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Pourquoi faut-il se laver après la piscine ?

Do You Have to Shower After Swimming in a Pool?

For hygienic reasons, it is known that you should wash before entering a pool. But showering after the pool is just as indispensable. Find out why in this article.

Summary
Published December 22, 2022, by Sandrine, Head of Scientific Communication — 8 min read

The Use of Chlorinated Substances in Swimming Pools.

In order to prevent the development of bacteria, algae and fungi in the water, treatment products such as chlorine or calcium hypochlorite are added to swimming pools. Indeed, these substances are the most commonly used because they have excellent disinfecting properties, and are also appreciated for their low price and ease of use.

However, when chlorinated water comes into contact with organic matter brought by bathers (sweat, urine, hair, dead skin, saliva, cosmetics, etc.), monochloramines are formed in the pool. These are chemical compounds resulting from the reaction between chlorine and ammonia and which can cause irritation of the eyes, respiratory tract and skin. They are also the cause of the strong bleach odor that is so characteristic of swimming pools and that permeates the skin, hair, and fabrics. Other factors can also lead to a higher production of monochloramines, such as high water temperature or agitation (whirlpools, waterfalls). During this chemical reaction, volatile by-products (trichloramines) are also formed and released into the air, producing unpleasant odors.

Why Do You Need to Shower After Swimming?

The reasons why you have to shower after swimming in a pool is that on the skin, the water itself and the chloramines formed have harmful effects. Indeed, they modify the composition of the corneal layer which dries the skin. The effects differ according to the duration of exposure:

  • For recreational swimming: Skin dryness, itching, erythema, allergic contact dermatitis and contact urticaria have been identified.

  • For repeated swimming or water sports: A wide spectrum of dermatoses have been identified. Xerosis is one of the conditions that most affects swimmers, especially those with sensitive and atopic skin (eczema) because their skin barrier is already sensitized. In addition, among lifeguards and coaches, more warts and fungal infections have been identified due to the humid environment.

Note: Xerosis is a skin condition that refers to dry skin. It occurs when the water content in the stratum corneum is lower than normal. Thus, the hydrolipidic film can no longer ensure its protective role and water loss increases. The skin is therefore dry and rough with sensations of discomfort (tightness, redness, itching).

The chlorine present in swimming pool water also has harmful effects on the hair. Indeed, it scours the hair fiber, causing the scales on the cuticle to lift and no longer play their protective role. As a result, the hair becomes brittle and rough. In addition, chlorine changes the hair's natural color: dark hair can become lighter and blond hair can get green highlights. When swimming frequently, chlorine weakens the corneal layer of the scalp, causing irritation, dryness, and dehydration.

Therefore, you have to shower after swimming and also should wash your hair in order to remove chlorine residues from the skin and hair. In addition, the use of moisturizing and lipid-replenishing products during the shower will help rebalance the skin barrier on the skin and scalp, and restore the cohesion of the hair cuticle.

Post-pooling Care Routine.

When you have finished swimming, rinse your body skin directly with clear water to remove chlorinated substances from your skin. Follow up with a neutral pH shower gel or shower oil, which will be gentler on your skin. With 2.5% vitamins E (INCI: “Tocopherol”) and F (INCI: “Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid”), as well as squalane and bitter almond extract, our relipidizing shower oil deeply nourishes the skin and reduces feelings of tightness. For your facial skin, cleanse it with the moisturizing cleansing milk. It contains hyaluronic acid and coconut oil, which are moisturizing and nourishing ingredients. It is also composed of extract of chamomile known for its calming virtues. Thus, it restores the hydrolipidic barrier and calms irritations.

If your hair has come into contact with chlorinated water, clean it too. Opt for our Nutritional Shampoo that washes the hair while moisturizing and soothing the scalp. It is composed of 1% biolipid complex and camellia oil that rebalance the lipid level in the stratum corneum. It also contains aloe vera to moisturize and soothe the scalp. Next, apply a repairing hair mask with biomimetic ceramides, mango butter and avocado oil that help restore the cohesion of the cuticle. The scales are filled in, the cuticle is smoothed, and the cortex better protected.

Source :

  • QUIRCE S. & al. Health effects of exposure to chlorination by-products in swimming pools. Allergy (2021).

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