Should You Shower Before Or After Swimming?

Swimming is to summer like jelly is to peanut butter — a wonderful and popular combination. Whether enjoying the public pool with friends, doing laps for cardio, or hanging at the lake, the water is a key player for cooling down and having fun in the warmer weather. While many have their own unique summer routines, post- and pre-swimming hygiene is something that should never be skipped over.

A chlorinated pool, for example, might give you the impression of cleanliness, as the chemical is known to be a powerful disinfectant. The Swim Guide reports, however, that chlorine can actually take days to kill off certain parasites and bacteria, which can sometimes leave you swimming among them — eek! 

Showering with shampoo and soap after a swim in the pool is the best way to ensure there are no bacteria or parasites clinging to your skin or hair. Furthermore, The Active Times states that chlorine can strip hair and skin of its natural moisture, and possibly cause skin irritation like eczema flares and rashes, so showering post-swim is always a good idea.

Two showers a day can keep you healthy

After a swim in a natural body of water, like the ocean or a lake, you are going to need a shower to help decrease the risk of infections and rashes (via Swim Guide). A good scrub with soap, shampoo, and warm water after a day at the beach is the best way to ensure you're eliminating bacteria.

Experts at Byrdie say it's important to shower after any water activities, not only to wash away natural elements, but to get the sunscreen off your skin as well. It is also advised to use a deep hair conditioner post-swim in order to keep your locks healthy and moisturized.

While it is important to shower after a swim, it is equally important to shower before a swim as well. Yes, you read that right, a pre-swim shower is a good idea too! According to Swim Guide, when you shower before a swim, you are washing away sweat, beauty product residue, urine, and fecal matter that may be attached to the skin. The Water Quality and Health Council reports that when swimmers shower before and after water activities, it greatly reduces the risk for transmission of waterborne illnesses like diarrhea, swimmer's ear, and skin infections.