Hard Water and the Effects it has on Your Skin.
Updated: Apr 24
What do you mean water can effect my skin? I thought water was important? Water can make my eczema worse? AHH – Help!!
Its okay, I hope to explain everything you need to know to leave you feeling educated and confident. So for starters, take a deep breath and know everything will be okay.
Before getting into it, I want to make something VERY clear. Yes, water is important and there are many benefits to water and hydration for your skin and all skin conditions. However, hard water is something you want to be mindful of. Hard water can negatively influence skin and exacerbate your eczema or potentially cause other skin conditions such as contact dermatitis to worsen. How you ask? Let me explain.
Hard water contains dissolved minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium. The minerals in the water are typically developed when passed through limestone and or chalk. When water has a high mineral content it makes it hard for water to do its job, rinsing the body properly for example, or cleaning glass without leaving residue. This is problematic because if product cannot be properly rinsed off the body (or face) it leaves a residue of soaps and products used in the shower. When this simple, yet important step is missed, it can cause irritations and itchiness on the skin. Not only can lack of a proper rinse cause irritations and itchiness but this can also clog your pores, which can worsen breakouts, acne and eczema.
Hard water also strips moisture from the skin because of the minerals naturally derived in the hard water. This prevents our skin from naturally producing oils, which is very important to lock in moisture and to protect and lubricate our skin.
When our skin is dry, and we are not producing our natural oils, our skin tends to age faster and appearance of fine lines are more prominent. The dryness is an influential factor to aging, but so is the over exposure to the hard water that has those indicated minerals. The minerals act like intruders to the skin and are known as free radicals. Free radicals are harmful to the skin because they eat away and attack good things in our skin, such as collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are super important for the health of our skin, it provides the firmness and plumpness in skin and that beautiful healthy glow.
After learning this, you are probably freaking out wondering if you have hard water or not. Knowing the answer to this question could help you solve some questions as to why your skin is reacting the way that it is. So there are a few ways that you can tell if you have hard water. (If you are on a well for example, you have hard water) if you are not on a well and curious keep an eye out for these tell tale factors.
o Soap does not lather sufficiently
o Clothing feels rough to touch after laundry
o Scale buildup on faucets and porcelain stains
o Film of soap on the skin after a shower
o Dry irritated skin
o Flat dry hair
o Hair that goes green/blue/yellow
o Low water pressure
These are some ways of noticing if you have hard water or not, however the only precise way to tell if you have hard water or not is to do a water test (some companies offer free water tests- so this could be an option).
Okay, so if you are thinking 'I have a pretty good idea, and I am sensing I have hard water, what do I do now?' This is what I would suggest.
For starters getting a water test should be your first step, so you can take proper protocols recommended by the professional. The second thing you could do, is install a water softener. Unfortunately a water softener cannot promise to completely mitigate this issue, but it can provide some improvement to the skin (and other household items that may be influenced by the hard water). If you cannot afford an entire home water softener system (as they can get quite pricy) you may want to look into a shower head water softening system.
Even after taking these precautions I would always suggest (in fact I suggest to everyone, even if they do not have hard water) to use lukewarm water when washing your face. Hot water dries out your skin. So, if you are using hard water that is hot… that’s a double whammy of dryness and irritations coming your way. The other things you can do to avoid excessive dryness, irritations, exacerbated eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis is to invest in a good body moisturizer and a good face moisturizer. Yes, body and face moisturizers should be different!! Using a good moisturizer will help lock in moisture that is within your skin and protect your skins barrier. I have two podcast episodes that would likely be beneficial for you to listen to! The first is episode 2 Skin Talks: & its trying to tell you IT NEEDS A BREAK! the other episode is episode 10 Purpose if a MOISTURIER! If you have never listened to my podcast before go head over to Inspirations Beauty Show! I have many episodes to catch up on!
Hopefully this answered some of your questions and maybe this blog was the missing link to your skin concerns and conditions… hard water… who knew eh?
I hope you enjoy my content and if you ever want to hear about a specific topic, just toss me a message and I will do what I can.
This blog was inspired by one of my clients, which means I do take into consideration what specific issue you are struggling with and will do my best to do research on the matter. I am hopeful that this blog entry helps many of you.
Cheers to Healthy Happy Skin!
Where I sourced my information- just in case you want to check them out if you want more info: