Can Swimming Dry Out Your Skin?

Published: August 04, 2014
Dear Can Swimming Dry Out Your Skin?,

My friend says that swimming can dry out your skin. Is that true? I don't understand, how can being in water dry out your skin?

Dear Can Swimming Dry Out Your Skin?,

Swimming can dry out the skin. But it’s not the water itself that dries out your skin, but substances in the water. Swimming pools can have a drying effect on the skin because of the chlorine that is used to kill bacteria and other microbes in the water in order to make it safer for public use. Swimming in the ocean can dry out skin as the salt causes your body to release water by a process that scientists call osmosis.

So whether you are swimming in a pool or the ocean, it’s important to hydrate your skin. You can do this from the inside out by drinking plenty of water or even eating foods that are made up of a significant amount of water (such as watermelon). You can also hydrate your skin by applying facial and body lotion after swimming.