One of the popular opinions about swimming is that it makes you darker. I decided to verify if there is any truth to it or if it is just a myth.
I discovered that melanin is the substance that determines how dark or light the skin will appear. Melanin is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight. So, the truth is swimming pools don’t make you darker exposure to excessive sunlight while swimming does.
Does Pool Water Make You Darker?
I have heard people discuss how the tone of their skin has darkened over time. Many of those who talked about this believed that they got darker as they spent more time in swimming pools.
I asked my friends about it and they either were not sure at all or just say ‘yh.. people say that’ so I decided to find out if there was any truth to the claims. After going through all of the materials I could lay my hands, I discovered: that spending time in the swimming pool DOES NOT darken the skin.
However, you could get a darker skin by spending time swimming out in the sun. (continue reading to find out how)
Swimming Pools or Natural Water, Which Makes People Darker?
The difference between natural and swimming pool water is the routine water treatment that pools undergo. This treatment is carried out using water cleansing technologies to remove dirt and chemicals to maintain the desired PH level and keep out other harmful microorganisms.
The type of water you swim in plays no role in skin darkening. As you read on you will find out that chemicals that swimming pool water is treated with do not affect the color of the skin.
The substance that causes skin pigmentation or determines how dark the skin will appear is known as melanin. The amount of melanin produced by the body determines how light or dark the skin appears.
Does Chlorine Darken The Skin?
Several chemicals are used in the treatment of pool waters. Some to ensure that the pool water is clean, free from germs and living organisms that may be harmful to swimmers and other pool users.
Others are to make sure that the Ph level of the pool water is not harmful to the swimming pool users. The most common of these chemicals are chlorine, many people believe that long exposure to swimming pool water that has been treated with chlorine causes the skin to darken.
Long exposure to chlorine may cause the skin to age, excessive skin dryness, skin irritations, and may affect the texture of the skin, chlorine however does not cause the skin to darken.
What Is Melanin?
melanin is a substance that is produced in the body. It is responsible for the pigmentation or coloring of the skin, hair, and eye. Melanin is produced in the melanocytes.
Everyone has equal amounts of melanocytes but everyone does not produce an equal amount of melanin. Genetics and exposure to the sun are factors that determine the amount of melanin a person produces.
The more melanin a person produces, the darker the skin of that person appears while the lesser the amount of melanin being produced, the lighter that person’s skin appears.
How Do I Get Darker While Swimming?
The human skin contains melanin, a natural skin pigment that determines the color of the skin. Melanin is overproduced when it comes in contact with UV rays as a means of protecting itself from the harmful nature of the UV rays.
This causes the darkening or tanning of the skin. UV rays make up around 3% of the entire rays of the sunlight that reaches the earth’s surface. A large majority of swimming pools and water parks are constructed outdoors and in open spaces.
This means that whenever you use such swimming facilities, you expose yourself to UV rays and take the risk of your body producing excess melanin. When this happens the pigmentation of the skin begins to darken.
The longer and more consistently you expose yourself to the UV rays, the darker your skin is likely to become. This is to say that swimming in itself doesn’t cause the skin to darken but on the other hand, swimming in the sun can cause the skin to become darker.
What Are The Ways I Can Protect My Skin From Darkening While Swimming?
I know that we all enjoy swimming for our own different reasons, I know I do! Some even earn their livelihood by swimming. So how can I still enjoy the leisure and benefits of swimming while maintaining my glow? This question is very valid and the answers are provided below.
We know that the UV rays in the sunlight cause the skin to darken while swimming so electing to use indoor pools or pools swimming in places with coverings more than the outdoor ones is an obvious solution.
You could also wear swimming gears that cover a large area of the body or use a waterproof sunscreen. The use of bath gels after swimming also helps to prevent excessive tanning after a swim in the sunlight.
Finally, body lotions and moisturizers help the skin maintain its glow and limit the effect/damage that the sunlight might do to the skin.