Let’s face it, no one likes being left out of a swimming carnival or pool party. But when you’ve got dry skin, dermatitis or even eczema, even a few minutes in the water can make your skin red, itchy and flaky – in other words, a hot mess. So what do you do when everyone else is having fun except for you?
Well, you can lounge by the pool and watch the pink flamingos float by (not fun). Or you could dive into a MagnaPool. Unlike manually chlorinated or saltwater pools, the natural minerals of magnesium and potassium chloride create a gentle and soothing effect in the water. Not only do they control algae and bacteria, but they also relax your muscles, hydrate your skin and soothe irritation.
So if you’re looking for a pool sanitising system that’s gentle on your skin, kind to the planet and easy to maintain, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we give you the low-down on what mineral pools are, how they can benefit your skin and why MagnaPool could be your ticket to an itch-free summer.
When you go swimming, your skin can absorb up to 500 ml of the pool’s water in an hour. If the water contains more harsh chemicals, this can potentially have a detrimental effect on your skin. However, if you’ve got a mineral pool system, your skin can benefit in several ways:
Many people with normal skin can tolerate chlorine just fine. They may experience a bit of dryness, particularly if they swim often, but their skin usually returns to normal after a shower. Others may have a chlorine sensitivity – or develop one over time. This is usually caused by a by-product called chloramines. As a result, it can cause unpleasant rashes, redness and flaky skin. But it’s worse for people with skin sensitivities. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 4% of Australians suffer from chronic skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. While some sufferers aren’t affected too much by the chloramines, many report a worsening of their condition. The reason lies in the stratum corneum, or the upper layer of the skin. In eczema patients, the water-holding capacity of this layer is more sensitive to chlorine, leading to the development or exacerbation of their symptoms.
While chlorine requirements remain unchanged for any type of pool systems as set by the Australian Standards, MagnaPool has proven to generate 40% fewer chloramines than salt water chlorinator solutions with conventional filtration. This is one of the reasons why so many users who have not been able to enjoy their pools due to constant irritations or redness, swear by MagnaPool.
Treating skin and muscular disorders with mineral baths – or balneotherapy – has been around for centuries. While it fell out of favour when pharmaceuticals became available, it’s become popular again as an alternative or complementary therapy with fewer side effects.
Recent studies show that mineral baths play an important role in treating skin conditions. One study concluded that mineral baths were more effective at reducing the number and severity of relapses of atopic dermatitis (eczema) compared to corticosteroids.
Furthermore, magnesium’s ability to remove excess particles, such as calcium, is a boon for eczema sufferers. Evidence shows that excess calcium, or water hardness, can cause and even worsen eczema. MagnaPool’s natural purifying properties of the treatment generated by the Hydroxinator® iQ acts gently and constantly to ensure your pool water is continuously disinfected and perfectly balanced.
Did you know that magnesium deficiency plays a role in the development of eczema? When you don’t get enough magnesium, histamine production is increased, leading to swollen blood vessels, itching and blotchy skin – classic symptoms of eczema. By addressing this vitamin deficiency, you can stop or minimise this histamine reaction and get your eczema under control.
But the effect isn’t just skin deep. Magnesium is responsible for more than 300 biochemical processes in our body. When this mineral is absorbed, it can improve circulation, calm the nervous system and improve sleep. This is particularly important for people with sensitive skin. Why? Because studies show that stress can trigger the development or recurrence of eczema and psoriasis. This means that bathing in a magnesium pool can help control these conditions at a deeper level.
The bad news is that more than 20 per cent of Australians don’t get enough magnesium in their diet (see the table below). This can lead to a host of other chronic issues, such as muscle weakness, high blood pressure and asthma. While you could take supplements to improve these conditions, bathing in mineral pools is preferable as magnesium bypasses the digestive system and gets absorbed faster.
During summer, the habit of swimming, getting sunburnt and showering several times a day can take its toll on your skin. And if you’ve got eczema or psoriasis, it can make your condition worse. Luckily, magnesium and potassium can hydrate your skin when you need it most.
One study revealed that bathing in magnesium-rich solution resulted in enhanced hydration in atopic dry skin conditions. This is because magnesium improves the skin barrier function and helps you absorb and retain moisture more effectively.
But potassium is no slouch either. It creates water pathways in the skin to balance hydration. This can improve the elasticity of your skin and leave it feeling smoother and softer. This combination of minerals can have a healing effect on your skin and make it less reliant on corticosteroid creams. As eczema sufferers know, long-term use of these creams can have unpleasant side effects, such as acne, thinning of the skin and delayed wound healing, which can make their condition worse.
Credit: MagnaPool Mineral Pool System: Hype or Hope?
Everyone raves about how soft and silky the water feels in a mineral pool. When you’ve got irritated skin, the last thing you need is heavy or abrasive water. You want the experience of gliding through the pool to be as frictionless as possible – and that’s what you get in a MagnaPool.
Because chloramines are removed so much quicker in a MagnaPool mineral pool than in water treated manually with chlorine or by salt water electrolysis, this means your eyes won’t sting when you open them underwater. In fact, many people swim in mineral pools without goggles, and anyone suffering from dry eyes won’t find the water as irritating.
The soft water is also gentle on your hair and you won’t get the fading, stiffness or clumping that you get with chlorinated pools. Plus, you don’t need to wash afterwards. That’s because there’s no residue to wash away! Just towel off – or let the sun do it for you – and you’re good to go.
There are a couple of ways in which MagnaPool differs from other pool systems:
Unlike most mineral pool systems which are largely sodium chloride based with a combination of other minerals such as magnesium chloride (some commonly known brands are over 90% sodium yet still claim to be ‘mineral pools’), MagnaPool uses a patented blend of 70 percent potassium chloride and 30 percent magnesium chloride. It’s the only mineral system that’s 100 percent salt (sodium)-free.
The absence of salt (sodium) is no accident. Research shows that it makes the water softer and less irritating to sensitive skin types. Plus, it makes the magnesium easier for your body to use. This is because sodium chloride can slow down or inhibit its absorption. So when you combine the softness of the water and the fast absorption of magnesium, you get enhanced benefits for both your skin and hair.
When you suffer from dry skin, psoriasis or eczema, swimming in a chlorine pool can be uncomfortable – even excruciating if your skin is flaky or broken. But you don’t have to miss out on the joys of swimming just because you’ve got sensitive skin.
MagnaPool’s gentle, salt (sodium)-free blend allows you to enjoy your pool without experiencing redness, itching or flare-ups. You may even see an improvement in your skin, not just from the conditioning effect of the water, but also from the absorption of magnesium, which can relieve stress and minimise recurrences. In fact, most people who have a MagnaPool say they would never go back!
Ready to buy or convert to a MagnaPool pool? Then click here to find your nearest dealer. For more articles on pool products and maintenance, browse our MagnaPool blog.