HARD WATER – HOW DOES IT AFFECT OUR SKIN?
I spent a weekend visiting my friends house and when I got home my skin was dry and slightly red. Why did this happen if I used exactly the same skincare products that I use at home? I didn’t drink any alcohol that weekend nor eat any junk food. How is it possible?
Today I will explain a few things that effect your skin regardless of the products you use in your normal skincare routine. We all use one key ingredient in our routine each day and often many times a day…. I’m talking about WATER
After I took the first shower at my friend’s house I notice right away that something was not right with my skin. I knew something was wrong because it never feels so dry after a shower but I couldn’t put my finger on the problem. The next day things got even worse and my skin felt very dry and even slightly red. I couldn’t figure out what was causing this problem. I was using the same products, that I brought with me from home and that I use each day.
And then I remembered… my friend had complained that the water in her house was hard water. It all became crystal clear…
WHAT’S HARD WATER ?
Hard water is water that contains a very high amount of minerals, including calcium and magnesium oxide, as well as (in a smaller amount) other elements, including iron, aluminum, manganese. And, as it turns out, it has a huge impact on the condition of our skin and its behavior.
Signs you have hard water in your home:
- after washing the dishes and letting them dry, sediment builds up on them (white residue that looks like the glass is still dirty),
- you experience pinching and tightening of your skin, even after applying skin moisturiser,
- you notice a buildup of fine gravel at the bottom of the pots,
- when you’re traveling, you notice, that the condition of your skin improves surprisingly quickly.
If you are still unsure then don’t worry.
THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS TO CHECK IF OUR TAP WATER IS SO-CALLED NORMAL:
- you can buy a special home water tester (they are quite cheap) in the form of a strip that you soak in the water and it changes color depending on the hardness of the water,
- there are also special liquids that you can add to the water and they also change color to indicate the level of hardness,
- finally, you can check the website for your local water department to see what analysis they have done and the level of the water they provide.
After you verify the level of the hardness of the water and get an index number, if the index is below 100 then the water is very soft; if its between 100-200 then the water is soft. If its 200-350, then the water is medium hard, if the index is between 350-550 then the water is hard; and finally if the index is above 550 then you better move, because the water there is very hard!
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE HARD WATER?
If you analyse the water and discover that your water is hard or medium hard, then what is the best course of action to dealing with it?
The answer is quite simple – if the hard water effects your skin then the only solution is to invest in a good water filteration system. You want to make sure that the water is filtered as it comes into your house so that you will have filtered water in the shower/bathtub (your body and hair do not do well with hard water) and the bathroom sink (since that is where you wash your face most often). The cost of a filter will range in price and you must remember that you will need to buy cartridges that should be replaced monthly.
If you do not have the option of installing a water filter system, then I recommend washing your face without the hard water and instead using micellar water. One of my favorites is from Bioderma.
This is extremely important, especially if you are a model. Our skin should always be in very good condition. Thermal water in a spray also works well – for me. I recommend the one from Avene, Uriage and La Roche Posay.
If you want to know more about my skincare, read this post, where I wrote about my favorite products.