One of my favorite things about summer is going swimming at the lake down the road every time I get a chance. Living in North Dakota, swimming outside is not an option for the vast majority of the year. I have to seize the opportunity to dip into the water when I can – my kids definitely don’t mind!
I’m grateful for the small, clean lake near our home but there was a city-dwelling season in my life as a kid that living at the neighborhood pool for the summer was the only way to get my fill of swimming.
I have awesome memories from that time that I wouldn’t trade for the world but now, as a mama years later, I cringe when I think about what I was exposed to in that pool. Chlorine, for starters, can be a big problem.
Chlorine chemically bonds to your skin and hair, so it’s not as easily removed as, say, dirt or oil. It just sits there building up on your skin and hair – ask pro swimmers how (not) easy it is to wash off that chlorine smell! In order to remove chlorine from the skin and hair, it needs to be neutralized so that the chemical bond is broken. How do we do that? Vitamin C!
Vitamin C helps to neutralize chlorine without any toxic effects. You can buy or DIY Vitamin C spray that neutralizes the chlorine. Most recipes call for powdered vitamin C, which is almost always made from GMO corn if you’re buying it in the US. As I considered alternative ways of making a topical vitamin C spray, my mind went to all kinds of herbs and fruits.
Vitamin C is really not all that hard to come by in nature!
Concentration is super important here, though, which is why I settled on rosehips. According to Mountain Rose Herbs, “Rose hips develop on wild roses as the flowers drop off. The rose hip, also called the rose haw, is actually the fruit of the rose. These fruits are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C available.”
Jess offers certified organic rosehips here in her Pronounce Skincare Herbal Boutique!
In order to neutralize chlorine with our DIY vitamin C spray, we’re really just making a rosehip tincture. It’s easy – all you need is rosehips and apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is also good for your hair – many people use it as a conditioner!
- 1 c rosehips (certified organic rosehips)
- 2 c organic apple cider vinegar
- Essential oils (optional)
- Glass jar (a wide-mouth quart canning jar is perfect!)
- Combine the rosehips and apple cider vinegar in a clean glass jar and store it in a cabinet for 4-6 weeks.
- The vinegar will become a deep, dark red over time.
- Strain out the plant material using a cheesecloth or fine strainer.
- If you want a super concentrated vitamin C spray, you can add more fresh rosehips to the strained liquid and let it sit even longer for a double extraction.
- 1 cup of rosehips contains about 541 mg of Vitamin C as a point of reference.
- When you are satisfied with your extraction, simply bottle up the strained liquid into a spray bottle.
- You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if the smell of vinegar will bother you, but I find that the smell evaporates pretty quickly.
After you swim in a chlorinated pool, rinse off in the shower and then spray this all over your hair, working it through to all the strands, to neutralize any remaining chlorine. It’s good for your skin, too!
If the pool bottom is tearing up your feet, I also have a DIY Lemon Foot Scrub!