Phoenix, Arizona (NAPSI) - Summer is right around the corner, and for many families, that means it’s the season for pool time fun. Swimming is not only the ideal way to cool off, it’s also great exercise and supports a healthy lifestyle.

However, dips in the pool and time in the sun can wreak havoc on your skin and hair. Harsh chlorine and trace metals in pool water can leave hair dry and damaged. Your skin can become dry and itchy, as well. The following simple steps can help protect your skin and hair and take the hassle out of your total pool enjoyment.

• Hydrate Your Skin—Before diving in, lather up with a layer of waterproof sunscreen or pre-swim lotion to counteract the drying effects of chlorine. For public and gym pools where you might be required to rinse off before swimming, make sure to apply the sunscreen early enough so that it can dry completely before showering. When showering, avoid soap that may dry out your skin, and instead, rinse off with water only.

• Wet Hair Before Swimming—Your hair absorbs water like a sponge. So, it’s better to first douse it with fresh instead of chlorinated water to block the drying effects of chemicals in the pool. A layer of conditioner can provide additional protection from pool chemicals. Keep a travel-sized bottle in your pool bag to use before swimming.

• Sun Protection—The hot summer sun can be unforgiving when it comes to your skin and hair. Liberally apply sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection early enough before you head out, and then reapply every two hours. But don’t count on sunscreen to give you complete protection. Wear a sun-protective hat to reduce ultraviolet radiation to your scalp, face and neck.

• Pool Water Enhancers—A pool water enhancer can be a larger scale solution for protecting all swimmers from the harsh effects of the water. A first-in-class pool treatment product, Silky Swim Goodbye DRY! is now available to create softer-feeling water. Using exclusive technology, it reduces the drying effects of pool water, leaving hair smooth and untangled and skin soft and itch-free. It can be poured directly into the pool and will create softer-feeling water in about 20 minutes. The pool treatment is compatible with salt, chlorine and bromine pools and both aboveground and inground installations.

• Shower After Swimming—Shower immediately after swimming to remove traces of chlorine and to limit the drying effects of pool water on your skin and hair. Consider a clarifying shampoo to remove any lingering chemicals. After your shower, add a leave-in deep conditioner to help the scalp recover and to keep hair hydrated. Also, apply body lotion liberally to rehydrate parched skin.

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