Best Hot Tub Chemicals for Sensitive Skin

best hot tub chemicals for sensitive skin

I love soaking up in my hot tub at least a couple of times a week. It’s relaxing, therapeutic, and fun! If you have sensitive skin as I do, you enjoy your hot tub time and come out, only to realize instead of the soothing after-feel, your skin feels red and irritated, and soon your worst fears are confirmed. Rashes, rashes everywhere!

So, I set out to discover what the best hot tub chemicals for sensitive skin are. Here’s what I discovered.

  • Bromine sanitizers are better than chlorine-based ones.
  • Enzyme sanitizers are even gentler on the skin than bromine-based ones.

The chemicals you add to your hot tub neutralize the bacteria, viruses, algae, and other deadly microorganisms and prevent diseases. But they should not wreck your skin either!

Should you Use Chlorine or Bromine to Sanitize your Hot Tub?

In the first place, sanitizer treatment is an absolute must! Without these sanitizers, every time you take a dip, you are basically soaking in a tub filled with soap, lotion, algae, skin cells, and a whole lot worse. Sorry if that grossed you out, but I just wanted to get home the point of why sanitizers are indispensable.

So, the question on your mind – chlorine or bromine? Chlorine is the more familiar of the two. But bromine is a great option if you have sensitive skin.

Let’s delve deeper into the two.

Is Bromine Better than Chlorine?

Bromine is much safer than chlorine. It is gentler on the skin, but it also provides better protection from contaminants, but it may be much more difficult to wash off from the skin.

Bromine needs to be added in larger quantities than chlorine to achieve the desired effect. Being more stable, however, it needs to be added only less often.

Let’s break down the differences between the two.


  • Dissolves Faster
  • Less expensive
  • Kills algae more quickly
  • Less stable
  • Can cause harm to the eyes and skin
  • It gives off an unpleasant odor because it releases chloramines during the oxidation of contaminants
  • Dosage: 1 – 3 ppm


  • Dissolves slower
  • More expensive
  • Adept at killing bacteria and viruses
  • More stable
  • Less irritating to the skin and eyes
  • No odors here because bromine releases bromamines during ionization of contaminants, which are not as noxious as chloramines
  • Dosage: 3 – 5 ppm

Bromine is probably a better and safer choice. If you have significant algae contamination, I’d probably go with chlorine. But bromine is adept at killing bacteria and viruses, significantly less irritating on the skin, lasts longer, and has a less unpleasant odor than chlorine.

Bromine is better for your skin and safer overall. But if you over pour, it may lead to irritated eyes, niggles in the throat, and coughing.

So when treating the water, always stay within the recommended levels, or be prepared to be discomfited!

What Chemicals Should I be using in my Hot Tub if I Have Sensitive Skin

Typically, to maintain your hot tub, you will need four things.

1. A sanitizer (Chlorine, bromine, or natural).

2. PH balancer (Up and Down).

3. Alkalinity balancer (Up and Down).

4. Shocks

Best Sanitizers for Sensitive Skin?

Bromine is safer and better for sensitive skin. Here’s our breakdown of the best bromine-based sanitizers.

Clorox Spa Brominating Tablets

A highly effective sanitizer for your hot tub or spa, these do not require the use of an added stabilizer. They also last longer and will not subject you to the offensive odor of chlorine.


  • Weighs 1.5 pounds.
  • Measures 3.31*3.31*10.06 inches.
  • Comes with around 36 tablets.



  • Reduces the growth of bacteria effectively.
  • Keeps your water sparkling clear and odor-free.
  • No assembly is required.
  • Safe for sensitive skin; no rashes or flare-ups.
  • Keeps the water cleaner and contamination-free for longer.
  • Affordable.


  • When dissolved, some users reported no measurable bromine levels.
  • Some customers got lots of tablets in powdered form.

Spa Essential Brominating Tablets

This is another great bromine sanitizer that is effective at killing bacteria and viruses in your spa water. It doesn’t have the offensive odor of chlorine, and when applied through a tablet floater, it gets into action to keep your spa water clean and safe.


  • Weighs 1.5 pounds.
  • The overall dimension is 3*3*10 inches.


  • No chlorine odor.
  • Safe for the skin.
  • Easy to use.
  • Less PH-sensitive.
  • Keeps water free of bacteria and viruses.
  • Long-lasting sanitizing protection.


  • A handful of users had issues with non-dissolving tablets.

Best PH Balancer for Sensitive Skin?

PH Up and Down

If you are prone to sensitive skin, you should ensure that the PH is well-balanced. The recommended PH range is 7.2 to 7.8. PH Decreasers are used to bring down the PH if it gets too high, and a PH Increaser to get it up if the PH is too low.

PH Increaser

Spa Choice PH Increaser helps maintain your spa water within the recommended range of 7.2-7.8. Compatible with all sanitizers, including bromine, chlorine, and biguanide, use this product when the test strip shows a PH level below 7.2.

  • Measures 6*3*10 inches.
  • Weighs 1.15 pounds.
  • Increases the PH of the spa.
  • Compatible with all sanitizers.
  • Easy to use.
  • Packaging issues.

PH Decreaser

Spa Choice PH Decreaser helps maintain your spa water within the recommended range of 7.2-7.8. Compatible with all sanitizers, including bromine, chlorine, and biguanide, use this product when your test strip reads above 7.8.

  • Measures 6*10*6 inches.
  • Weighs 3 pounds.
  • Decreases the PH of the spa.
  • Compatible with all sanitizers.
  • Easy to use.

Best Alkalinity Balancer for Sensitive Skin?

Alkalinity Up and Down

If you are a hot tub owner with sensitive skin, you should pay more attention to keep the TA (Total Alkalinity) of your spa well-balanced. 80 to 120 ppm is the recommended Alkalinity range.

Use an alkalinity Increaser if your TA is below the recommended range and an alkalinity Decreaser if the TA is above the ideal range.

Alkalinity Increaser

Spa Choice Alkalinity Increaser acts as a buffer by improving the ability of your hot tub water to resist fluctuations in PH. This Alkalinity increaser is compatible with all sanitizers and ozone systems.

  • Measures 3*10* 6 inches
  • Weighs 2 pounds.
  • Compatible with chlorine, bromine, and biguanide sanitizers and ozone systems
  • Helps increase the alkalinity to the desired level.
  • PH levels are easier to control.
  • Hot tub water resists rapid fluctuations in PH.
  • No assembly is required.
  • Prevents your hot tub equipment from corroding
  • No water discoloration.

Alkalinity Decreaser

There is no product for exclusively bringing down the alkalinity alone. It comes tailored with a PH Decreaser.

AquAce PH Down and Alkalinity Reducer

AquaAce is one of the best choices for lowering the alkalinity (along with the PH) in your hot tub. If your PH falls lower than the ideal range, add a little PH up to bring it up within the range you need.


  • Measures 3*3*9.5 inches.
  • Weighs 2.99 pounds.
  • Keeps the PH and TA within desired levels.


  • Lowers the alkalinity and PH and brings it within the recommended levels.
  • Easily and quickly dissolving granules.
  • Prevents scale formation.
  • Prevents hot tub water from clouding over.


  • A couple of users had trouble lowering the PH.

Spa Shocks

Shocking your hot tub not only kills bacteria but also removes bromamines, chloramines, and contaminants like skin cells, lotions, and soap from the hot tub water. Shock your hot tub at least once a week for best results. If your water is cloudy, it clears it up too.

Leisure Time Renew Non-Chlorine Shock Treatment for Spas and Hot Tub

Compatible with all sanitizers, mineral, and ozone systems, this spa shock clears up cloudy water, eliminates a slew of contaminants, and buffered to prevent PH bounce.


  • Weighs 1 pound.
  • Measures 3.12*3.12*9.5 inches.
  • Chlorine-free.
  • Quick-dissolving.


  • Clears cloudy water
  • Eliminates odor.
  • Removes contaminants.
  • Prevent PH fluctuations.
  • Prevents chloramine build-up.


  • Packaging issues.

Do I have to absolutely Use Chlorine or Bromine in my Hot Tub?

Bromine is much safer and better for the skin than chlorine, but if you still face issues with skin irritation (too sensitive skin, eh!), I recommend enzyme-based sanitizers. These will do their job naturally, sans the irritation on the skin and eyes.

Some of the best enzyme-based sanitizers include:

1. Nature2 Spa Cense by Zodiac.

2. Baqua Spa Sanitizer.

3. Spa Marvel Water Treatment.

If you’re using enzyme-based sanitizers, you have to put in a bit more effort to maintain your hot tub. (You can’t have it all!)

You have to replace your filter every 6 to 12 months. Drain and refill your hot tub water every 3 months.

Unfortunately, nothing kills those dreaded bacteria and viruses like chlorine and bromine sanitizers, so you may want to add an Ozonator to your hot tub.

Final Chem Dip!

Congrats if you have read this article thoroughly, you get an A+ for passing your hot tub chemistry lesson with flying colors!

Using a hot tub is so much fun, but it has to be maintained in a kingly manner. An oasis of relaxation, you may feel lazy and slack off when it comes to maintaining it. Use proper sanitizers to keep water clear, healthy, and sparkling!

Your hot tub is a useful and faithful companion, giving you relaxation and melts away your stress. Use the proper hot tub chemicals and balancers to make your hot tub last the distance and be ever-ready for you whenever you want to relax and unwind.

Happy Hot Tubbing!

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