Olympic Athlete Spotlight: The beauty woes of synchronized swimmers

Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva compete in London this week, and being perfectly in sync isn't their only concern. They share four pool-induced beauty woes.

synchro swimmersThis year, the full US synchronized swimming team didn’t qualify for the Olympics, but team members Mariya Koroleva (at left) and Mary Killman and are competing in the duet event in London as we speak (and again on Aug 6 and 7 at 10:00 a.m.).

We chatted with the duo before they caught their flight to London, when they were training hard (six days a week, eight hours per day!) to build up their core strength for those incredible upside-down, underwater kicks. But the thing the girls wanted to dish about the most? Their synchro-induced beauty issues.

What do these gorgeous dancing swimmers have to deal with? Let us count the woes:

1. Hair loss 
Chlorine in the pool literally burns the hair off of their bodies, which may seem like a great way to save on waxing leg and under-arm hair. But it also attacks their eyebrows and the base of their hair lines, leaving what they call “nangs” or neck bangs.

2. Green hair
The hair that doesn’t fall out turns green. “We have to use special shampoos to get it out!” they lament. We’re thinking it’s probably not organic.

3. Seriously dry skin
The harsh pool chemicals and hours in the water sap the moisture from their skin, leaving it beyond chapped. “It feels like it eats up your skin,” they said. “We’re constantly applying lotion and Vaseline before and after we swim.” (Ladies, we’d like you to meet this amazing natural Vaseline substitute by CV Labs.)

4. Puffy eyes
After a few hours wearing goggles, the indentation around their eyes becomes permanent, and it takes way too long to fade, leaving a puffy-eyed post-pool look.

Despite all of this, these synchro girls somehow manage to always look gorgeous and sparkly. In addition to their obvious athleticism, “it’s all about looking pretty,” says Koroleva. If that’s true, they’ve got this one nailed down.

Do you have any tips for defending your hair and skin from the pool or other extreme summer elements? Tell us in the Comments, below!

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