So that skin care does not become a challenge during training
We triathletes love the challenge of being good at 3 sports at once. This can sometimes be very challenging to fit all the training blocks into everyday life alongside work and family. Our skin also faces a challenge: Chlorinated water, lots of sun and sweat, and frequent showers all take a toll on it. So that it doesn’t react irritably and it can continue to form a stable barrier, here are a few tips for everyday life.
August 06, 2021
Chlorine and skin
Short spoiler up front: chlorine is far less harmful to the skin than many think. Still, there are a few important things to keep in mind when swimming frequently. Our skin has a pH value of 4.9 – 5.5 and is therefore in the slightly acidic range. The pH value of water is neutral at 7. However, this small difference is enough to cause a reaction. If we are in water several times a week for a longer period of time – by the way, it does not necessarily have to be the chlorinated swimming pool, lake water or, for non-swimmers, bath water is also sufficient – this can dry out the skin. This is because the skin must inevitably react to what it sees as the more alkaline water that surrounds it. This difference means increased moisture loss for the skin.
In the swimming pool, this effect can be further accentuated by chlorine. The drier the skin, the more unstable the skin barrier. Dry skin has a lower proportion of protective lipids, which form a uniform barrier and thus seal our body off from the outside world. Environmental factors can irritate the skin more easily and substances can penetrate more easily, as in our case chlorine. For sensitive skin, this can lead to irritation.
Therefore, it is important to rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water after swimming in chlorinated water. The water should not be too hot, because that could stress the skin as well and would therefore be counterproductive. You can read more about the use of shower gels in the next paragraph.
In order to strengthen the skin barrier again, it is recommended to use a rich body lotion after swimming or bathing, such as the cell-protecting body lotion by Andrea Dablander, which moisturizes and oils the skin again, protects its cells and thus strengthens them in their function. Thus, dehydration is prevented and you can prevent irritation caused by frequent swimming.
A second point that comes in addition to a lot of swimming is frequent showering. As mentioned above, contact with bare water during regular swimming sessions is already enough to dry out the skin. Since not all shower gels are created equal, the wrong choice can further deprive the skin of moisture.
The culprits here are the surfactants in shower gels. Surfactants are washing-active substances that are responsible for the formation of foam. These are designed to remove “dirt” from the skin. Surfactants can dissolve water-soluble and fat-soluble impurities. Unfortunately, they are unable to distinguish between the skin’s own fats (lipids) and foreign particles that adhere to the skin. However, the skin barrier needs these lipids, which hold the cells together like mortar and thus prevent the penetration of foreign substances.
Conventional shower gels often contain aggressive surfactants that attack and flush out these lipids, which can irritate the skin barrier. Now this is where things can add up: Frequent showers with shower gels that attack the skin barrier and long sessions in the water take quite a toll on the skin.
Of course, not all surfactants are created equal: with certified natural cosmetics, you can be sure that they are mild surfactants that are gentle on the skin. Foaming in these products is not as intense as in conventional drugstore products, which can serve you as an indicator of skin-friendly surfactants.
If you use several units a day, it is also recommended to shower off with water only in between. In addition to using shower gels with mild surfactants, it is just as important for skin care to apply a substantial body lotion after the shower to stabilize the skin.
Cleaning the skin in the evening
A day in the saddle for a long ride, a long endurance run or even paddock training – a lot of training takes place outside. Again, the question arises how we can best support the skin to be able to form a healthy, intact barrier.
Sweating and sports are in themselves good for the skin: blood circulation is stimulated and thus the exchange and transport of nutrients and oxygen into the skin is promoted. After heavy sweating, the sweat remains dried on the skin, which can promote a blockage of the sebaceous glands and thus the increased occurrence of impurities. So always rinse off sweat with water directly after exercise.
A second important point – especially in summer – is to cleanse the skin of everything that does not naturally occur on the skin. We are talking here about sunscreen. Regardless of whether a sunscreen is enriched with chemical or physical light protection factors in the form of mineral particles, you should make sure that you cleanse the skin thoroughly in the evening so that these substances do not remain in or on the skin longer than necessary. Light protection factors are certainly studied substances that are important to protect our skin from the sun. Nevertheless, transparent sunscreens are chemical light filters which should be removed from the skin again after their sensible use as sun protection.
Sweat and sunscreen can be thoroughly removed, for example, with a gentle peeling (by Andrea Dablander). The peeling contains olive oil and provides the skin again with protective lipids.
The skin goes along with everything we do. With a few simple tricks we can relieve it and support its function.
Here are a few little tips:
- After swimming in chlorinated water, rinse the skin thoroughly with lukewarm water and use a substantial body lotion afterwards to strengthen the skin barrier.
- In case of frequent showering, simply shower with water and make sure to use mild surfactants (certified natural cosmetics) in shower gels.
- In the evening, pay attention to the cleansing of the skin and remove sweat or sunscreens. Here, a gentle peeling with olive oil can support, which at the same time donates protective lipids to the skin.
This blog entry was written by our KickAss Partner Andrea Dablander. She makes authentic natural cosmetics. Her promise: Herbal cosmetics for beautiful, radiant skin. All products are Natrue certified. As part of the #kickasssquad you get 15% off all products at Andrea Dablander.
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