I’m pretty into going swimming. It probably has a little something to do with it being one of the only forms of exercise I can do. And it helps that it’s a sport that doesn’t rely on teamwork. When I was at school, I hated PE because I was so crap at most sports and I always let someone down. At least when it comes to swimming, the only person you can let down is yourself. I go three or four times a week, and it helps to clear my head after work. It’s a good all body workout too, and I never feel like I have to put in an insane amount of effort to get results.
But there are a few downsides to going swimming and let’s face it, most of them are what happens once you’re out of the pool. Whether it’s wrestling with getting your bra back on (seriously, it must be the hardest thing in the world!), literally getting your knickers in a twist dragging them back on because you’re still a bit damp, or fighting the after effects of chlorine, if you’re going to go swimming more than once in a blue moon, you need a toolkit to fight off the negative side.
Here are a few of the things I always have to hand in my swimming kit.
Boots Sun Swim & Gym Protection Masque
After swimming for a few times and really suffering from dry hair that still smelt like chlorine, I went into Boots to see if they had anything at all which would help combat smelling like a swimming pool. They have a whole range dedicated to fighting chlorine, which is always on some form of offer. I tried out the shampoo and conditioner and wasn’t totally impressed. The results weren’t all that different to any other shampoo or conditioner that I’ve tried.
One product I did find that I’d never heard of before is their Protection Masque. After you’ve showered and your hair is wet, but before you get into the pool, you smother your hair with this stuff and it acts as a barrier while you’re swimming. It really helps to counteract the nasty effects of chlorine and helps to stop me feeling like a scarecrow. The only issue I have with it is that it can be a bit messy to put on.
OGX Hydrating Macadamia Oil Shampoo
I’m a big fan of the OGX range of haircare and have tried most of their vast range. However, I use this one when swimming specifically because it’s so hydrating and that’s exactly what you’ll need. It also makes my hair less tangled, which saves time when I’m trying to get out of the crowded changing rooms because I’m not battling with my notoriously knotty hair. My only issue with this shampoo, in fact with any OGX shampoo, is that the packaging can become impossible to squeeze when you want to get all the last bits out.
Umberto Giannini Smooth Care Moisturising Conditioner
This is another product aimed at taming frizzy and dry hair and it pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin. I have to say, I didn’t love the formula when I first tried it – it’s so much runnier than any conditioner I’ve ever used before. But a little goes a very long way and I think it helps to counter-act wasting any of the product, which is something I do a lot with conditioner. It also means that it’s extremely lightweight and doesn’t weigh my hair down or make it feel gunked up with product. Again, I have another packaging complaint to make though, and that’s that it’s bloody hard to screw off the lid in the shower. Why it couldn’t just come with a squeezy cap I will never know.
Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm
My skin seriously suffered when I started swimming regularly, almost as much as my hair. It was something I hadn’t really thought about before. Everyone knows that chlorine is extremely damaging for your hair, less thought is given to skin. A tad daft. If it messes up your hair, it’s gonna mess up your face too. I wouldn’t use it for my main evening cleanse and taking off all my makeup. Gonna stick with Clinique’s Take the Day Off Balm at the moment for that. I also find the botanical smell of this one a little too overpowering for everyday use. But it’s pretty good for using in the showers after swimming to rid my face of chlorine. It helps to hydrate my face after the chlorine has stripped everything from it too. I have it in travel size too to cut down on having too much to carry.
Lee Stafford Coco Loco Blow and Go Genius Lotion
Pretty much everything I use from this range is because it has such an addictive, tropical, coconutty smell. It’s perfect for double checking that I don’t stink of swimming pool for the rest of time. It’s also really lightweight and doesn’t weigh down my super thick hair.
Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist
Moisturising after you’ve been swimming is 100% the most important thing you can do. Even better if you can do it as soon as you possibly can once you’re out of the pool. I’m always desperate to get out of the changing rooms and get home after swimming. Anything quick is always a bonus. Using a moisturising mist which is hydrating and sinks in really quickly has been so useful. I love that unlike some of the mists I’ve used this one doesn’t need help with distribution. No topping up with a sponge, no messing around with drips. Perfect.