The Effects of Hard Water on Your Skin
Do you feel squeaky clean when you step out of the shower or are you reaching for the lotion every day to avoid itchy, irritated skin? The water in your home can have significant effects on the condition of your skin, and it may all come down to whether you have hard or soft water.
Hard Water and Your Skin
Hard water contains dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium. These minerals make it harder for water to form a solution with soap and, in turn, leaves behind a scummy residue. If you notice white soap scum on your bathroom fixtures, you have hard water to thank for that. Hard water can also clog up your plumbing and your shower head which reduces pressure.
What you may not realize is that same soap scum on your fixtures is also building up on your skin. Instead of getting a nice lather, you’re leaving behind a residue that clogs your pores the same way it clogs your pipes. Your body naturally produces oils and distributes it through the pores of your skin. When those pores are clogged the oil gets trapped and blemishes form. This can lead to breakouts and worsened skin conditions like acne or eczema.
Minerals From Hard Water Affect Skin Health
Not only can hard water clog your pores, but many people often find it causes their skin to feel dry, itchy, and irritated. The minerals can actually strip the moisture from your skin while the clogged pores are preventing the natural oils from reaching the surface and doing their job of lubricating your skin and locking in moisture.
Hard water can also be making your skin age faster, making you look older than you really are! Dermatologist, Dr. Dennis Gross, told YouBeauty.com that many of the impurities in hard water can form free radicals that actually damage healthy skin cells. This can lead to fine lines and wrinkles, and the breakdown of collagen, which is a structural protein that helps keep your skin looking firm, healthy, and youthful. Think of investing in a water softener as an extension of your skin care routine.
Why Soft Water is Better for Maintaining Healthy-Looking Skin
One of the biggest advantages of installing a water softener in your home is the fact that soft water is better for cleaning – your clothes, dishes, and your skin! Soft water makes your soap work more efficiently and rinse away easier. That means you aren’t left with the pore-clogging soap scum residue all over your body.
Since you can’t get a good lather with hard water, you’ll find yourself using more soap to get clean, which only continues the cycle. With soft water, not only will you find you need less soap, but you may also notice you didn’t need to purchase the expensive body wash and lotions you once thought you needed. Let the soft water do the work to help get your body completely clean.
Are you really ‘squeaky clean?’
If you are used to showering in hard water, you may be incorrectly assuming that the ‘squeaky clean feeling’ you’ve got means the soap did its job. When in reality, what you’re experiencing is the sticky soap scum that didn’t get washed away – not to mention the dead skin and dirt that hangs around with it.
On the other hand, when people first install a water softener in their home, they notice their skin is slicker than usual. Don’t jump to assume the soft water isn’t doing its job of getting you completely clean. In fact, it’s the opposite!
That slippery feeling is actually how your skin is supposed to feel. Your skin hasn’t been stripped of its natural oils and it feels different than you’re used to. Don’t forget these natural oils are important and serve a purpose.
The truth is, ‘squeaky clean’ is more of a marketing tactic than anything else. The squeak you’re used to comes from a build-up of mineral deposits and soap scum, not what you want after a nice long shower.
Water Quality and Skin Conditions
While softer water is not a cure for any skin disease or chronic condition, it can be a helpful step towards avoiding irritation and improving certain health problems. There has been significant research in examining how hard water impacts common skin conditions like eczema. Experts say this condition effects 20% of kids 11 and under, as well as 8% of teens and adults.
A study in the U.K. found that schoolchildren who lived in areas with hard water were 50% more likely to suffer from eczema.
Hard water may not be the cause of skin conditions, but there is a lot of research-backed evidence that indicates it can aggravate it further. Some agencies have identified hard water as an environmental trigger for eczema. With soft water, you’ll be less likely to dry out your skin, clog your pores, or irritate your skin. It’s the first step to help achieve the beautiful, clear skin you want.
Should you get a water softener?
While we all want softer, healthier skin and hair, that may not be the only problem that hard water is causing you and your family. Check out our article to see how hard water is affecting your appliances.
If you’re sick of dealing with hard water in your home, a water softener is the most effective and permanent solution to correcting this problem. Give us a call or send a quick message online today and we’ll connect you with one of our All Florida Soft Water experts to discuss the best solution for your home and budget.