It’s a beautiful day at the beach. All of your friends are carefree, splashing in the water and soaking up the warm sun. The water looks so refreshing and fun, but you’re stuck on the beach. Sweating your makeup off and hoping no one sees what’s poking through.
Yes, this may sound dramatic but it describes my teenage summers. I wouldn’t leave the house without a full face of makeup.
It wasn’t until I moved in with my boyfriend at 19 did I go without makeup, and even then I only took my makeup off late at night. For the first time in years my skin has finally calmed down enough to let it breathe.
Acne Scarring? That is a whole different issue. Summer sunlight doesn’t help disguise any of the uneven texture issues so many of us suffer from.
There weren't as many options for me to want to cover my acne scarring if I went swimming compared to now.
Is Swimming Bad For Acne?
Swimming is a great exercise however if your skin is exposed for long periods to chlorinated water in most pools, it can cause more acne breakouts as chlorine can irritate the skin. Irritated skin generally leads to more acne. There's some evidence that this can also cause a dysfunction in the skin's microbiotaleading to more acne too.
Some people may even have an allergy and get contact dermatitis from chlorine.
Swimming outside and in the ocean may possible worsen acne if you are being exposed to harsh skin damaging UV rays from the sun. UV also depletes the collagen in skin, and damaged collagen is what causes acne scarring.
So far, there is some evidence against swimming for acne, however if you personally enjoy swimming don't let acne stop you from doing the activites you love! You never know if swimming really is a problem for your acne or not until you try it, as there could be other underlying root causes.
Personally I'd rather deal with potential new breakouts than to miss out on swimming!
Covering Acne Scars When Swimming
If you really feel like you need some makeup to help you get the confidence to go swimming with acne, there are ways to reduce the appearance of acne or acne scarring with waterproof makeup.
Yes, there is waterproof makeup that actually works. if you've ever watched synchronized swimming competitions, you'll see full faces of makeup from the athletes.
To cover acne scarring, first look for a waterproof primer which will help create a more even texture and base for your foundation or concealer. If you are oily, try a water based primer and if you are dry an oil based one. Reason being that if you have oily skin, an oil based primer would melt off easily as it dissolves in oil.
Next, find a medium to high coverage foundation that is more oil based so that water doesn't wash it away. 'Airbrush' based foundations tend to be fairly high coverage and waterproof.
The downside of doing waterproof foundation to cover acne or acne scarring is that these types of makeup tend to be heavier and may have more pore clogging potential.
So if you are feeling up to it, try to ditch the makeup if you're going to swim, but totally understand if you prefer wearing it to go swimming if you have acne.