Is Hard Water Causing Your Skin Problems?
When you walk out of the shower, how do you feel: squeaky clean or silky smooth? What if we told you, feeling “squeaky clean” was a sign that your hard water is damaging your skin? Hard water is corrosive to skin cells causing skin irritant flare-ups and worsening wrinkles and fine lines.
Perhaps you have a child suffering from eczema, or an infant with sensitive skin and have tried remedy after remedy to no avail. While lotions, creams, oils, and laundry detergents may have helped temporarily, the problem is back again. This cycle of events is due to the underlying cause not being addressed: the hard water.
Hard water contains elements such as dirt, algae, minerals, and bacteria. When using hard water on the skin, the minerals clog pores and do not dissolve. The result is acne and dirty, irritated skin. While other hormonal and genetic conditions also cause acne, hard water can also play a role in this skin condition and exacerbate a breakout. Hard water and soap do not get along. It’s challenging to get a good soapy lather with hard water. This fact means cleaning your face becomes a difficult task; leaving your skin with clogged pores and irritated skin cells.
As aforementioned, soap will not lather well with hard water. Your clothes, dishes, and skin will all noticeably appear “stained” with soap scum or residue from minerals in the water and soap that will not wash away. When bathing in the bath or shower, you will notice in softened water the soap suds begin appearing faster with a lesser amount of soap used. The soap will also wash away off your skin and hair easier without harsh scrubbing.
After the bathing is complete, you will feel smooth rather than “squeaky clean.” The smoothness of your skin may come as a surprise if you are accustomed to the feeling of hard water. Instead of smooth from the naturally occurring oils on your skin, you may feel this as slimy at first. However, this is how natural clean skin should feel. The “squeaky clean” feeling you regularly feel with hard water is the left-over soap scum, dead skin cells, and dirt. These elements are stuck to the outer layer of your skin, unable to be thoroughly cleaned away. The hard water does not allow these elements to wash away easily and tends to trap them on your skin even while bathing.
The soap that left behind on your skin from hard water can cause skin irritation and dryness. Leaving you half-clean with itchy skin and worsened conditions like eczema. If you scrub hard while bathing in an attempt to wash the soap from your body, the result may become worse. The harsh minerals in the hard water may also damage the skin’s outer barrier — this scrubbing action results in unwanted skin irritations and conditions.
While research has yet to prove that hard water is a cause of eczema, it is considered a factor in the development of the condition.
The pH of hard water is greater than 7, which means the water has high alkalinity levels. Skin is just the opposite, with a pH level lower than 7; the skin has a more acidic surface. Because of the varying Alkalinities, the theory is that the hard water can damage the skin’s natural barrier and contribute to eczema’s development. Individuals suffering from eczema are already more sensitive to the effects of hard water due to the skin’s present break down from the condition. The dryness that is left behind on the skin after washing with hard water is another contributing factor in eczema’s exacerbation.
Using more soap than should be necessary is an unfortunate result of hard water. The multitude of impurities in hard water, such as iron and magnesium, form free radicals that cause damage to skin cells. The deterioration in which these free radicals inflict can cause the breakdown of collagen in your skin. Collagen is the protein component in your skin that is responsible for firm and healthy-looking skin. When collagen is broken down, fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear. Washing your face and body with hard water can lead to you look older than you are.
The bottom line is simple: Hard water is hard on skin. Soft water is soft on the skin. At Crystal Clear Water, we specialize in many water services. Our Water Softeners work by removing the calcium and magnesium the hard water contains. After the hard water passes through the resin bed of the water softener, only soft water is released to your home, and the process begins again. Our water softeners are user-friendly with a push-button front panel. We include six levels of programming and a modular design that is easy to service should you require assistance in the future. Contact us today to speak with a representative and set up an appointment or visit our showroom!