Most of us do not think about the water we use or drink on a daily basis. Often we turn on the tap, wash our faces, hands, and hair a never question the effects it may have on our skin. Hard water has a high mineral content from calcium and magnesium which have accumulated when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk. According to the Water Research Center, “it interferes with almost every cleaning task from laundering and dishwashing to bathing and personal grooming.”
London Oculoplastic Surgeon and Aesthetic Doctor, Maryam Zamani, shares, “Hard water makes it more difficult for cleansers and other soaps to work effectively, reducing your ability to rinse product and makeup off your skin.” By using even more product, it creates a soapy build-up which, in turn, irritates skin and clogs the pores. Additionally, using excess amounts of soap to wash the skin can exacerbate sensitivity, often resulting in acne, dryness, and even eczema. Finally, tap water can affect the pH of the skin. “Our skin is slightly acidic and acts as a barrier,” Dr. Zamani explains. “If this pH is disrupted, it can cause a flare up.” Because hard water tends to be more alkaline, it makes it harder for the skin to retain moisture and causes a dry, tight sensation.
- Use a water softener or a water filter, which will filter out heavy metals. Water softener treatments remove certain materials from hard water by using lime softening or ion-exchange resins, making the water softer and more compatible with soaps.
- Use a slightly acidic cleanser to combat alkalinity in hard water.
- Try a “no-rinse” cleanser.
- Use cleansers which do not include sulfates.
- Eat a diet high in antioxidants to help counteract any potential issues.
- Avoid substituting tap water with a micellar water or thermal water spray which, contrary to belief, many not make a significant difference.