How to Minimize Chlorine Exposure When Swimming

How to Minimize Chlorine Exposure When Swimming

We go to great lengths to remove chlorine (and other contaminants) in our drinking water and shower water, and it made me think about the effect of this common chemical in swimming pools and how much that exposure can affect us.

The Problem With Chlorine:

According to this article:

Swimming in a chlorinated pool may increase your risk of developing cancer, suggest a new suite of studies, which identified more than 100 chemical byproducts in pools that use chlorine as a disinfectant.

The crazy part:

You don’t even have to swim in the pool to be affected by some of the health risks. Chlorinated pools and other water sources also release chloramines.

What are Chloramines?

Chloramine is a gas that smells like chlorine and you’ve probably smelled this in hotels with indoor pools.

Sweat, sunscreens, urine and other chemicals and waste combine with chlorine to create chloramines. This oxidized chlorine gas and is present in the air around chlorinated pools and other water sources. As you can imagine, this is especially a concern in indoor pools without ventilation but can also be problematic in outdoor pools.

How to Know:

A strong smell of chlorine is a pretty good indication that there are chloramines in a pool. This potent gas can also cause symptoms like coughing and sinus irritation. On the more serious end, it can cause symptoms like wheezing and even increasing asthma symptoms.

The CDC reports that:

Breathing of irritants may increase sensitivity to other types of irritants such as fungi and bacteria.

Even the American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledges the dangers of Chlorine. Their study of over 800 children revealed that chlorine exposure had a noticeable effect on children with allergies or asthma. They also found that even children without allergies or asthma were affected by prolonged or regular chlorine exposure.

I have read a number of studies that link the use of Chlorine to sanitize drinking water to increased risk of bladder cancer. In this study by the Oxford Journal Of Medicine they also speak about swimming pool use as a risk factor.

What to Do?

Our whole family loves the water, so while not swimming and filtering our home water would eliminate chlorine exposure, I’m not quite ready to throw the baby out with the pool water…

Thankfully, there are a few things that can be done to help minimize chlorine exposure:

  1. Avoid chlorinated pools whenever possible. In many places there are options that use salt filters (though these still contain chlorine but in smaller amounts) or UV filters. There are often great places to swim outdoors in some places. Obviously, not swimming in water sources that use chlorine is an easy way to reduce exposure. Thankfully, our local indoor pool uses salt and UV filters and no chlorine.
  2. Use Vitamin C: Check out this great article and the attached lectures for a great background on how Vitamin C helps neutralize chlorine and undo the damage of chlorine exposure. Turns out taking Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) internally and making some type of solution to rub on the skin can reduce a lot of exposure. Turns out they even make Vitamin C shower filters that are pretty inexpensive and which dechlorinate shower water. Since Vitamin C is often uses in anti-aging serums, this is a win-win solution!
  3. Protect the skin: Providing a physical barrier on the skin with an oil can also help reduce exposure. I like using my homemade lotion and adding Vitamin C. It is great for skin and protects from chlorine exposure (recipe below!). A commenter pointed out that many public pools do not allow lotions on the skin before using the pool so check with the rules if you use a public pool and check with your pool instructions if using your own pool.

Do You Have a Pool?

If you have a pool and swim regularly, the effects of chlorine exposure can be even more pronounced. Thankfully, if you own a pool, you also have the ability to control the methods used and limit your chlorine exposure.

There are many great chlorine-free filtration options available now. If you are building a pool, you can start with one of these for about the same price as a regular chlorine pump and system. If you already have a pool, you can convert it relatively easily to a chlorine-free system.

Chlorine-Free Systems

Many places now offer UV based systems that require minimal or no chlorine to operate. These systems kill over 99% of bacteria on their own, so trace amounts of other chemicals can be used. Our method is to use a UV filter and pump system and use food grade hydrogen peroxide as a safety net.

The goal with hydrogen peroxide is to keep it at about 50 ppm. We use simple test strips to test and add about 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide per 1000 gallons of water every couple of weeks.

The important note here is to use food grade 35% hydrogen peroxide. The stuff from the drugstore is only 3% and you’d need a whole to shock a pool. 35% hydrogen peroxide is super concentrated, so use caution when handling it, but it is completely safe once in the pool because it is diluted so much.

Not only is this the most natural method I’ve found, it has been really simple to use and the only other factor we have to look at is balancing the pH. It is also pretty comparable cost wise to other methods.

If you swim in a pool that isn’t your own or can’t convert to a chlorine-free system, something as simple as a de-chlorinating lotion can help. It can also be helpful to shower in  a shower with a Vitamin C filter before and after swimming.

Dechlorinating Lotion

How to Make Lotion

  1. Combine oils and beeswax  in a pint sized or larger glass jar. I have a mason jar that I keep just for making lotions and lotion bars, or you can even reuse a glass jar from pickles, olives or other foods.
  2. In another small jar or bowl, add the vitamin c powder to the warm water and stir until dissolved.
  3. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place the jar with the oils inside the saucepan and turn on medium heat.
  4. As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, pour into a small blender or food processor. (Keep in the jar if using an immersion blender that will fit in the top of the jar.)
  5. With blender or food processor on, slowly add the water/vitamin C mixture until blended and emulsified.
  6. Store in an air-tight glass jar.
  7. Use before swimming (preferably after rinsing skin) to minimize chlorine exposure. This is purposefully a small batch since no preservatives are used and it will only  last one swim season.
  8. Enjoy and be chlorine free!

Other Options (No DIY required)

Those who use sunscreen can add vitamin C powder to pre-made sunscreen to get the benefits of chlorine reduction and sun protection at the same time.

Do you worry about chlorine exposure? How do you avoid it?

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Reader Comments

  1. Just the other day I couldn’t bear to get in a chlorinated pool because of the smell, now I KNOW that it’s bad for me! I have a question though, I thought most ascorbic acid/vitamin c supplements are genetically modified. Do you know that this brand isn’t? Or aren’t you worried about it?

    • I wondered this also, I have it in my cabinet. Did some searching and found out NOW does use gmo corn for vitamin c. The O is suppose to stand for organic, guess ill be tossing this out.

      • We have been using Native American Nutritionals Vitamin C and I’m pretty sure it’s non-GMO.

        Might give them a try 🙂

    • The best type of vitamin C that you can get is made be Pure Encapsulations and it’s called Ester C.

  2. Unfortunately I don’t have salted pools around me and due to my bad knees,i get a good workout in the pool in the gym 🙁 my question is,i heard that you’re not suppose to use oils I’m the pool cause it combines with the chlorine? Is that true? If it’s how can you use this lotion before swimming? I also heard you should shower in cold water before getting in the pool to hydrate your skin and it absorb less of the chlorinated water and drink plenty of water, which is hard to do right before cause than you end up leaving the pool alot to go to the bathroom 🙂

    • when you jump into a pool full of chlorine.(base ingredient of bleach!)
      your liver and kidneys start to clean/filter the poison er sorry chlorine out of the water.
      so instead of the water cleaning you. You are cleaning the water!! with your liver and kidneys.
      get a bottle of domestos and read the label. may release DANGEROUS gasses (chlorine)

  3. Oh, this has me worried to anxiety. I do everything possible to keep my kids healthy which includes weekly swim lessons. Sigh.

  4. Most public pools will not let you in if they know you’ve spread oil and wax on your skin. It clogs up their filters. That’s why they ask you to shower before entering the pool. Just hydrate your skin and hair in the shower before entering the pool then shower again after and you should be fine.

    • Totally agree, and as an ex-lifeguard cleaning the scum off the pool this is definely not a good idea in my books.

    • You should be fine? I don’t think that’s good enough. If your liver and kidneys are filtering this water I don’t think any amount of showering is going to help

  5. Any tips for hair that is damaged by chlorinated pools? I recently was in a heavily chlorinated pool for diving lessons all day and came out with hair like straw. Usually coconut oil seems to do the trick but not this time!

    • try jojoba oil

    • I’m a swim instructor, and I use jojoba oil in my hair after washing.

    • Take a shower before entering the pool so skin/hair are already saturated with water so the stronger Cl water can’t soak in as much.

    • I swim a lot and have struggled with straw like hair. I use non-toxic shampoo and conditioner all the time anyway but after a swim, I coat my hair with organic coconut oil and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Then I wash with my usual shampoo with some baking soda added in my palm. Usual conditioner and I’m all set with clean soft hair again 🙂 The baking soda helps remove the elements that are deposited on the hair shaft during swimming. This has worked for me even if a wait a few days to do this detailed regimen.

      • I read somewhere that if you soak your hair with club soda before swimming it… okay I can’t remember what, exactly, but it’s supposed to let less chlorine penetrate the shaft of your hair. Baking soda will do some mechanical damage over time – you might try club soda before hand to see if it helps.

        • HI, Interesting! Try it and let us know if it helps. Happiness….

  6. This is quite depressing for me to read. After 7 years of swimming competitively, I worked 30+ hrs a week in an indoor, chlorinated, swimming pool for 5 years. I spent about 2/3 of my time teaching lessons in the water (usually 4-5 hrs at a time) and the other 1/3 life guarding and breathing the very poorly ventilated air. I spent another 2 hrs as an aquatic director, so not as closely exposed but still–everyday–even my office smelled like chlorine! Hopefully I won’t see any severe adverse effects but I guess it’s too late for prevention at this point! Yikes!

    • It’s never too late to reverse the affects of any contamination. I’d suggest following a cancer diet for 3 months to detox, sleep by 10, take a walk in the sun every day, and you should be good to go!

    • Well, if it helps..I not only grew up with a swimming pool since I was four, I also swam in college, became a lifeguard and swimming instructor for seven years, and also swam in indoor pools regularly in my thirties(even when pregnant!)…..and I am now 61. I haven’t swam for a long time due to severe injury and I am starting again today. It is very difficult to locate a non chlorine pool, and although I don’t like chlorine, swimming is an incomparable exercise and I believe the good outweighs the bad, given the info in these comments..we can protect our skin with better solutions now.

      • Hey Deborah,
        I am 61 too! Same story for me although I have only been teaching for the last 8.5 years. I am trying to figure a natural healer for my skin; my skin isn’t so pretty, but I love the exercise of doing my water workout, 2000 yards usually…
        Let me know how you’re doing with you new water exercise!

  7. This is perfect timing as we are moving into a house with a chlorine pool. It does have the option to switch back to salt water, which I really want to do. Is there still some chlorine present in salt pools? Is there anything to watch out for with salt pools and does it need to also have a UV filter? Thanks!!

    • Also isn’t salt water just the same as chlorine since by the time the salt gets to the pool it is chlorine? I’ve heard salt water is the same as chlorine just a cheaper option. I think we’ll wait till we can get a UV filter with it as this would reduce the overall need for salt/chlorine.

      • Actually there is a huge difference between salt being changed to “chlorine” and commercial chlorine used in pools. The commercial chlorine has several other chemical added to stabilize the concentrated chlorine because it is dangerous by itself, for shipping and handling. Salt on the other hand is stable and harmless and the concentration can be easily adjusted to lower levels in a pool.

    • salt pools..sodium cl….add an electron to the water and there you have it…you have made sodium hypochlorite…bleach….thats all there is to a salt pool…you have made bleach…the chlorine gas is used to kill bacteria…and revert back to salt…and the process begins again…so yes there is chlorine in a salt pool

      • I read somewhere that chlorine was Hitler’s poison gas!
        and a busload of school children was carted off to the hospital after
        the council put too much in the “new” swimming pool in winsford Cheshire.
        I have spent long hours on the phone trying to find a SAFE place to swim but to date have
        drawn a blank?
        went to the beach at new Brighton but the stench of raw sewerage soon changed my mind.
        please let me know if anyone finds a safe place to swim.

        • Hi, My spa has Cl made on demand so it is less strong and taking a shower before swimming…get hair/body wet may prevent the stronger Cl from being absorbed. Iodine may help push Cl/F/Br out of the body. Yes…it is hard to swim in lake full of living microorganisms and sewage is not good. They used to swim at a quarry, but people urinated in the water and polluted it. Too bad. Fluorine in tap water also is not good…Nazi’s used F to make people more passive as it blocks thyroid like Cl/Br.

        • Nope! The gas used by Hitler was Zyklon B (in the form of small lumps of diatomite soaked in prussic acid), and contrary to the “official” holocaust story, the only thing gassed was clothing and bedding to kill the typhus virus that was rampant in the camps. It is the reason that the bodies were so emaciated.

      • yes this is true. We have a salt water system and would never go back to straight chlorine. The salt water system is programmed to begin chlorinating at night when everyone is out of the pool. It generates chlorine for 4 hours, at which time you can smell a faint chlorine aroma. By morning though, the smell has dissipated and the water disinfected. When we used chlorine tabs, the chlorine smell was very apparent all the time, bathing suits wore out quickly, and eyes were bloodshot from the water. With the salt water system, our pool water stays clean and swimmers are much more comfortable. Swimming in the salt water is akin to a pleasant relaxing epsom salts bath, and keeping eyes open underwater is not painful in the least. The concentration of salt in the pool is similar to the natural saline content of human tears.

        The cost savings is also a huge plus. Including the initial investment of the system and adding two to three bags of water softener salt each year, we cut the cost of disinfecting the pool, Pool chlorine tabs are quite expensive and we are saving money in the long run by not using them, not to mention the savings in not needing to replace bathing suits until out grown.

        There is much more sodium in the ocean than in a salt water pool. I feel, for my family that the salt water system is a huge improvement over a chlorinated pool. I am confident that I am doing what is best for my family

      • I’m no biochemist, so I don’t know anything about how sodium hypochlorite or “bleach” is formed in pool water but I have read that bleach is bioaccumulative in the body and we should avoid it because it is possible that it will bioaccumulate into dangerously toxic levels.

        Also, perhaps the largest danger from swimming in pool chemicals is in how it affects our gut microbiome. Anything that kills bacteria in a pool is also going to kill the beneficial bacteria in our digestive system because it is absorbed directly through our pores.

        Long-term swimmers frequently suffer from leaky gut syndrome and the swimming pool chemicals are at the root of the problem. Leaky gut syndrome can lead to things like IBS, skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis, and eventually many other autoimmune disorders. Daily probiotics supplements is absolutely necessary for anyone having long-term exposure to pool chemicals, and maybe even the exposure we get just from daily showering.

        Another harm is caused by the chlorine and fluoride from water getting into the iodine receptors that are located on almost every cell in our body. It displaces the iodine that we need for proper thyroid function.

  8. I feel like chlorine is a moot point with all the fluoride in our pool water. Fluoride has a lower relative atomic weight (or mass) than chlorine, so it will displace chlorine (and bromine and iodine). Therefore that is my real concern and I don’t think there is much I can do about fluoride in my water. I wish I only had to worry about chlorine!

    • hi



    • There are filters that remove fluoride from drinking water. The Big Berkey is one. The AlexaPro Pure is another – it is a brand new gravity filtering system. Both of these are portable so you can take them with you when you move. I’ve also read about a new technology that is currently in production and coming out soon. It is a stand-alone counter top reverse osmosis and filtering system that does not require being connected to your plumbing or electricity to work. So it too can be portable.

      All three of these water filtration systems have had 3rd party testing done that proves they remove all the contaminants they claim to remove, including fluoride, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, bacteria, pesticides, herbicides, chlorine, chloramines, etc.

      Sadly, it’s much more expensive to run a whole-house filtration system to remove all these harmful chemicals so we don’t have to bathe in them. But filtering drinking/cooking water has to be better than doing nothing at all!

      • Lori, you can use a shower filter (I like the Sprite brand, available on Amazon) if you don’t have a whole-house filter.

        • Thanks Tara for the suggestion. To my knowledge there isn’t a shower filter that removes fluoride and chloramines. If someone knows of one, I’d sure like to hear about it! I’m pretty sure the Sprite brand doesn’t. It only claims to remove chlorine on their website, which wouldn’t do me any good.

          Our water no longer has chlorine added to it. They switched to adding Chloramines instead a few years ago. I’ve looked into it. Most basic filters don’t remove or even reduce chloramines at all. But adding 1000 mg of vitamin C to the bath water and letting it sit for a short while binds up the chloramines making it less harmful. It doesn’t have any effect on the fluoride though. So short of heating my filtered water for the bathtub, which would take a great deal of time, I don’t have any other choice but to bathe in fluoride. Yuck!

          • Hi Lori, I didn’t realize you are dealing with chloramines rather than chlorine in your water supply. Our water here has chlorine added, rather than chloramine. So I use a shower filter, though as you said, that kind of filter doesn’t help with fluoride. I do have a whole-house filter, which removes chlorine/chloramines, fluoride, etc, and then use the shower filter as an extra layer of protection. Have you checked your local water report to see if the fluoride is from natural erosion or if it is added to the water? I use and recommend the Pure Effects filters — both the whole-house filter and the countertop and under-counter filters.

            They remove fluoride very effectively (fluoride is particularly hard to remove, from what I understand, and the effectiveness levels tend to wane over the life of most filters, but the PE filters have very good fluoride removal capacity). I also like that the water is always available, rather than having to fill the Berkey over and over (I used to do that and am very happy not to have to any longer). The filters also remove radiation, pharmaceutical residues, VOCs, heavy metals, and many other offenders, in addition to the chlorine/chloramine and fluoride. If you are at some point able to purchase the whole-house filter from Pure Effects, that would take care of all the contaminants that are of primary concern for you (chloramines, fluoride), as well as all the other categories of contaminants (which I’m sure you would prefer to be rid of as well), and then you could add a shower filter just for removing anything picked up from the pipes in your home. I wish you well. I know it’s challenging to figure all these things out. I hope this info is helpful.

    • fluoride is rat poison!
      when you jump into a pool full of chlorine.(base ingredient of bleach!)
      your liver and kidneys start to clean/filter the poison er sorry chlorine out of the water.
      so instead of the water cleaning you. You are cleaning the water!! with your liver and kidneys.
      get a bottle of domestos and read the label. may release DANGEROUS gasses (chlorine)

      • Coumadin is rat poison as it thins blood, but Cl/F/Br are all in the same chemical family and block iodine which is needed for the thyroid. Yes…I have 2nd thoughts about swimming compared to a walk in the sunlight.

  9. The review on that shower filter was terrible. Everyone said it leaked. I wonder if there is a homemade option or how one would go about making one…

    • My family uses the following shower head and we think it does a great job…

  10. Thanks for the great article! Is there a way to preserve your lotion recipe?

    • Vitamin C is very sensitive to heat and oxidation and is readily denatured especially when exposed to water. I wonder if instead of straight vitamin C we might not use the fat-soluble form of Vitamin C which is Ascorbyl Palmitate. This is a food industry preservative whose components are, C which is ascorbic acid and palmitic acid. Our bodies convert excess carbs into palmitic acid.
      In the above formula, 2 tsp of vitamin C may be 10 grams of straight ascorbic acid. Whereas, 1 gram of Ascorbyl Palmitate would contain 400 mg. of Ascorbic Acid. An equivalent amount of Vitamin C in the lotion would mean adding 25 grams of Ascorbyl Palmitate. @ $18 per 8oz bottle, it’s affordable and interesting. I will see how the lotion looks as I slowly add the Ascorbyl Palmitate.

  11. We have some pools sterilized with ozone here in BC, Canada, which apparently does not eliminate but reduces the amount of chlorine used. I am sure your UV and salt water pools are the thing of the future. How great!

    I used to use ascorbic acid in the bath, then became concerned when I heard GMOs. By googling I came across a few brands that is non corn dervied and guarantee no GMOs. Have not tried any yet but they are out there if the NOW brand makes people uneasy. This is what NOW says on their site….

    For example, pure natural vitamin C is produced from corn by only five production facilities in the world. None are in the United States, where GMO corn is all too common. All are from Europe and the Far East, situated in countries that (to date) have restrictions that do not allow GMO food corn to be grown there. Our producers have given us statements to confirm that their corn sources are non-GMO, but the documentation doesn’t extend back to the farm level. Testing for GMOs has not found that any is detectable in vitamin C. We have done all that is currently possible to assure that our vitamin C is non-GMO, and continue to monitor the situation to ensure this is maintained in the future.

  12. In response to Ghada629 – yes, oil will combine with chlorine in the pool, reduce the active chlorine in the water, increase the amount of disinfection byproducts in the water and in the air. The pool operator will need to counter this input of extra bather pollution by further increasing the volume of chlorine being added to the pool.
    The best way of reducing smells in chlorinated pools… is to wash thoroughly before getting in. Operators can only reduce chlorine concentrations as part of a combined effort with the general public. Cleaner swimmers equate to lower pool disinfectant requirements… Eg. less chlorine.
    If all the swimmers at a pool coat themselves with oil prior to bathing, the pool water quality will deteriorate rapidly. It wont be a very pleasant place to swim at all.

  13. I have felt frustrated with this very subject lately and
    wondered what I could do to protect my two year old daughter. My family thinks
    I’m crazy already, but I swear this dermatitis covering her wasn’t there until
    she took swimming lessons and swam in my in laws pool. Keep thinking since the
    skin is such a detoxifying organ and she is so clean that this is the reason
    for the reaction. I’ve been covering her in coconut oil which seems to really
    be helping, but all ears for anything else I can do.

    • if coconut oil isn’t doing the trick as rapidly as you’d like, i found jojoba oil to be extremely effective in treating my dishidrotic eczema and seabuckthorn oil helps to combat redness.

      • Thank you!!!!

        • I use almond oil on my skin after swimming, works amazingly! Though for extra sensitive dry spots (I have a pretty bad reaction to chlorine, but have no other options for swimming where I live) I have to use cetaphil on those areas. Only thing that works for me. :/

          Don’t tell our gym, but for those very small patches I cover them with a thin film of straight lanolin before swimming for a good layer of protection, it’s amazing! Those spots are also covered by my swimsuit, so I assume very, very little would make it into the pool. Unlike a lotion would, because it’s soooo thick and doesn’t wash off easily.

          Also, to get the chlorine smell off, I use vitamin c powder mixed in water and spray on my and my husband’s body immediately after swimming, and then shower. I use it in my hair as well, works like a charm!

          I use about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon vitamin c to 1 spray bottle of water.

    • Have you tried an iodine supplement or kelp (kombu)? Iodine is a helpful halogen that will displace the other ones in the body: fluorine, chlorine, bromine.

      Dr. Jorge Flechas recommend about 12000 mcg daily. This is just under the 13000 mcg/day that Japanese usually consume on a daily basis. Might need to be on the watch for a detox reaction, but these levels are very safe.

      • I’ve read in many different sources that iodine is a weaker halide than any of the harmful halides like: chlorine, fluoride or bromide. So the harmful ones will get into the iodine cell receptors and block iodine from getting in.

          • Your observation about iodine being the heavier halide on the Periodic table and therefore the stronger halide sounds logical but…
            Actually, it’s the other way around. Iodine is displaced by lighter halogens, and they displace one another. For example, bromine displaces iodine, but chlorine displaces bromine, and fluoride displaces all of the above! For more information on various forms of iodine and more about halogen displacement, check out

            Bromine — The Bully of the Halide Group

            When you ingest or absorb bromine, it displaces iodine, and this iodine deficiency leads to an increased risk for cancer of the breasti, thyroid gland, ovary, and prostate — cancers that we see at alarmingly high rates today. This phenomenon is significant enough to have been given its own name – the Bromide Dominance Theory.ii


            There is so much conflicting info out there. It’s so hard for a regular person to sift through it all and figure out what is accurate and what is not. When even the top experts have differing opinions, then it makes a difficult situation impossible! I guess you just have to pick which expert you are going to believe and try to avoid as many toxins as possible because unlike our grandparents, we are bombarded every day and our bodies weren’t designed to deal with this many toxins at once. When the body is overloaded and constantly trying to get rid of toxins, it can’t do what it’s supposed to do, like make necessary hormones, repair damage, etc.

  14. As my middle daughter’s swimming lessons are about to start back up (in a chlorinated pool I’m afraid), this post was well timed for me. Thanks for the lotion recipe, I will be making some up. And, thanks for the tip of making it right in a jar – I’ve never done that before. Awesome!

  15. The thing is, don’t be fooled by the salt systems, they are simply a chlorine generator. They use electrodes to break the bond between sodium and chlorine. So, chlorine is still present and it actually is, in some cases, at a higher level than in a normally chlorinated pool. The REAL solution is to use a couple systems together like the UV system, an OZONE system and something to give the water residual fighting power like a copper ionizer. I’m using OZONE Joes, a UV system and a Go Chemless on my pool and I am chlorine-free! 🙂

    Great article, I agree, chlorine has GOT TO GO!

    • Thank you for the advice. I am an active athletic 51 year old former competitive track athlete, Power Lifter and Jiu-Jitsu wrestler. I now have a hip implant (a BHR resurfacing) and I am having terrible problems with it since I bought my new house with its own pool. I am beginning to suspect it is due to the chlorine in my new pool dehydrating my body. My hip implant relies on a natural fluid barrier for the metal “ball” to “glide” in the metal socket, without this fluid barrier, my hip grinds during movement. I began to notice a correlation between my hip worsening and my time in or exposure to my chlorinated pool. I then read a doctors article stating that dehydration is the most likely cause of my implant grinding. I tried staying out of the pool for a few days and my hip returned to normal. It would be a major bummer if I could not use the new pool. I love swimming in it. Hopefully these alternative systems you mentioned will not dry out my body like the Chlorine. Thank you again for the advice.

  16. Hi Kathie,

    Thanks for this recipe.i’ve tried this. I have few questions, it is like body butter consistency after you put the vit c mixture. Is there anyway to dissolve the vit c without water because i’ve tried to dissolve it with oil but it dies not dilute. I would like to make it as lotion bar. And can you please suggest me how to combine this recipe with zinc oxide so that i can have de-chlorine bar and uv protection as well?

    • I second this request. A lotion bar style decolorinator WITH added zinc oxide as UV protection would be brilliant. Especially on the kids who will generally only tolerate one lotion application, particularly while waiting to jump in the water!!

  17. Katie,
    I see you link to NOW ascorbic acid here and Camu pwdr in your Vit C face serum. I would like to order just one for both, which do you recommend. Obviously there is a large price difference but if the Camu is worth the money, I would buy it.

  18. Could you please share a substitute for the Vitamin C and Coconut Oil? My son has sensitivities to both. Thanks so much!

  19. This is a general question. I just made your sunscreen and bug-off lotion bars and am very happy with them so far, so I will continue to use them. My question is do you have a quick and dirty way to clean the bowls, pots, utensils, etc.? I found the cleanup was messy and took a while, and I’m just wondering if I did it the hard way. Love your blog BTW!

    • Use liquid Castile soap straight from the bottle. I used to loathe the cleanup job until I discovered this. It makes cleaning the oils and waxes off quick and easy. I keep an unscented bottle of castile soap around specifically for cleanup.

  20. As Ryan said, a salt water pool is a chlorine pool. It manufactures the chlorine in your pool system so you don’t need to buy or handle chlorine.

    This appears to be a good alternative freshwater system with good reviews and it is available in the US.

    • I had a salt water pool at my home in Melbourne, Australia until 2015. The salt in the water is broken down by the electrolysis unit to create chlorine. I was unimpressed by the cost of running it, and the quantity and cost of the other chemicals that the pool maintainer insisted were necessary to keep the pool healthy. I considered the ozone and hydrogen peroxide systems but dismissed them because of the dangerous nature of the chemicals that must be stored on site to be fed into the pool. I was most impressed when I discovered that the Enviroswim system was developed at the request of the Queensland state government after several children died in public pools because the existing chlorine based systems did not kill some of the most dangerous bacteria found in public pools. When my salt chlorinator unit became unreliable due to an electronic fault, I replaced it with an Enviroswim system. Enviroswim uses an ultrasonic chamber to destroy large organisms in the water, and a pair of copper and silver electrodes to kill bacteria. The water is now almost completely free of salt. It has cut down my maintenance and power costs and virtually eliminated the need for chemical additives apart from a small amount of acid to balance the alkilinity from the concrete structure of the pool. The air around the pool smells better and the metal fittings do not corrode as quickly as they did previously. But, the major change was that I had to dismiss the previous pool maintenance company because they kept on adding chemicals that were unnecessary and interfered with the Enviroswim system. I have since realised that there are many ways of creating safe swimming water, but the pool equipment and chemical industry promotes the ones that ensure a perpetual flow of chemicals into my pool water and cash into their pockets.

  21. Thanks for the recipe. Is it ok to add carrot seed oil for sun protection? And how many teaspoons to add? I can’t get zinc oxide where I’m from. TIA

  22. I use shea butter before swimming in our local pool, it works great! Never thought I could add vitamin C, need to try that 😉 Thank you for the article 🙂

  23. Those that are paranoid and/or skeptical can listen to my podcast episode with Olympic Swimmer Catherine Garceau as she discusses her depression that stemmed from hours and hours spent in a chlorinated pool.

  24. This is a horrible and misinformative article. All public pools require the use of a sanitizer. Either chlorine or bromine. So when you say a salt pool with UV doesn’t have chlorine in it, that’s a lie. The salt in the pool is converted to chlorine by electrolysis. It makes the exact same chlorine that you would buy in a bottle. Same chlorine levels as a normal pool too since the health departed regulates this.

    If you go into a pool that isn’t properly sanitized you are asking for a far worse parasit or baterial infection than anything the chlorine could ever cause.

    Fun fact. The average person have .1 grams of fecal matter, up in their you know where,when entering a pool. You should thank the chlorine in the pool, not make it a villain. And if there is no chlorine in the pool, get out.

    • Agreed. Yours is one of the most accurate comments here.
      I’m a Florida native and have been swimming (i.e. laps, not just standing in the water to cool off) my whole life. In the Atlantic, the Gulf, and many outdoor pools. I also have a B.S. degree in science.

      I would rather rinse off immediately after swimming – including washing my hair asap in order to wash off chlorine than swim in green slimy pools or pools where the ppm (parts per million) of fecal matter is off the charts. Pools must use something to keep the ppm of feces, urine, algae and the like at a very low level. We have our own pool and every time it rains, or just every 5-6 days, the pool must be majorly adjusted.

      I second the suggestions to shower hair & body just before entering. Lastly, due to my extended-wear contact lenses, I always wear a full snorkeling mask, and I think it might possibly help in that my face, eyes, & nose never contact the water at all.

      All the scientific studies I have seen indicate that the chlorine problem is most often seen in indoor, public pools.
      And the individuals affected have been competitive swimmers and employees — both of whom spend much more time exposed in the pool, breathing the recirculated air (& applying chemicals, in the case of employees) than most of us ever will. The amount of time of exposure must be figured in. (i.e. 365 days a year, or, at the other extreme: 7- 30 days a year for only 1 hour per day if one accounts for swimming lessons, summer camp, and a beach vacation for most children) I hope this last comparison calms some mothers as it has calmed me.

      • Thank you for your comment Marie. I grew up swimming in a Lake. I now go to a local community pool that does use chlorine, but is very clean and well ventilated. I rinse off before I go in, and after. The pool/swimming has saved my life. At 50 years old, only a few months ago I was in agonizing pain and was limping due to Sciatica. The exercises and swimming in the pool has greatly improved my life. I am a person that HAS to have-be in the water. I am in the pool one hour 3x week minimum. Hopefully all the other natural things I do will help with detoxing from being subjected to chlorine. I personally use spirulina to help.

  25. Hi! Thank you so much for the useful info! Can I use coconut oil on my daughters hair before entering the pool to protect it from chlorine? It remains greasy even after shampooing… And is vitamin c safe on children’s skin?
    Thank you!

    • A hair dresser told me that by wetting your hair before going into a pool you saturate the follicles with water so they’re less likely to saturate the chlorine.

  26. Hi im concerned about chlorine to because it can cause cysts ive been fighting an ovarian cyst for a while now hoping to get pregnant and a natural dr told me chlorine can cause them!! But i love swimming guess what i found!! USE BAKING SODA INSTEAD OF CHLORINE!!! It balances the ph! Genius!!!!! And cheap!!! ;)!

    • Baking soda does not DISINFECT, which is the point behind chlorine. It’s not about ph in a pool. It’s about preventing people from getting sick from swimming in bodily fluids, germs, & bacteria. I agree chlorine is dangerous and hate my family swimming in it, but baking soda is not the answer.

  27. A friend asked that I comment on this. For full disclosure, my company makes a complete alternative to chlorine in pools. To be clear Salt is Chlorine. The same negative effects of chlorine exist with salt systems. The key is to have complete disinfection. In pools it comes in the form of both oxidation and residual sanitation. Chlorine does this at a cost to our health, environment and personal enjoyment of our pools. Good sanitation systems like ours can perform the complete disinfection needed without exposing your family to negative impacts while enjoying your swimming more.

    • What is your product?

      • The company is Clear Comfort and the product is called Advanced Oxidation System.

  28. saltwater pools are not the same as chlorine. My daughter is extremely sensitive to chlorine. after just one swim in a chlorine pool her skin is horribly irritated and I don’t let her go in again for at least a week. Thankfully, our neighbors have a saltwater pool and she has no problem going in as often as she wants.

    • I will only point out the basics. Salt in a pool is converted into chlorine. NaCl is salt. Na is Sodium. Cl in Chlorine. I am happy that your daughter enjoys swimming in salt pools. Just know that the slat is converted into Chlorine through a device called a salt CHLORINATOR. It puts an electric charge across plate to separate the NaCl into Chlorine.

  29. My daughters and I go in the pool daily right now since the fla heat can be miserable and I’ve tried looking up a spray recipe. I don’t think the ascorbic acid would dissolve in water completely and have thought about rose water which is what I spray on our skin and hair now. Is there a better idea?

  30. Unfortunately its not always possible to avoid the chlorinated pools but definitely wash straight after and use a natural product like the almond oil on the skin.

  31. I have some Sodium Ascorbate powder (the one recommended by Dr. Suzanne Humphries) but no Ascorbic Acid. Do you think that would work in this recipe?

  32. Thanks for sharing about this topic i was really concerned about it from last few month, have heard about this issue from my friends, the pool i go weekly, they have some rule to enter into the pool without applying any oil or other skin product on your body, they say it cause some damage to their pool filters. but i think quick shower after swimming & use of any body lotion or oil will help to reduce the effect of chlorine on my body

  33. For me personally, the many mental and physical benefits of swimming laps far out weighs my concern of the chlorine.

    • I couldn’t agree more.

    • Until you hit the point of no return and come down with leaky gut syndrome and auto-immune disorders, the chlorine isn’t really a problem. Once the scales tip to far in the wrong direction, that’s when you cannot tolerate chlorine and fluoride any longer.

  34. Please make a note at the top of this blog post or take this post down. Lotions, oils or other skin applications put on before swimming is not allowed in most, if not all, public pools! You are encouraging something that is against most public pool policy. I agree with most of your wonderful blog post but this one is a big disappointment! Adults and children who are recreational swimmers for a short amount if time every week are fine! Exercise benifits far outweighs the negative affects if short-term chlorine exposure!

    • I added a note to the post, and am certainly not suggesting that anyone break any rules, however I would have to disagree that the benefits outweigh the risks and some individuals (including me) react very strongly to chlorine and will have negative effects for weeks. For me, even showering in most hotels is enough to affect me.

  35. I keep getting UTI’s and wonder if you know of any protective garment I might be able to wear while in the pool. I am soon to be 82 and feel that the pool walking I do helps me in many ways. I have also had knees and hips replaced. It does not hurt my body to walk in the pool. I walk about an hour. I really hate to quit. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank You very much for any help you might be able to give me.

  36. I am with you, Wellness Mama! People say that the benefits of exercising, being in water, etc outweigh the risks for them until they are the ones diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, etc. Then it’s “poor me/I did everything right/I guess this is just bad luck/etc” and those of us who chose more responsibly have to provide support and pretend that we don’t see or understand what really is going on.

    I eat organically, take no meds, and filter my shower and drinking water. I definitely, as much as it sucks, will not swim in chlorine. If I even have to take a shower without a filter, my skin is dry and itchy and burns for days. I think for most people to understand and care, they would have to have their skin peel off upon entering the water. Otherwise, they just believe what they’re told and go on their way.

    Also, what makes people think that they can completely submerge their skin, the body’s largest organ, in a bath of chemicals and not absorb them? Rinsing off after (in more chlorinated/fluoridated/toxic water) is not going to change things. Maybe all of the chemicals have affected their brain cells?

    The only way this will all change is if we all come together and demand it. First, though, we have to wake up…
    …thanks for a good article, and for having the courage to do what you do!

  37. wanting to make something for my son to use in the showers after swimming in the pool. He’s a swimmer and is in the pool or pool area 6 days a week for 2-3 hours a day. I made some spray that was just water and vit c but thats only good for 1 or 2 days max due to oxidations. can’t find anything online, but do you think if I put the vit c in a bar of soap it would last longer? also do you know how long it would last in the lotion recipe you have? LOVE your site and your podcasts!!! please make more podcasts! haha! (like you aren’t busy?!) LOL!! take care!! thanks for all you do to spread the word and make it easy to find great info!!! 🙂

  38. I’ve been swimming competitively for years now and I have to say I’ve tried everything out there. At one point I had so many bottles of oils, vitaC, lotion I felt like I was going to a picnic. VitaC and oils are a huge hassle and do not work that well. And no lifeguard in their right mind will let you into the pool if you’re oiled. Over my long exposure to the pool chlorine, my skin has become more sensitive to the point of eczema, severe itch, and blotchy skin. I’ve just started using Swimmer Soap bar soap, I’ve only used it for a few of months. It was getting rid of the chlorine and the itch, and at first it wasn’t really doing much for the eczema but its actually going down on it’s own. I’m not on any oral or topical medication for it. Hope this helps.

  39. Swimspray. On Amazon. Gets chlorine off skin. Use a chelating shampoo and rinse with half a jug of distilled water. Your hair will be softer. Yes, the shampoo has ‘junk’ in it. But if you need the smell out of your hair and/or it has turned green (blondes) or you want your texture back, it will do it in one fell swoop. I used JOICO k-Pak clarifying shampoo. Again, this product has ‘bad stuff’ in it; but it is an effective solution. And it’s quick. I can not be 100% non-toxic and 100% organic, 100% of the time, so pls don’t judge; I’m just bring real about what worked for me. Using it a handful of times only in the summer is not a huge risk for me. xo

  40. Saltwater pools are NOT chlorine free! Rather than putting chlorine in a saltwater pool, it is made by the chlorine generator in a saltwater pool and the levels are the same and often HIGHER than a chlorinated pool.

    We were going to have a saltwater pool installed, but instead went with the “Frog Mineral System” which is truly lower chlorine. We were able to keep our chlorine at 1/3 (to 1/2 at times when we needed a bit more) the level of chlorine a standard or saltwater system uses. We never smelled like chlorine either when swimming in that pool. No headaches and worries. I know it still wasn’t ideal, but it was far better than what our exposure would have been with a standard system.

    • The Spa I go to….doesn’t burn my eyes or eat up my swim suit like the YMCA pool does. They make Cl on demand. I don’t know the details. I am glad you found a good way to have safe water. Happiness….

  41. We are buying a house that has a pool and they use bromine instead of chlorine. Is this safer or just as bad as chlorine?

    • Writing about that soon, but it definitely has some of the same concerns and may be worse.

  42. OMG!
    Did I use read YOU say ‘for those who use sunscreen……’ Where have you been? How can you insider yourself ‘wellness’? Any more like this and you will lose me forever! ?

  43. I have been trying to find instructions for switching a home pool to iodine. There have been many articles and studies of College competitive pools switched to iodine being beneficial in many ways, but I cant find any i formation on process and chemical testing levels to switch my home swimspa to iodine. I have hypothyroid and iodine deficient, which chlorine further depeletes iodine, but I can barely walk if I dont go in swimspa/jacuzzi at least 3 hours each day

  44. WOW we’re all concerned about ALOT of stuff and it’s OBVIOUS our gov’t agencies & many companies don’t care about our health concerns, just the profits they can make. It is becoming more & more critical that we CONTACT our legislators & gov’t officials & tell them they need to stop accepting “legal lobbyist” money & start having a conscience. We as consumers are being taken for a huge ride…. NOW it seems if we buy “regular food” it’s really FRANKENFOOD GMO modified and who knows what else. TOO often now too, there are VERY TINY warning labels on products stating that IN CALIFORNIA THIS PRODUCT HAS BEEN SHOWN TO CAUSE CANCER… and they sell that poison crap in all other states LEGALLY… and unless we REFUSE this stuff & LET manufacturers know we disagree (by not buying their products AND writing to them) they’ll keep on doing what they have been doing. WHY do you think the current generation is not expected to live as long as any others? They/WE are all being poisoned with processed denatured FRANKENFOODS and chemicals FORCED on us (ie fluoride in water DOES cause lowered iq… & Hitler used it in concentration camps to dumb down & make prisoners less resistant…………. and we’re getting it dumped on us with CLAIMS it helps prevent cavities and THAT has been proven to NOT be the case..) It’s all around us AND notice how other countries have BANNED USA produce because they KNOW GMO is toxic poison FRANKENFOOD>

    ABOUT the chlorine in pools/hot tubs. I recently discovered a company that uses ENZYMES to keep pools clean… I”m still researching I fired off a LOOOONNNG email with alot of questions….. I’m hopeful that we , as consumers, will prevail… unless we just give in……….. and that’s not MY strategy

    • Rick….you are so totally on point w/ every aspect of your comment. I wish I knew more like minded people like you. I live in SD, not very progressive in becoming responsible for their own health. Recently (6wks ago) lost my mom to lung cancer and all I could do was sit back and watch for 2 yrs…..nothing I tried to help w/ was taken seriously…feeling helpless is horrible. The ongologist was next to god!!!! Thank you for sharing as you did. It would be great to communicate thru other methods. Nor sure how that works. Keeping doing what u r doing and I will too.

  45. I have a non chemical treatment system for my pool. I’ve had it for 10 years. It uses copper ionization and titanium oxidation if I remember correctly. It is from a company called ECOsmarte in MN. I also have their smaller system for our indoor hot tub. They sell a whole house water filtering system also. We chose not to get tube whole house system as we have well water. We are blessed to have our own pool but I have gone to water aerobics at a public pool and I love it EXCEPT FOR THE CHLORINE! Hope this is helpful.

  46. Chloramines are not just a byproduct of oils, etc. mixing with chlorine. I just wanted to point out that many municipalities have turned to using chloramines to disinfect tap water instead of chlorine due to an EPA requirement to decrease the amount of Trihalomethanes (THMs), which are disinfection byproducts that are formed when organic matter in the water combines with chlorine. Chloramine forms THMs too but in a lower amount.

    Chloramines do not break down and naturally dissipate into the air as easily as chlorine does and it is very hard to get rid of it. Most filters do not remove chloramines. You have to have a special type of filter to reduce it effectively. Chloramines can cause even worse problems than chlorine. Go here to find out more:

  47. Chloramines are not just a byproduct of oils, etc. mixing with chlorine. I just wanted to point out that many municipalities have turned to using chloramines to disinfect tap water instead of chlorine due to an EPA requirement to decrease the amount of Trihalomethanes (THMs), which are disinfection byproducts that are formed when organic matter in the water combines with chlorine. Chloramine forms THMs too but in a lower amount.

    Chloramines do not break down and naturally dissipate into the air as easily as chlorine does and it is very hard to get rid of it. Most filters do not remove chloramines. You have to have a special type of filter to reduce it effectively. Chloramines can cause even worse problems than chlorine. Google for a full description of the harmful effects of chloramines on our body and our household plumbing pipes, water heater and plumbing fixtures.

  48. My nephew and I were swimming the other day and I was thinking it couldn’t be good to swim in all that chlorine. This proves my suspicions. I’ll pass along the info to my sister about the homemade lotion to protect the skin. I might even have to try it out.

    Congrats on the awesome website too!

  49. Pretty controversial topic.
    I am the one cleaning cartridge filter in our pool. I would not want any extra oil/greases in there.

  50. I’ve never heard of the UV filter system. We have a saltwater system and it does seem that the chlorine smell is stronger than when we had a chemical chlorine pool. But the levels test normal. Is the UV system something you add to the saltwater system or is it a stand alone system? I would love to get rid of chlorine completely.

    • It would replace the saltwater system, which does create some chlorine through the breakdown of the salt.

  51. I have been following you for years now. I love most of the things you post and share. They are very helpful and educational. When this came up in my email I thought to myself, man, where does she draw the line? Don’t you drive yourself insane living like this? We can fear so many things in life. There are so many things that aren’t good for us or safe for us but really when do you draw the line? It’s got to be madening trying to avoid so many things. I am saying this from a place of love and not hate. I am not writing this to you in a rude tone at all but from a person, who like you, tries to eliminate the bad. I read new things every day that aren’t good for me or my family. It’s just there gets to be a point where you just have to live.

    • I absolutely agree Liz and I completely understand where you are coming from. I think it really is about picking your battles and choosing the things that make the biggest difference for your family. With this blog, I hope to just bring awareness to the potential battles to fight, not to suggest that we all have to fight each one. The reason this one is a battle I have to fight is that chlorine really messes me up for a long time if I’m exposed, even in drinking water.

      • As someone who deals with people everyday who have a variety of reactions to chlorine and chloramines, this is a real issue and each person should prioritize it for themselves. The reactions range from minor irritations to serious skin, eye and respiratory issues that can last for days, weeks or months depending on the extent of the exposure. We especially hear from people who are managing autoimmune disorders, cancer recovery and just sensitivity. We don’t try to consul folks who are allerigic to pollens by saying “pick your battles”, we try to help instead.

    • It is overwhelming! But we can still enjoy everything life has to offer and live! I believe it’s best to be educated about everything that can have a negative effect on our health and then decide what is acceptable in moderation. Thank you Katie for being such a great educator!

    • I do whatever is needed to be healthy…buy reverse osmosis water/avoid gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO/heated oils/saturated fat/take vitamins/good oils/minerals…probiotic…LDN..detox. If you do what the average person does they may get very sick. American food may destroy the brain/body. Cl/F/Br may hurt people. When you lose your health you lose everything. Low thyroid causes clots and much more in me. Blocking my thyroid with Cl hurts me. Each person has to decide what helps/hurts them. Many people are blind to what is hurting the. I am high in Uranium on a hair test. Where did that come from? Cl in a swimming pool may kill yeast/infections, but you need to figure out if it is blocking your thyroid. I don’t drink tap water with F/Cl which can block thyroid. I am willing to do what is needed to stay healthy. Fire fighters…60% may get cancer/Parkinson’s due to the fumes in the fire like Br. Cl is not a little thing. You can set your goals for health. My liver did not detox well due to Celiac and I built up heavy metals and other things hurt me. Each person is different. Just take what information you want and leave the rest. The world is not like it used to be. Animals are dying due to the water/soil/air/food and people also are, but the poison may taste good or swimming is fun etc. Do what helps you the most.

  52. Sunlight is UV and may kill some germs, but reverse osmosis water has UV as part of the treatment. It would be nice it only water was in the pool due to new natural kind of filter.

  53. After all, Swimming is a very good exercises. At least 30 minutes exercises is essential to stay healthy and longer life…. Nice article and it was worth reading… Thanks for the tips…

    • I agree swimming is good for health/exercise. I saw a group of older people who used to swim and they were very limber/flexible. I think the Cl may have killed yeast/infections in them and exercise makes more neurons/mitochondria. Sweating releases heavy metals. Good clean water is needed, but Cl may help infections/hurt by blocking thyroid. Taking iodine may help push the Cl out of a person.

  54. Chlorine is definitely a worry, and thank you for raising the awareness! Until reading your article I was only worried about my dietary intake of chlorine, which is far higher than most people realize.

    I don’t advocate this for everybody, but I want to share one strategy I use to minimize the effects of chlorine. Before doing this yourself, please do your own research, and decide for yourself.

    There is a once common chemical called sodium thiosulphate (or thiosulfate for those in the US). It was used in Black & White photograph development. It is most commonly found now in pet shops as ‘Chlorine Neutralizer’ for aquariums. It neutralizes both chlorine and chloramines. It combines with chlorine to produce sodium chloride (common salt) and a little rotten egg gas (not enough to even smell).

    As the pure crystals are now difficult to find, I use six drops a day of a chlorine neutralizer for aquariums (carefully reading the label to buy a brand that contains nothing else!) in my coffee. I’ve been doing this for several years.

    It also helps to remove iodine stains – it reacts with iodine and all the other halides in the same way as it does with chlorine.

  55. Visited Dominican Republic recently…. Beautiful beaches, sun, the sand. My skin glowed.

    Then saw a bunch of people sitting in pools on our way back to the room. A cloud of chlorine, heady and heavy lingered with the pungent smell… Why? I don’t get it. I for sure opt out!

    Love your blog Wellness Mama!

    Have a fantastic day!


  56. 1) I would like to clarify what chloramines are (please see article in Wallstreet Journal ( about the facts on chloramines They can lead to problems like the crisis in Flint, Michigan. Adding this treatment in our public water has brought our town national attention & brought Erin Brockovich’s office to our citizens assistance. Chloramines are actually a disinfectant, a combination of chlorine AND ammonia. This combination is much more dangerous than just chlorine, although they both have LOTS of health hazards. as teacher of chemical free lifestyles for the past almost 20 years, I appreciate your bringing this discussion to light. 2) I would also, like to mention that by watching the Wellness Journey Class at, you will find out why I would NEVER take Ascorbic Acid again and why it really is NOT Vitamin C (only 5% of the molecules, the rest synthetic & why it could be hazardous to your health). Larry Law co-founder of Angie’s Option was a college professor that poured 40,000 hours of research to help his wife overcome a critical health crisis and used all this research to put into this WELL researched wellness class. ANYONE taking supplements should see this video for their own health and well being. Just one example you will discover in this class, that a particular research in the 90’s was halted because they were literally increasing lung cancer by over 40%, heart disease over 20% and birth defects by 400% by certain supplementations. You can download a free brochure from this site to help you with your safe supplementation journey. This class is free to the public if you can find a class in your area or you can download an on-line version or order a DVD of the class for less than $15. You will come away with the tools to know how food has been altered, safe supplementation and a new science on the immune system/cell communication called Glycobiology. After 20 years of our own research, this class blew me away! 3) Regarding showers and chlorine or chloramine, since I will not use Ascorbic Acid. …. I take less showers, quicker showers and at times have put a safe, pure CITRUS ESSENTIAL OILS on a muslin cloth/tea towel wrapped around the shower head with a rubber band securing it to the shower head. This has been a huge benefit to me and cuts back on the skin issues that chloramine and chlorine cause. PS keep up the your work, you come highly recommended by Dr. Axe, wish I had more time to read your posts!

  57. Thanks Wellness Mama. I appreciate the post and the recipe. I whipped up a batch and will give it a try before I hit the pool next time. I do love how it feels on my skin. I added a few drops of lavendar essential oil and it smells good too!

  58. Hi Katie,
    I have found so much life and encouragement from reading your blog and am so grateful for the time and energy that you invest in all of our lives. A heart felt thank you for sharing all of your findings after researching things so well.

    I have been trying to find the best solution for our smaller pool that does not have a pump… :/ We have been dumping and scrubbing and refilling it, but it’s really too much water to be doing that all summer. We decided on getting a solar power chlorine-free sun shock (copper & silver ionizer)…. It came in the mail today and I’m feeling conflicted now because I have read comments on different sites from people expressing concern about absorbing heavy metals into our bodies while using them. (?) Is this a legitimate concern when using a copper ionizer? I haven’t been able to find much online expressly addressing this. Really hoping you might be able to weigh in.

    Thanks so much for your time!

    • I was sky high in Cu (copper). Zinc competes with Cu and helps lower it from absorbing in food. A person needs both Cu/Zn but not too much. I had to detox the Cu with Mo. Colloidal silver poisoned me…is a heavy metal and was hard to detox orally. I needed EDTA/DMPS IV chelations to remove the silver and other heavy metals. Once the liver gets bogged down with one heavy metal it may build up more. Hair tests show good minerals/heavy metal levels. Cu may kill algae…like a penny in a small fountain. Silver may kill bacteria, but if you get too much they can hurt you.

      Low Chlorine may help and taking iodine. Best wishes.

  59. If you own a pool, does iodine work instead of chlorine? They’re both halides, and I’m wondering if iodine would work as well. Not sure about your position on it.

    • I’ve never tried because I have to avoid iodine with my thyroid issue.

  60. The lotion is MAGIC. I am a swim instructor and spend up to 32 hrs a week in an indoor, chlorinated pool. I have tried all sorts of commercially available barrier creams, eczema oils and lotions etc (a lot of which contained nut oils and lanolin which cause probs when working with little kids). I was desperate. I couldn’t sleep for the itching at the beginning of term and I was only doing 20hrs in the water then. I even thought my Chronic Fatigue was coming out of remission. I found this page and made the lotion. I also added Ascorbic Acid to by eczema oil and lotion and my shampoo and conditioner. After a week…NO MORE ITCHING. Not only that but I am back up to over 30 hrs in the water and the fatigue symptoms are almost gone. I have been applying the lotion in the morning. At my lunch-break (after 5 hrs in the water) I shower with eczema oil then re-apply the barrier lotion. I have finished my first batch and just made my second. A batch lasted 2 weeks – 20 applications (I’m a sz 18). Not only has it helped me but my daughter who gets a burning rash from chlorine so was going to have to miss out on school swimming lessons. We found this half-way through and she was able to complete the program with no more rash. Thank-you so much. You have enables be to continue working in a job that I love and I can now teach my daughter to swim as well.

  61. My concern is also with the pool water my 4yr old inevitably swallows during her swimming lessons. Wondering if getting her to take bentonite clay or diatomaceous earth before her lessons would help?

  62. For drinking and cooking and sink water, the AquaCera filter filters out almost all fluoride! And you don’t have to buy additional filters like the Berkey. Check out Radiant Life’s products. Also, shower filters with kdf technology are an excellent choice.

  63. With all of your knowledge regarding chlorine would you allow your children to participate in a summer swim league at a heavily chlorinated pool (strong smell)? It’s the only option in our area. My son has been on the team for a few years and I’m rethinking it for this year.

    • That’s such a tough decision! Our kids have also done swim team in the past, though the pool wasn’t too heavily chlorinated, but it still seemed to give them headaches. I’m hesitant for ours to do swim team again because I have really bad physical reactions to chlorine, even from inhaling it, but some people do seem to do much better with it…

      • Katie, I was just thinking of coming to your site to ask this same kind of question, though my question is about swimming lessons, not swim league. I would like to find a non-chlorine pool for swim lessons, but if that isn’t available, that would leave us with either the ever-present chlorine pools, or perhaps we would find a saltwater pool. My understanding is that saltwater still produces chlorine, but I’ve been thinking about that… If it doesn’t smell chlorine-y, is it possible that the saltwater would still be better than chlorine; it seems to me that if it doesn’t smell like chlorine, there would be less of it in the water even if there is some, and perhaps that would be better in terms of the microbiome, inhalation, etc. And if we’re left with only chlorine, we’ll need to go ahead with that, given the importance of learning to swim for overall safety. But I do prefer to avoid the chlorine. As far as you understand it, is it true that the saltwater (though producing some chlorine) would be preferable to chlorine? I would take the effort to seek that out if it’s a better option. And if we do have to go with the chlorine, is there any way to protect the microbiome and minimize any other damage from chlorine in a young child?

          • For Clarification, Salt Water Pools are Chlorine Pools. The Salt is only used to create chlorine in the water (NaCl=Salt – A chlorine pool splits it into Sodium, Na, and Chlorine, Cl). Salt Pools have several issues including corrosion of equipment and decking, water chemistry balance due to excessively high pH and maintenance. Chlorine Free pools that use hydroxyls as the primary oxidizer are a far better way to go. Safe, Effective and Healthier to swim in. Clear Comfort offers those

  64. Does this lotion go on before or after sunscreen? Also, is it only good for a year or can we use it until we are out? Thank you!

  65. Hi Katie
    What uv light system do you use?

  66. I swim in a chlorinated pool at the YMCA about 5 hours a week. I get wet before I go in, wash and apply cetaphil lotion when I get out.
    I have heard about ascorbic acid.
    Is it helpful to take a warm bath at home (about 2/3 full) with 1/2 cup of lemon juice? It has vitamin C and is acidic. That certainly gets the chlorine smell off. Does it help counteract the effects of the chlorine?

  67. SwimSpray is a ph balanced vitamin C spray. They say it is all-natural. Much easier to use after you swim in chlorine.

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