The vast majority of people start and end their days with a sequence of hygiene rituals. Showering, along with all the lathering, shampooing, exfoliating, and so on take the center stage in our efforts to be fresh and presentable for each day at work or school. Unfortunately, in homes with hard water, all this extra exposure to your mineral-heavy water can be hurting your skin more than helping it. Even if you have a bevy of products to moisturize and rejuvenate, hard water puts up literal barriers between your face cream and your skin. If you’ve recently moved and your skin has taken a turn for the worse, or if you’ve lived in a hard-water home for years and struggled with a clear complexion, the water hardness is your most likely culprit. What exactly does hard water do to your skin? The same thing it does to your shower walls.
Dry and Itchy Skin
Those water deposits you see on your fixtures, tub, and the walls of your shower are leftover minerals and other heavy contents of the hard water that remained when the water itself evaporated. These minerals get on absolutely everything, not just what you can see. When the minerals are deposited on your skin, they both make it more difficult to rinse the soap away and begin to leech moisture. This quickly dries out your skin, creating an itchy and uncomfortable sensation that will drastically increase your need for lotion after each shower. For those that suffer from eczema, hard water can exacerbate the problem causing increased discomfort and irritation.
Washing your face and other breakout-prone areas of your body in hard water leaves a lot of residue on your skin. Because the water you are rinsing with is already full of dissolved minerals, its power to rinse away bathing products is significantly reduced, meaning you often have residual soap left on your skin, which can clog up your pores, a problem only made worse by the mineral deposits also left behind. Anyone who’s dealt with breakouts before (most of us) understand that clogged pores are the first dangerous step toward large, painful blackheads and need to be cleansed immediately. However, when your water is the problem, this means you will need to use cleansing products like rubbing alcohol or witch hazel after every time you bathe, a method that also requires more moisturizing.
Premature Skin Aging
Between the zits, the dry skin, and the excessive exposure to minerals, your skin is going through an incredibly hard time. Even if you’re keeping up the beauty routine and fighting back the daily negative effects, every time you shower your skin is still coated in residue soaps and hard-water minerals, and is then treated with after-care products to mitigate the immediate negative effects. All this stress on your skin can damage your skin cells and cause the skin to prematurely age, becoming both rougher and more likely to show lines in the future.
Fortunately for your skin, hard water isn’t a permanent problem. Modern technology has long since brought us the answer to unwanted contents of our water in the form of water softeners and home filtration systems. Water softeners will strip out the extra heavy minerals in your hard water, leaving it ‘soft’ and finally able to give you a proper cleansing rinse. The next time you’re fighting the blackheads or applying lotion for the hundredth time on dry, itchy skin, consider giving your skin (and pipes, and shower walls) a break from hard water and install a water softener into your home. For more information about hard water or your water softening options, please contact us today!