Sunscreen impact on pool water

Can Sunscreen Affect a Swimming Pool’s Water?

In Pool Safety, Pool Tips, Pool Tips, Pools, Water Safety by Platinum Pools

In the last thirty years, swimmers have become more conscientious about skincare and avoiding skin damage caused by long hours exposed under the sun.  Sunscreen products come in many formats, including spray. While people find ways to protect their skins from the sun, they forget how it can affect the pool’s water. However, it should be a regular part of a swimming routine.

Sunscreen and Health

Sunscreen is a health product because it offers plenty of advantages for the skin. Apply the product before entering or after exiting the oasis. Now, what sunscreen is best?

There are many options to choose. There are SPF levels, water-resistant, and choosing between cream and spray. On the other hand, the Food and Drug Administration states that SPF levels do not make a difference. For example, if there is a sunscreen product with SPF 100 and another with SPF 50, it does not choose the higher number but applies it to the skin. SPF 100 sunscreens block up to 99% of UVB rays. On the other hand, SPF 50 can block up to 98%.

Using a higher SPF does not mean that a swimmer can stay under the sun for an extended time. Instead, a sunscreen with zinc oxide will be best. There are also other ingredients like benzophenones, titanium dioxide, and salicylates.  

If you plan to swim, ensure to choose a water-resistant sunscreen. Based on FDA’s information, water-resistant means that the SPF will stay effective even after being in the water for forty minutes or eighty minutes. However, water-resistant does not mean waterproof; reapply after swimming.

Here are recommendations on what to do for sunscreen application:

  • Apply 30 minutes before entering a swimming pool.
  • Women should apply regardless of if they are using makeup or not.  
  • Apply an equivalent of two tablespoons of sunscreen for the whole body. Many medical studies have proven that people tend to use less than the amount recommended. Don’t forget to apply on the ears, the back of the legs, and bald spots.
  • Use a lip balm with UV protection. It can help to protect your lips from sun exposure.
  • Reapply every two hours or more often; if you swim and go underwater, you should reapply more often.
  • Like any product, it degrades as time passes. Check the expiration date before you buy or when it is time to buy a new one.
  • UV rays are present on overcast days. So, it is always better to use sunscreen, even if you are not by the pool.

Water Chemistry

Water chemistry is an integral part of your swimming experience, and Platinum Pools is aware of that.

Sunscreen harms the water chemistry of your pool. It reduces the water’s quality, especially if many people are in and out of the pool and wearing sunscreen. Don’t get us wrong here; sunscreen is essential to keep everyone safe from UV rays.

On the other hand, sunscreen can significantly affect the water, especially chlorine, for the pool owner. It means that it causes a chemical imbalance, and the water becomes cloudy, causing swimmers to develop skin and eye irritations. 

sunscreen and Pool water chemistry

How to Solve the Sunscreen Problem

  • Is the pool’s water cloudy? Shock the water with a chlorinating product. Ensure that the filter is clean and running.   
  • If you swim a lot, substitute sunscreen with sun-protective clothing like long-sleeve swim shirts.
  • Use sunscreen with Zinc Oxide. The fewer added elements in a sunscreen, the better for the pool water.  
  • Ask swimmers to shower before going into the pool. It will help remove the dirt from their bodies, or if they have sunscreen, it will reduce the amount.
  • Enzyme treatments can help prepare the water since swimmers tend to reapply sunscreen before swimming again. Make a routine to add treatment to break down oils and ingredients that come from sunscreen lotion. Enzymes convert to components that can remove by filtration or break down the sunscreen chemicals. It requires, however, to apply it a few times.
  • Make sure to filter the pool. Proper filtration is vital. Filters must have the correct flow rate for them to be most effective. Verify that it has the appropriate run time. By doing periodic pressure-based backwashing can also assist your filter to be its best. Ensure that you care for your filter at least every other week during swim season, so you know it’s working well.
  • Cleaning the filters and the pool regularly will help remove the dirt and grime, preserving the water’s quality at its best. 

If you are unsure about removing the oils and products built up in the water, you can always contact Platinum Pools. We have a team of experts that can help you with all things pool-related. Call us today or visit our website for more information.