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Four beauty tips from Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin

Twelve-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin first gained recognition in the pool as an all-around elite swimmer. In the years since her 2001 breakthrough, Coughlin has also become a fixture in marketing campaigns. In recent years, the beautiful 32-year-old has been seen working with brands such as Pantene Pro-V, Lenscrafters, and even TRX suspension training.

Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin follows a strict beauty routine to combat the harsh effects of chlorine.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Chlorine can be harsh on anyone’s appearance, but Coughlin emerges from races and workouts looking fantastically fresh. The key to her beauty regimen is protection, she says. Here are just a few of her most effective tips:

  1. Protect your skin. Always use sunscreen, Coughlin told the LA Times in 2013, as it helps protect skin against premature aging and skin cancer.
  2. Protect your eyes. Wearing sunglasses protects against UV damage and also helps to reduce squinting wrinkles around the eyes, Coughlin says.
  3. Protect your hair. Before getting into the pool, Coughlin wets her hair with standard tap water, she says. This tactic helps to reduce the amount of chlorine her hair absorbs and keeps her hair looking strong and healthy. She also wears hats in the sun and uses a lot of leave-in conditioner, she says.
  4. Protect your body by eating well. “Eating well and taking care of your body is the No. 1 most important thing for good hair, good skin and good nails,” Coughlin said. “Your nutritional need show up on your hair, skin, and nails.”

A healthy beauty routine is important to Coughlin because, as she’s quoted as saying in the attached video, she competes without makeup on. As a result, she’s often photographed and interviewed post-race without beauty enhancements.

While looking good isn’t nearly as important to Coughlin as swimming fast, she does admit that she likes to look the best that she can when on camera.