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Guest Blog: Skincare for Watersports Enthusiasts, by Emily

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Hi Swish Readers! I know that you are all very active in the water, and if you are like me, it can take a toll on your skin!  Luckily for us, Emily Matthews from Sports Direct is guest blogging for us the week on the topic "Skincare for Watersports Enthusiasts!" Enjoy! Bio

Emily Matthews works in ecommerce at Sports Direct. After graduating in design she now creates blogs and social media content specializing in watersports, including health, beauty, nutrition and training tips and advice for regular and causal water sport enthusiasts.

Skincare for Watersports Enthusiasts

Introduction

Water sports are very popular amongst all sorts of people, especially in the height of summer! There are a few ways of protecting your skin before, during and after taking part in sports such as diving, surfing and kayaking. There are no magical potions or top secret ways of ensuring your skin is left silky smooth and undamaged by the sea…but there are a few steps that it is important not too miss to avoid being left with dry, oily or burnt skin at the end of the day!

Victoria Wakeboarding

The Good

This is great news for acne sufferers or those with lingering scars. Salt water actually improves the appearance and helps to heal acne. The salt in the water gets rid of excess oil in the skin which helps the process of reducing scarring. Although, to avoid opposite effects it is vital you wash away all of the salt afterwards, as increased exposure to salt water or not completely removing the salt from your skin can see a reverse effect and cause acne! So, moderate use and exposure to salt water can work wonders for you skin!

 

The Bad

Water strips the healthy oils from your skin and can leave you feeling itchy and oily after being in the sea for a certain length of time. The skin realizes it is drier than it should be so starts to produce extra oils. To avoid your skin getting overly oily you should use plenty of waterproof moisturizing lotion before you head out to the waters. This acts as a protective barrier and is a quick solution to prevent your skins condition changing after your swim or time out in the sea. If the weather is hot you should also regularly apply sun cream as the salt water dries your skin out a lot faster in the sun, making you more prone to sun burn.

This may be dependent on the water activity you are part taking in, but chaffing can become a problem. This may be caused by skin on skin chaffing, fabric on skin chaffing or even hair on skin! If you are doing sports for a long period of time, chaffing being caused by one of these factors will effect your ability to finish your activity, so it is a good idea to prepare chaff prone areas by lubricating the skin with products containing either petroleum jelly or lanolin. Alternatively, waterproof medical tape also works effectively to avoid chaffing. Avoid walking around in a wet wetsuit for too long as the damp material will cause you to chaff.

 

The Ugly

Okay, so perhaps not ugly, but the long term affects you may see if you don’t follow this step! The salty sea water will cause you to burn quicker in the sun so the one thing to remember is to get yourself dry as soon as possible when you come out of the water! It is best to have a shower in fresh water to get rid of all the salt, but not all beaches and water sport areas have showers ready for you to use. Taking a big bottle of water is a handy alternative to rinse yourself down then dry off. Not drying yourself straight away will not only make you vulnerable to sun burn, but the long term effects will leave you with pigmented, chapped and flaky skin. This is not a good look and for regular water sport enthusiasts who don’t dry off properly when they leave the water, they will start to see signs of aging a lot early than they had perhaps planned!

Soaking up the sun in Koh Phangan

Conclusion

So these are just a few safety measures to think about whilst you are taking part in water activities this summer. You can still have as much fun as you want, just remember to stay topped up with sun block and dry yourself straight away!