Have you ever swam in a pool and smelled like chlorine for days afterward?
Chances are – if you’re like most people, you have.
Swimming is a fantastic exercise and the perfect way to cool off, especially in the dog days of summer. With pool parties, hangouts, and avoiding the summer heat – there’s no way to avoid chlorine. Unless you decide to avoid the pool altogether, which, if you want to have fun, is impossible.
Effects of Chlorine
Chlorine can leave a strong, unpleasant smell on your body, along with dry skin & red eyes. And if you’re exposed for too long, it can cause issues such as asthma and hormone imbalance.
Keep in mind that chlorine levels in pools are often within safe levels. A fear of swimming in a chlorine pool should not keep you from reaping the health benefits of swimming.
There are alternatives to chlorine pools, including saltwater pools and open water.
While simple actions such as showering before swimming can also decrease chlorine absorption, here are some of the best ways to detox chlorine from your system after a swim:
1. Epsom salt baths
Epsom salt baths are incredible – miraculous even. Not only are they super relaxing, but they are also one of the best ways to help your body detox.
Hot water helps to draw toxins (like chlorine) to the surface of the skin and draws them out as the bathwater cools.
Themagnesium sulfatein Epsom salt is essential for the detox process. According to various studies, chlorine alters the body’s magnesium and sulfate levels. Epsom salt draws out toxins and replenishes these minerals in the body.
Additionally, warm baths help toincrease circulation. Epsom saltrelaxes musclesandreduces stress levels. It’s a killer combo.
The perfect chlorine detox bath:
Add2 cups ofEpsom saltand2 cups of baking sodato a warm bath. Soak for at least 25 minutes.
The baking soda will neutralize chlorine while helping the body to absorb magnesium.
Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt & Essential Oils (Pack of 2), $18.50 at Amazon.com
Sweat is the body’s natural way of expelling waste and toxins out of your body. Have you ever noticed your sweat smelling like chlorine after a swim? That’s because your body is sweating out chlorine, sodium, and heavy metals. When you sweat, you purge toxic chemicals from your pores.
You can easily sweat through exercises such asrunningorcycling.
If you want to take your detox to the next level, you can spend time in asauna.The heat in a sauna will stimulate your body to sweat more, flushing out toxins that build up in your body’s fat cells.
Pro tip:Bring atowelto wipe your sweat so chlorine and other toxins won’t be reabsorbed into your skin.
Iodine is a naturally occurring mineral in seaweed and some veggies. It’s essential for human function. Your thyroid glands need iodine to producethyroid hormones. Without iodine, you can get hypothyroidism, which can cause fatigue and weight gain.
Unfortunately, chlorine is a chemical that closely resembles iodine. This means that your thyroid can mistake it for chlorine. This displacing iodine and reducing your thyroid’s ability to produce important hormones.
Fortunately, by increasing iodine in your diet, you can displace chlorine to restore thyroid function.
The best sources of iodine are all-natural.Seaweedis the clear winner when it comes to iodine-rich foods. Here are our favorites:
Wakame is the type of seaweed that often comes in miso soup. While the thought of eating seaweed might be intimidating and foreign to some, the health benefits far outweigh any hesitation of adding it to your diet. It’s also a staple of the Japanese – a people who are known for their longer life expectancy.
A quick search for “wakame recipes” will give you results for delicious salads with cucumber and rice vinegar. Add wakame to miso soup for a mild, umami-rich appetizer. You don’t need much to meet your recommended intake. Once you develop a taste for it, you won’t need anyone to remind you to eat your iodine.
Irish Sea Moss
This one is less palatable than the other options on this list. However, if properly rinsed, Irish sea moss is almost tasteless. It’s not only a fantastic iodine source but a natural, vegan collagen source as well. Rinse and soak Irish sea moss to add to smoothies and you can barely tell it’s there. It’s a powerful source of iodine, and the beauty-boosting benefits of collagen are also great for keeping your skin youthful.
While nori has existed since ancient times in the east, its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years due to its health benefits, and low-calorie content. Nori is less iodine-rich than wakame and Irish sea moss, but it’s the most convenient and easy to consume. You can often find nori at Costco or Target, with popular flavors such as teriyaki and Sriracha.
4. Bentonite Clay
Bentonite Clay has been studied to absorb toxins and heavy metals in the modern world. These include pesticides, chemicals, lead, heavy metals, and toxins – including chlorine.
Bentonite clay has unique properties that absorb “negatively charged” toxins. People have used it topically and internally for many years.
We love this brand for facemasks and external use:
Indian Healing Clay 1 lb, $12.79 on Amazon.com
The World’s Best Detox Face Mask:
Mixequal parts bentonite clay and apple cider vinegarin a non-metal bowl. Apply mask evenly to the skin and let it sit from 20 to 30 minutes. You’ll know it’s working if you feel your skin pulsing! Rinse with lukewarm water.
Pro tip:Add some bentonite clay to your bath to draw out toxins from your body while you bathe.
For internal Use:
Afood-grade bentonite clay such as this onecan also be taken internally to clear out toxins within the body. Mixone teaspoon with an 8 oz glass of waterand drink once per day. This will aid your body in detoxing not only chlorine but all sorts of nasty toxins from your body!
Exfoliating helps to stimulate skin regeneration. By sloughing off old, dead skin, you encourage cell turnover to replace them with healthy, new skin.
If you smell like chlorine, exfoliating your skin will work wonders. Exfoliation will remove dried out, chlorinated skin, replacing it with healthy, new skin.
However, if you’re planning to swim again, make sure toproperly moisturize. We recommend applying a hydrating, hydrophobic layer to your skin such as coconut oil. This light layer will act as a barrier to reduce the amount of chlorinated water your skin will absorb.
The Original Kessa Hammam Scrubbing Glove – $9.99 at Amazon.com
Did you know exfoliation can increase sun sensitivity by about 45%?Exfoliation removes the top, protective layers of skin to uncover new skin underneath. This means that you’ll want to wait up to a week after exfoliating if you’re planning on being outside in the sun. Otherwise, you will want to wait until the fall or winter months when you won’t be out in the sun.
As always – put on a mineral sunscreen to avoid skin damage, whether you’ve exfoliated or not.
As with everything in life, fully detoxing chlorine from your body will take time. And the longer you’ve been exposed to chlorine, the longer detox will take. If you’ve spent years swimming in chlorine, expect detox to take months to a few years.
However – don’t underestimate your body’s intelligence. Your body has powerful processes in place to maintain and clean out anything that’s not meant to be there.
Don’t grow impatient or get discouraged. Use these tips to help your body speed up the process. Know that your body is always working – even while you’re sleeping! It’s working endlessly to keep you healthy.
Chlorine is a toxic chemical that can be irritating and dangerous.
Detoxing chlorine should be routine for anyone, whether you swim occasionally or daily.
However, this should not discourage anyone from swimming or having some summer fun. Chlorine levels at pools are often properly maintained. The benefits of swimming and exercising far outweigh any risks. Thankfully, it’s not difficult to detox chlorine. Whether you take baths, sweat, or add iodine to your diet, detoxing chlorine is not difficult.
These small steps can go a long way in helping your body stay free of chemicals. Your body will thank you for it.