h2>Chlorine: The Overlooked Summertime Danger
As summer approaches and the days begin to get warmer, most people think of the dangers of skin cancer and plan ahead with sunscreen. For protection from the sun, this is great. For protection from aging, drying skin in general, this isn’t the half of it.
The problem is chlorine, and the danger caused by it can be far worse than a sunburn. Most people overlook this chemical because is meant to kill bacteria in the water and keep you safe. The truth is though, that chlorine also kills the cells in your body, and is found in almost every water supply we use, especially in the summer. On a regular basis, you probably drink and bathe in it every day. When you add hours of pool time in the warm weather, chlorine can really take a toll on your skin.
The fact is, chlorine is a poison. It’s added to water to kill bacteria, but you don’t just drink that chlorine. When you shower, you’re also washing in it. In the summer heat you shower more often, and the chemicals are absorbed through your skin. With hot water, chlorine releases small amounts of poisonous gasses such as chloroform which cause even more damage when you inhale them.
When chlorine gets into your skin it forms acids like hydrochloric acid, which damage and destroy skin cells in addition to lowering your skin’s ability to hold water, drying it out. Chlorine and derivative chemicals have also been linked to increased breathing problems and reproductive issues in males. So avoiding this summer toxin is incredibly important.
Luckily, there are some simple ways to reduce the amount of chlorine your body absorbs this summer.
1. Keep your showers cool & short. Shorter, cooler showers limit the amount of chlorine you breathe in or absorb through your skin.
2. Use filters in your house. Activated charcoal does a good job removing chlorine from tap water, and there are plenty of inexpensive tap & shower-mounted filters.
3. Switch your pool to a non-chlorine disinfection system. If you belong to a club or live in a condo with a pool, urge management to switch to a healthier option.
4. Swim in lakes or at the ocean rather than in pools. Natural bodies of water, even with some pollution are on average, healthier for you.
5. Minimize the aging effects of chlorine by taking care of your skin. Use skin care products that contain glycerin as it naturally hydrates, enhances skin barrier function, and promotes healing.
6. Apply aloe vera frequently. Aloe vera also enhances healthy, younger-looking skin by promoting production of collagen and elastin- your skin’s major building blocks.
So in addition to packing along sunscreen this summer, be wary of the amount of chlorine your skin absorbs. Try to avoid it by taking preventative measures, and if you are exposed to chlorine, take care of your skin following the exposure. This way you can have healthier, younger-looking skin for years to come