Whether you’re going on a quick getaway, a fun family vacation, a sightseeing adventure, or visiting family or friends, traveling can be both fun and therapeutic. If you’re staying at a hotel with a pool, it might seem as if the pool is calling your name. While lounging at the hotel pool can definitely be a form of mental detox (no meetings, no computer, no deadlines), it’s important to remember that your skin and hair aren’t feeling that same relaxation.
It’s essential that hotel pools are kept disinfected and clean; we’re all grateful to not share a stranger’s germs or be exposed to harmful bacteria. However, to keep water born bacteria and germs out, most hotel pools rely on chlorine (as well as monitoring PH levels, which affect the disinfecting power of chlorine). If this makes you think of household bleaching products known for “whitening your whites”, you’re on the right track. An active ingredient in both chlorine disinfectant for pools and bleach for household use is sodium hypochlorite. However, they are not interchangeable (they contain different amounts of sodium hypochlorite and pool chlorine contains calcium). While the Health Department regulates the amount of chlorine allowed for use in pools since it is a toxic chemical, many people still experience negative effects of the chlorine after only a short time in a swimming pool.
The most common effect of pool water is drying of the skin and hair. Since water itself is drying on your body (as it evaporates it takes with it your natural oils), when your skin and hair absorb the chlorinated pool water, your body hydration really takes a hit. You’re likely to notice itchy, dry skin and hard to comb, dull looking hair.
Some people also experience skin rashes, eye irritation, the lingering “pool smell”, and increased acne (although other people claim their acne clears up due to chlorine’s drying effect). Pool water can also get into your hair shaft and cause changes in hair color. This can be especially noticeable if you color your hair – think the greenish or brassy look. Nobody wants that! But if you’re like me and have a lot of hair coloring experience (I’ve been almost every shade in the book), you can probably relate to this one.
Now that you know the not so pleasant side effects of chlorinated pool water, you might be surprised to know that the best way to detox after swimming in a hotel pool is very simple: thoroughly rinse your whole body (skin and hair) immediately after getting out. This rinse washes away the chlorine that is stuck on your skin, eyes, ears, and hair so less gets absorbed by your body.
Have you noticed that some hotels have freestanding shower-heads by the pool or a changing room with a shower? It’s for you to rinse off both before and after swimming. If your hotel doesn’t have a shower by the pool, go directly to your room for a shower. Don’t make your shower steaming hot though, as too much steam can open your pores and let some chlorine into your body through your skin.
Some hotels are even utilizing Vitamin C showers to help wash away the chlorine on your body and remove any chlorine in the shower water. Delos Living, a new company that’s combining cutting edge discoveries in medical research, engineering, and technology to create a new standard of “wellness real estate,” recently partnered with MGM Grand Hotels in Las Vegas to offer a number of Stay Well rooms. These rooms have shower water infused with vitamin C to neutralize chlorine and promote healthy hair and skin, as well as a number of other amenities designed to promote personal health and wellness.
I experienced the dreaded hotel swimming pool effects first hand last week on vacation. The hotel I stayed at had a roof top pool with a bar (see how pools can call your name), so I had to check it out! While I only stayed in the pool for a short time and didn’t get my hair wet, I immediately noticed when I got out that my skin was dry and I had a bit of the pool smell. My hotel didn’t have a shower by the pool, but I quickly went to my room to rinse off and apply lotion.
Besides detoxing with a thorough rinse immediately after you swim, shower with a natural soap, be sure to put plenty of conditioner on your hair, use a moisturizing lotion on your body, consider showering or rinsing off before you swim (this creates a protective barrier from the chlorine), and always, always stay hydrated with good quality water.
Now that you know how easy it is to detox after swimming in a hotel pool, go enjoy that much needed (and deserved) vacation!
The first of their kind in the world, Stay Well Rooms at the MGM Grand in Vegas are furnished with a number of amenities designed to maximize health, wellness, and relaxation. From dawn simulator alarm clocks, to state-of-the-art air and water purification systems, to aromatherapy, Stay Well rooms provide an unprecedented opportunity to have a healthy travel experience — even in Las Vegas. Designed by real-estate pioneer Delos Living, in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Deepak Chopra, Stay Well will change the way you think about travel and hotel rooms. Learn more or book your reservation here.