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Tips to Prevent Skin Irritation from Hot Tub Usage

Many hot tub users complain about having dry skin after a soak in the hot tub. The reason for this is that the combination of hot tub sanitizers and hot water can reduce the oil and affect the pH balance of your skin which can result in dryness. And those with sensitive skin are even more prone to experiencing dry, itchy skin after hot tub soaks.

But even those with the most sensitive skin can avoid skin irritation while enjoying their hot tubs all winter long.

Here are tips to keep your skin healthy and prevent dryness from hot tub use.

Check Your Water Quality

You can prevent an itchy hot tub skin rash by taking care of the quality of your hot tub water. Follow these tips to help keep your hot tub water balanced and clean:

  • Test the water chemistry regularly—such as pH, total alkalinity, and water hardness—and adjust as needed. If the water is too alkaline, it will dry out your skin faster.
  • Test the sanitizer levels weekly—too much sanitizer can also exacerbate dry, itchy skin.
  • Shock the water after each use to make the sanitizer more efficient.
  • Clean the filter regularly, rinsing weekly and deep cleaning whenever you change the water (every three to four months), and replacing annually.
  • Shower before using the hot tub to avoid bringing contaminants into the hot tub water.

Use Spa Moisturizer in the Hot Tub

Spa-safe moisturizers don’t use oil, so they won’t clog your filter or harm your hot tub. These moisturizers come in scented fragrances for a relaxing hot tub experience that smells good while helping to keep your skin moisturized.

Rinse with Lukewarm Showers

The chlorine in hot tub water removes some of the oils from your skin, causing it to dry out. So, the best thing to do after soaking in your hot tub is to remove your swimsuit and take a lukewarm shower to rinse the chlorine off your skin.

Pat Dry

After hot tubbing and showering, gently pat your skin dry with a towel instead of rubbing your skin dry. Rubbing your wet skin with a towel can remove the top layer of skin and strip the oil from your skin, leading to skin irritation and dryness.

Dry Brush

Brushing the skin with a dry brush helps remove dead skin cells, clear clogged pores, and improve circulation. Dry brushing will also make it easier for your skin to retain moisture and absorb nutrients, making moisturizers more effective at treating dry, itchy skin.

Moisturize Skin

Moisturizer is the best solution for treating dry, itchy skin after using your hot tub. So, once you’ve taken a lukewarm shower and gently patted your skin dry with a towel, apply a moisturizer that is heavy and oil-based to help trap moisture in your skin and keep it hydrated.

Moisturizers with petroleum jelly, shea butter, or ceramides provide the best moisturizing results.

Exfoliate Weekly

Use a salt or sugar scrub to exfoliate your skin once a week and help keep it healthy. Exfoliating will remove dry, dull skin cells, open pores, and stimulate the skin renewal process.

As a result, healthy skin cells replace the old dry ones and moisturizers will work better on your skin, hydrating it more effectively since the layer of dead cells won’t be in the way.

Hot Tub Water Conditioning

Dead sea mineral salts also help exfoliate skin and act as a hot tub water softener. These salts contain magnesium, potassium, and sodium ions that help improve skin health.

You can also add an oil-free water conditioner to your hot tub, which contains silky moisture-rich emollients that will protect your skin from the drying effects of the hot tub chemicals.

Remember Your Lips

Lips tend to dry out faster than the skin on the rest of the body because they don’t have oil glands.

So, to avoid having chapped lips, especially when hot-tubbing in winter, use a lip moisturizer that contains glycerin, humectants, or water-based emollients that help retain moisture.

Avoid lip balms with fragrances, such as peppermint and camphor, since these fragrances tend to dry out lips faster.

Eat Hydrating Foods

Eating hydrating foods can help keep your skin feeling quenched.

These foods include:

  • Butternut squash
  • Cucumber
  • Flaxseed
  • Olive oil
  • Papaya
  • Salad greens—such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard
  • Salmon
  • Strawberries
  • Walnuts
  • Watermelon
  • Yogurt

Also, avoid drinking alcohol while in your hot tub. And be sure to drink water before, during, and after each soak to help you stay hydrated. Staying hydrated will help your body counter the drying effects of hot tubs.

Since hot tub water is more alkaline than our skin, it’s normal for hot tub users to experience dry skin.

But it doesn’t have to be. You can avoid dry, itchy skin by following these skincare tips and taking care of your hot tub water. And if your skin is especially sensitive to hot tubs, limit your soaking time to 15 minutes.

With the right skincare and hot tub care, you can have relaxing soaks all winter long while maintaining healthy hydrated skin.