Swimming & Acne

Written by ginger emme
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Swimming & Acne
Swimming affects each person differently in regards to maintaining their skin. (Swimming pool and pool house image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com)

There are several different theories regarding how swimming affects your skin. Some people find that taking a dip makes their acne dry and clear up quickly, while others find it irritates their skin even more. There are different aspects of swimming that will affect your skin differently, and in most cases, each person is affected differently depending on the condition and sensitivity of her skin.

Pools and Skin

Many people believe that chlorine levels in a pool are what affect their skin the most, whether it affects them positively or negatively. The amount of chlorine in a pool actually has very little effect on your skin if it is kept at the right pH balance. It is not unusual for your skin to feel dry after swimming, but that is most likely due to being in the water for a long period of time.The water breaks down and disintegrates your natural skin oils and may even cause tiny rashes along with dry skin. If your skin is extremely sensitive, it is likely that your skin will dry up more quickly after you get in the pool.

Pools and Acne

Acne is caused by a build up of bacteria, dirt and oil. Swimming for long periods of time will often dry up oils and wash away dirt, and the chlorine will kill bacteria in your skin, as that is what it is designed to do in the water. It follows then that swimming in a chlorinated pool should dry up and clear up your acne.

However, excessively dry skin often contributes to acne for many people. Drying out your skin will cause it to increase its oil production in order to regain, and all the oil building up because of the dryness may contribute to additional acne.

Chlorine and Acne

Chlorine is a natural, powerful element that most effectively gets rid of the E. coli virus, a virus caused by bacteria that is frequently found in dirty pools that are not filtered. It breaks down the fat and cells of bacteria to make them harmless. Just as it so efficiently kills bacteria, it is commonly thought to kill the bacteria that causes acne.


You can easily protect your skin from becoming excessively dry while swimming, even if it has noticeably helped your acne. It is important to keep your skin moisturised whether it's clear or not. If your skin is irritated and dry after swimming, keep it exfoliated to slough away excess chlorine that may be soaked in and cleanse and moisturise with acne-specific products in the morning and night.

Regulate Your Pool

Properly chlorinated pools have a pH level that is between 7 and 8. Excessive chlorine will most likely irritate your skin, depending on your skin type. Some people will simply have drier skin than normal, and people with acne will likely see it temporarily clear up and possibly cause more acne later, depending on the dryness of their skin and their skin's oil production. There is no evidence to fully support whether or not chlorine will damage your skin or help eliminate acne. It simply depends on your skin type and how it reacts.

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