to Do Skincare Before Swimming?

It’s okay to do some form of skincare before swimming. We wouldn’t advise applying skincare products that you want to absorb into the skin, as they’ll likely be washed away. However, applying a gentle moisturizer, barrier cream, and sunscreen before swimming will help shield your skin against drying chlorine. 

Trihard’s range of skincare products for swimmers comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Give it a try risk-free to protect and nourish your skin. 

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