This beauty routine helps the five-time medalist sidestep chlorine damage, goggle marks, dry skin, and more
If there’s one thing Dara Torres knows, it’s her way around a pool. After all, the Olympian medalist has been competing internationally since age 14—and swam in her first Olympic Games just a few years later. (Get her Tips for Staying Fit at 40 and Beyond.)
But the mother, author, and frequent public speaker is just as busy out of the pool as she is in it, which means she’s a pro at effortlessly transitioning from the water to dry land. So we asked her to share her secrets for going from wet and shivering to dry and ready to go—even if you have just minutes to spare in the locker room.
Before getting in the pool, Torres slathers on her regular hair conditioner, then dons her swim cap. The slick layer keeps chlorine from penetrating your hair shaft, preventing damage and color fade, she says. Some conditioners, like UltraSwim Ultra Repair Conditioner ($6; walgreens.com), are specifically formulated for swimmers’ hair.
Once you get out of the pool, simply rinse out the conditioner, comb your hair back with a little gel, like the Bb. Gel ($26; bumbleandbumble.com), and you’re ready to go. “I like to slick my hair back because it’s quick, and so much easier than lugging a hairdryer to the pool,” says Torres. Plus, it’s a totally on-trend style for winter. (If the wet look is a bit much for your daily style, try one of these 5 Totally Doable Ways to Style Wet Hair instead.)
“Unfortunately, there’s no secret to helping with goggle marks—I wish there was,” Torres says. The next best thing, she says, is to choose goggles with lots of padding and cushioning on the insides. (These types are more comfy in the water, too.) Her favorite brand is Speedo. Try their Women’s MDR 2.4 Goggles ($30; speedousa.com), which has Speedo's new Elastomeric seal. It's grooved, so it will mold itself to the contours of your face without placing excess pressure on your skin so you can avoid raccoon eyes.
Chlorine can dry out your skin as well as your hair. Torres combats this by keeping a bottle of moisturizer at the ready—her favorite is Amlactin ($18; drugstore.com), which she says is non-greasy but rich enough to last after just one application. Torres finds that it’s best to apply the lotion immediately after toweling off to lock moisture in and prevent flaking or drying. (Check out these other 8 Skincare Secrets from Winter Athletes.)
Getting into the pool in the winter is tough; getting out can be even worse, since you’re already waterlogged when you walk into the freezing air. To stave off the post-swim shivers, Torres says, “I always bring a nice big cozy parka! It really warms me up quickly… along with a warm drink like hot cocoa.” Traditional swim parkas are more functional than flattering, but a warm hoodie like Nike’s Hypernatural Hoodie ($85; dicks.com) also works. (Or take a look at these other 15 Cute & Cozy Pieces of Winter Workout Gear.)