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Hard Water and the Effects it has on Your Skin.

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

What do you mean water can effect my skin? I thought water was important? Water can make my skin and even 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. I've got you! I also hope that an additional resource thats within this blog helps you even more!

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 you'r sensitivity, 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. Hard water causes residue build up, drying our skin and hair for example. 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 onto of the natural build up from the hard water. When this simple, yet important step of rinsing 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. This is just the start of the skin barrier disruption.

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. Any disruption to the acid mantle of the skin can trigger a list of skin concerns. When skin is highly sensitive and intensely dehydrated, skin issues worsen and the skin looks much older than what our actual age may be... welp!! 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. This also takes energy away from what could be serving and healing our skin... but intstead the cells are tied up dealing with the constant damage and intruders.

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. Unfortunately it seems many places have hard water. Knowing the answer to this question could help you solve some concerns as to why your skin is reacting the way that it is. 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). London is considered to have moderate to hard water (which I recently learned), so potentially having a water softener can help. I personally notice it the most in regards to laundry! I have attached a link to a water softener my dear friend and hair stylist recommends and uses! I have also tagged her blog for an additional resource for you

Some things you may notice with hard water! All the reasons to invest in the water softener!

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

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. Which, truthfully most of us deal with hard water in SOME capacity, so these tips, tricks and products will be helpful regardless. If you don't already have a water filter, investing in one sure does not hurt!

Even after investing in a water filter 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 proper moisturizer will help safely lock in moisture that is within your skin and protect your skins barrier. This will be the start to rebuilding that barrier! I have two podcast episodes that would be beneficial for you to listen to! The next time you'r driving to work, or cleaning the house or walking the dog, throw these episodes in your ears and further your knowledge on how to over come the damage from the hard water! The first episode I recommend is Skin Talks: & its trying to tell you IT NEEDS A BREAK! The other episode is back on the topic of moisturizer!! Learning the Purpose of a MOISTURIZER! These episodes will support your existing knowledge and likely have you craving to learn more!

Hopefully this answered some of your questions! Just maybe this blog was the missing link to your skin concerns and conditions… hard water… who knew, eh?

Fun fact, this blog was inspired by one of my clients. This goes to show that I do take into consideration what specific issue you are struggling with and will do my best to do research on the matter. It also goes to show that I love providing resources and information for you if you are willing and wanting to learn! Anyone who wants to geek out with me on skincare is my immediate bestie!

Here we have it,

Cheers to Healthy Happy Skin!

Where I sourced some of my information- just in case you want to check them out if you want more info:

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