Chlorine Challenge

From early swimming lessons, to high-school swim meets, to middle-age gym membership, one constant has been the smell of Fritos emanating from my balls after swimming in chlorine. I was fooled for years by the orange peels and actual snacks being consumed on the bus. Worse, the pools that I thought were safe, due to my eyes burning, were actually not. A lot of little tadpoles out there this winter, too, are at risk of asthma; the treatment of which, ironically, could deplete vitamin D to levels that cause rickets.

I'm thankful that my gym membership was renewed for Christmas, but I've got to worry about my little helmet-heads, too. A good start (after vitamin D supplementation) would be to take what I've learned about my skin from shaving, and apply it to keeping my pool free of potentially hazardous ball-Fritos. So for my first swim of the year, I brought along the harshest oil-remover and skin pre-hydrator I know, a bar of dark orange, glycerin soap, and washed myself with it, head-to-toe. I hypothesized that, since I could tolerate glycerin shaving soap especially well after swimming, perhaps it would protect me from the chlorine when used in advance.

I didn't test that specifically, since I also used it after swimming, but I have to say, my nuts right now have a more natural, acetic aroma, having used the harsh detergent. As far as drying out the skin, well, at least it didn't make things worse. While there was no protective oil to prevent damage, there was also very little chemical residue to prolong the damage. I could see the usual light chapping in my T-zone, and gave it the usual treatment: a light dusting of bentonite powder, wet down with a cloth. I followed this with a generous application of 3-in-1 moisturizer to the exposed skin of my head and forearms. Maybe I'll throw a bottle of sunflower oil in the bag next time, and grease up after the cleansing.

My shave was performed late today, after the outing. The hair was harder, whether because I tried using rose water and baking soda instead of the usual, or because of the chlorine's effect on my hair. But I was undeterred, with my old glycerin frankensoap, and still got very good angles ATG, for a near BBS. Pretty lucky, I have to say: it usually doesn't go down that way, when the hair isn't super soft. This was with the Rimei and a broken-in Astra SS, both very capable of scraping me silly. I conclude that the hair was rendered brittle, and the perfect shave method accommodates swimmers.

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