Why do I get acne after swimming in a chlorine pool?

Why do I get acne after swimming in a chlorine pool?

Why do I get acne after swimming in a chlorine pool?

Imagine it is a sweltering and fiery summer day, and the scorching sunlight is emitting fireballs upon you. The stationary leaves of the trees and the motionless wind is making the day even more unbearable. So what is that you can do? Jump into the water and beat all the heat? Yes, swimming is the best way that can take you out of the sultry heat and fiery beams right above your head. 

Swimming is the best exercise that one can do to maintain physical health as well as the most effective way to do away with hot blistering summers’ heat. It is a form of recreation that can change your moods and lower your stress level along with low-key exertion to keep you fit. But skincare is something to be taken care of even in such intense hot situations and spending your day along the poolside. 

Yes, you can get acne after swimming a chlorine pool. Chlorine in pool water makes our skin, as a result more oil is secreted from our skin, to keep it hydrated. This excessive oil production causes blockage in skin pores, which results in acne.

Why do I get acne after swimming in a chlorine pool?

In this article, we have explained the main reasons that cause acne after swimming in a pool and also we have added the best methods to avoid this.

It is vital to prepare our skin and take some protective measures beforehand. Skincare is something that should not be ignored in any way. Proper eating habits with all the necessary nutrition that might be a deficit as a result of water activities, staying hydrated, regularity in night time skincare routine, and proper moisturizing is a must.

Pool Chlorination and negative impacts on skin

Why, despite being a complete fitness deal, swimming does not turn out to be good for our skin? Let’s dive into the facts. 

Swimming pools are a fun thing, but they do not prove to be good for the skin and require very particular skincare. The pool water is treated with chlorine to keep it preserved from bacteria and avoid public health perils.

Chlorine is a powerful disinfectant and has properties to kill pathogens and microorganisms that can cause viral diseases such as dysentery and numerous skin infections. Hence a proper sanitization of the pool water is an essential requirement to keep away all such viral issues.

We all know that where there are pros of something, cons also exist. Chlorine is very harsh on the skin, and it causes many problems for the swimmers related explicitly to skin. Chlorine particles are irritant to the skin, especially the eye area; this is why swimmers often have irritated, red eyes. 

Moreover, it can damage the skin’s epidermis layer as the sun reacts more readily with chlorine. That is how swimmers get tanned. It can also cause itching on the skin and results in rashes and redness all over. Sometimes swimming can also promote early aging and wrinkling of the skin. It also damages the cuticles and makes the skin flaky. 

Swimming in Causes Acne

One big con of pool water chlorination is that it causes skin to breakout. Yes, you got that right. The problem of summertime fun causing acne is the most commonly reported. Acne is aggravated due to swimming because the chlorine particles irritate and dehydrate the skin.  

One of the unique properties of chlorine is that it dries out things promptly. Stay in chlorinated water for a comparatively more extended period, as in swimming, causes the skin to lose its moisture. Hence the sebaceous glands of the skin get functional in over-producing the oils, and the pores get clogged. 

The sebum is responsible for protecting and providing the moisture necessities of the skin. As a consequence of this dehydration, the oil glands become more active and start producing excessive sebum to compensate for the lost moisture. In essence, this excessive generation of oil, i.e., sebum, results in the blocking of pores and hence acne breakouts. 

Swimming affects People with Sensitive Skin

Chlorinated pool water leaves its impacts on every swimmer, but it has exceptional effects on people with combination and sensitive skin types. Those with a combination skin type might have prompted and frequent acne on their skin due to the extortionate sebum production. 

People with already sensitive skin might get their skin reacted severely to the chlorinated water. Skin, which is already fragile, might suffer from rashes, inflammatory situations, and accelerated burning on the skin. It is very risky for such skin types to get exposed to some treated water for a longer time. In this case, appropriate precautions and prevention measures should be adopted, and the skin should be saved from reacting way too much. 

Tips to avoid skin problems while swimming in a chlorine pool

Swimming is an excellent way to maintain body health, muscular strength, and stamina, along with alleviating strain and anxiety. It, therefore, is an activity with myriads of benefits for physical as well as mental soundness. Besides of these boons, one major demerit is that it can severely affect your skin and trigger its sensitivity to the next level. 

But no worries! Let’s now look into what we can do to prevent damages to our skin and swim safely. Here are a few tips to take care of your skin during the summertime fun. Remember, skin comes first!

There are a few precautions to be taken before you get to swim and several things to be done post swimming. 

Pre-swimming Shower

It is essential to take a shower before getting into the swimming pool. This step has multiple advantages. Make sure to have a rigorous shower with soap or a shower gel before dipping in. 

Taking a shower beforehand removes all dirt, sweat, and impurities from your body. Hence it minimizes the risks of germ transferring and maintains the maximum cleanliness level of the pool in the first place. It keeps the external contamination away from the pool water and prevents the pool from stinking too. 

Also, when taken a shower and jumped into the pool, less chlorine particles in the pool water get to penetrate in your skin as your epidermis is well hydrated.

Use a sunscreen as a Preparatory measure

The usefulness of a sunscreen cannot be denied. A sunscreen is a complete protection. It protects from the direct effects of the sun on the skin, keeping the skin tone even. It helps keep all the tanning, scarring, signs of aging, patches, and drooping away from the skin. 

If a waterproof sunscreen is used before swimming, it will act as a barrier between the skin’s outer layer and the ultraviolet rays of the sun, preventing the rays from penetrating and causing any harm. As a result, there will be very less darkening, discoloration, and wrinkling of the skin. 

As we know that chlorine reacts very expeditiously with the UV rays, using a sunscreen will safeguard the skin from this adverse reaction. So make sure that you use a “waterproof mineral sunscreen,” most preferably with zinc in it, before you jump into the pool. 

If not a sunscreen, a careful moisturizing of your skin with a good moisturizer with chlorine neutralizing properties, body lotion with SPF, or even simply Vaseline can also work. So this step is essential to avoid adversity from chlorination. Make sure it is done. 

Keep yourself hydrated

It is important to maintain the moisture level of your skin, and for this, water intake should be proper. If your body gets on appropriate water levels, the chlorinated pool water will cause less dehydrating effects. 

So it is preferred to stay hydrated even during swimming so that clogging of pores, acne breakouts, and excess sebum production can be controlled. As stated earlier, chlorine can make the skin lose its moisture, block the pores, and cause acne. 

Keep sipping water after short intervals during your swim time. Remember that, hydrating yourself is the priority and a key to healthy, radiant skin. Drinking more water is the best way to detoxify your skin naturally.

Immediate rinsing after swimming

A post swimming shower is mandatory. It is essential to rinse off all the chlorinated water from your body with a thorough warm water shower immediately after getting out of the pool.

Showering immediately with warm water before the chlorine particles settle on your skin helps prevent the clogging of pores with those particles. Again, cleansing with soap having chlorine neutralizing properties can be used, and at last, a final and endmost rinse with cold water would help to rigidify the pores opened due to warm water rinsing. 


Swimming causes your skin to dry out and, at times, results in the flaking of skin in some situations. Treating your dried-out skin after swimming with an appropriate moisturizer is very vital. We all are aware of how beneficial is the use of moisturizers for our skin.

Use a good cream or gel moisturizer to let your skin retain its lost softness and silk touch. It will help keep the dryness, tightening effect, and cracking caused by the chlorination away. It hydrates your skin back after you come out of a dip. 

A moisturizer with vitamin B3, hyaluronic acid, or aloe Vera is the most recommended in restoring the skin’s moisture. They compensate the skin’s natural oils along with all the other necessary nourishment of the skin. It is preferred that the moisturizer that you use after swimming also ha SPF in it so that it keeps protecting from the damaging UV rays. 

Not using a moisturizer makes the skin rough. Rough and dull skin means rough and dull YOU. So you don’t need an unpleasant look, right?

Good nutritious intake

Your skin is a depiction of what you eat. Eating right and proper consumption of edibles with the appropriate nutrition that will heal your skin from within is very necessary. Anti-oxidative items such as Moringa and several herbs, nuts, berries, spinach, eggplants, apricots, and seafood, etc. should be made a part of the diet for swimmers, especially. 

This kind of anti-oxidant rich food can help sustain the well-being of your skin and prevent it from any sort of damage caused by swimming. Your skin will look fresh and healthy from within, and your internal systems will auto-heal every kind of harms.


We all are familiar with the exfoliation process of the skin. The swimmers need to scrub out any flakes of dull skin or any dead skin cells to make the skin look healthier and neater. 

Many people do not prefer exfoliation due to the granular exfoliating particles fearing them to hurt the skin. This should be clear that scrubbing is the foremost step to healthy-looking skin. It helps get rid of fine lines, wrinkles, dead skin, and embedded impurities. 

For swimmers, exfoliation is a way to discard all the flakes, dead cells, and settled contagions as a consequence of swimming. A good scrub with salicylic acid or cinnamon properties should be used. 

So these were the steps that you can take as a swimmer to keep your sin intact without being affected or discontinuing your summertime hobby. 

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