Every person has experienced it, that feeling of rapturous joy as you open a new summer season with the absolute perfect swimming suit. Frequent swimming in pools has noticeable effects on your skin and hair. Most swimming pools contain chlorine, a gaseous element that helps keep the pool free of bacteria and debris. Undiluted chlorine is highly toxic and caustic. Although the chlorine in a well-maintained pool may sting and irritate your eyes, there isn’t enough to seriously harm you. Before and after swimming, take some steps to protect your skin. if you notice dry, flaky skin after taking a swim, chlorine may be the culprit. This may be more noticeable during the summer or when you’re on vacation and spending more time in the pool because repeated exposure can exacerbate chlorine’s affect on the skin. And if you have sensitive skin or allergies, you may develop an itchy rash — or even sinus problems from inhaling chlorine. Our swimsuits are often forgotten, which is why you may find your favourite swimsuit has gradually started to lose its shape and colour.
When regular swimwear is first purchased, its colours should be vibrant and the suit should be well fitted on a swimmer’s body. However, over time swimwear that has had exposure to chlorine pools, loses its elasticity and the fabric’s colour fades. The swimwear that was once a perfect fit now does not cling properly to its wearer’s body. Once this occurs, even the most expensive articles of swimwear become useless and often thrown out, only to have the process repeated again when a similar product is bought. It can become a costly exercise to all swimmers, and obviously the more they swim, the faster the swimwear loses its shape and colour. To avoid chlorine’s harmful effects,
Rinse your swimsuit before and after getting into the pool. Run the fabric under cool water before swimming to keep it from absorbing excessive amounts of chlorine, and do the same after swimming to get rid of any chlorine left on the fabric. Do not use warm or hot water to rinse because this can weaken the fibers. It is almost impossible to avoid chlorine pools however there is a solution to prevent the cycle of buying new swimwear every few months, and it is known as chlorine resistant swimwear. Chlorine resistant swimwear, much like its name implies, is swimwear designed to the prevent damage regular swimwear suffers after being exposed to chlorinated pool water. It uses C-Infinity chlorine resistant polyester fabric, that has been proven to retain its shape long after elastane-based fabrics used in other swimwear have deteriorated. Polyester is classed as hydrophobic, meaning it does not absorb water, therefore is quick drying. Also, during the dye-sublimation process, only the colour of the dye is infused into the fabric, making the dye permanent. This ensures high levels of colour fastness. Ultraviolet protection is also embedded into the new chlorine resistant fabrics, providing high 50+ UV sun protection for the lifetime of the fabric. Chlorine resistant fabrics are made from soft, stretch polyester, providing a tighter fit. Polyester does provide less stretch than your conventional Lycra swimwear. It doesn’t matter if you are a recreational swimmer or at a competition level, it is important to choose swimwear that you feel comfortable in and know will last over a long period of time. Swimmers of all ages and levels will benefit from chlorine resistant swimwear, as they will save time and money. Let’s not forget how much children love their time in the water!
Speedo’s Endurance technology is one of the most popular chlorine resistant blends. It is quick drying and resists snagging and fading up to 20 times longer than many other fabrics. Lycra Blends
Lycra is a stretchy fabric which gives a comfortable fit that conforms to your body for a ‘second skin’ feeling. If used for prolonged periods in the pool, Lycra fabric can deteriorate when exposed to chlorine. Also, because it is made with elastic material, Lycra swimsuits can lose their shape over time with movement and wear. Lycra is sometimes treated to last longer in the pool, so look for Xtra Life Lycra for swimwear that keeps it shape and colour 5-10x longer.
Lycra is a great if you are a casual swimmer, getting to the pool a couple times per month. If you love to go the pool on a regular basis, Lycra works when you keep your swimwear choice fresh and new, or if you rotate between a few swimsuits.
Chlorine Resistant 100% Polyester
Polyester is a durable material, even when exposed to pool chemicals, which is what makes it ‘chlorine-resistant’. Swimwear made with polyester has a consistent fit when worn frequently because the fabric resists sagging. Polyester is also quick drying, so it is a popular choice for athletic wear.
Swimwear made with 100% polyester fabric is great for swimmers who are frequently in the water, and if you stay in for extended periods of time. These swimsuits are perfect for water aerobics and aqua fit classes.
PBT Polyester is another more recent addition to the swimsuit fabric world, and is found in both competitive swimwear and fitness swimwear. PBT, or polybutylene terephthalate, has excellent stretch and elasticity; additionally, PBT is also quick-drying and has low-water absorbency.
If you have accepted the ultimate demise of your beautiful swimsuit but are not yet willing to give up the fight, here is what you can do to prolong the life of your swimsuit, despite constant dippings in chlorinated water. First of all, you must truly accept the fact that your swimsuit is not meant to last forever. While there are fabrics that are treated for chlorine resistance, no fabric can entirely resist chlorine’s damaging effects. Second, you should make a consistent effort to take care of your swimsuit. After swimming, rinse your swimsuit as soon as possible in cold water. This act will remove much of the chlorine before it has too much of an impact. Also, when washing your swimsuit, be sure to hand wash or run it through the gentle cycle of your washing machine in cold water. In addition, you should never put your swimsuit in the dryer; the dryer will tend to exacerbate any fading that may occur.
With careful attention to the care of your swimsuit and a general acceptance of the inevitable decline of that swimsuit, you should be able to journey through the glorious summer with the swimsuit of your dreams.