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Chlorine and Your Skin.

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

The feeling of a nice hot shower when it's cold outside.

Taking the kids for swimming lessons at the public pools. Soaking in the bath after a long day.

These are things you probably relate to, but have you ever wondered why sometimes you or your child's skin could be adversely affected by them?

That distinct smell that often comes with treated water is chlorine - a common disinfectant that helps keep it free from harmful bacteria, viruses and pathogens. Because it appears heavily in water supplies worldwide, it's important to be aware of its potential side effects and take appropriate precautions to minimize exposure, particularly for young children, sensitive individuals and those with eczema or allergies.

Understanding the impact of chlorine helps protect yourself and your loved ones.The harsh chemicals in chlorine strip away our natural oils, leaving it vulnerable and prone to irritation. This can be especially problematic for those with sensitive skin or preexisting skin conditions.

Chlorine creates a bleaching agent when mixed with water that sits on top of the surface, making it easy to breathe chlorine in our lungs and when combined with organic material like sweat, urine, skin, or hair and skin products, chlorine may create harmful toxins known as HAAs.

Some studies even suggest inhalation of chlorine can lead to increased irritability, mood disturbances and even cognitive effects. Exposure to chlorinated swimming pools in early life is also associated with higher risk of airway inflammation and IgE sensitization to dust mites, independent of other risk factors (see this study).

We can't always avoid chlorine completely but we can take steps to reduce our exposure, and support our bodies when we do, so lets dive right in with some practical steps you can take.


Chlorine not only disrupts the pH balance of your skin and hair, causing dryness and irritation, it may also kill the good bacteria on your skin - plus as you shower, chlorine can enter your system through inhalation and skin absorption. Attaching a shower filter is a relatively simple and inexpensive way of minimising this risk and supporting your well being. It's a good idea to change the filter every six months.


This is expensive but an excellent investment especially if you're not planning on moving any time soon, as then you're then also covered for drinking and washing water! Whole house filters remove chlorine from the bath, shower and drinking water.

Whole house too much? Bench top filters like the Bio-1000 are great for drinking water.


Ascorbic acid (AA) or Sodium Ascorbate (SA) powders are the safest compounds to neutralize chlorine. According to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, just 1,000 mg of vitamin C can neutralize the chlorine in a tub of bath water.

I recommend running the bath water extremely hot at first, adding a tablespoon while the tap is running and then allowing the bath to cool (10-15 minutes) to allow more of the chlorine to dissipate via the steam. Enter the bath when the water is comfortably warm.



If you're sweaty or your skin isn't clean, have a quick shower first.

Apply a natural emollient such as shea butter or emu oil to form a barrier.

Take Vit C - wholefood drops for infants, toddlers and kids with liposomal for teens and adults.

Use goggles to help protect eyes from chlorine irritation.


Shower off straight away. Take some travel size shampoo and conditioner with you that you've added Vit C powder to, to help neutralise chlorine in your hair. Spray skin with the DIY Vitamin C spray below. Take more Vit C as above. When you're home, have an epsom salt bath (de-chlorinate water with Vit C if needed) and follow up with a nice chamomile tea.


½ cup filtered water

½ tsp Sodium Ascorbate (SA) powder

Add water and SA together in a glass spray bottle. Twist lid closed, and shake well to combine. Apply over entire body but do not spray on/near the face or on broken skin. {Note: Vitamin C degrades in water so this spray will only last 24 hours at a time}


After spending time in a chlorinated environment, make it a habit to head outside for some fresh air. Open up the windows at home, take a walk or simply relax in a well-ventilated space to allow your body the space to naturally detoxify.

Proper hydration is essential to flush toxins out of your system. Drink plenty of filtered water before, during and after swimming and do explore alternatives. Chlorine-free swimming options include natural bodies of water or those that use alternative disinfection methods such as salt, ozone and UV light.

Find this article helpful? Share with a friend! You may also want to join our free Facebook group, The Healing Tribe and follow more of our content at Instagram.

If you want comprehensive guidance and support especially if you're dealing with eczema, allergies or other gut health related challenges, it may be helpful to work with me 1:1 so I can tailor a holistic wellness action plan with tailored recommendations based on your situation and health history.

This article is not meant to replace the advice of your primary healthcare practitioner or to provide medical advice. It is intended to share knowledge and provide additional information to help you make informed decisions about supporting your body after probiotics. It is recommended that you always consult with your doctor if you or your child is suffering from a medical condition.


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