If you’re someone who travels often, you can probably describe—in detail—which destinations had “good” water, which ones had “bad” water, and why! Of course, you don’t have to travel too far to notice differences in a water quality. Perhaps when you went away to college the water felt so soft that you could never really tell if you’d actually rinsed the shampoo out of your hair in the shower. Maybe you’ve showered at your friend’s house and the water was so hard that you noticed a strange residue on your skin or hair after you dried off. Sure, both situations can be frustrating—that is, when you’re not expecting or used to the water quality—but did you know that quality of the water influences the condition of your skin? Read on to learn more about the link between water quality and your skin!
Not only is soft water ideal for skin and hair care, but it is also better for cleaning everything from dishes to clothes. That’s because soft water is more efficient at creating a soapy lather and it’s much easier to rinse away. This means that when used with soft water, your cleanser can perform properly and rinse down the drain without depositing pore-clogging soap scum on your skin. Additionally, experts claim that soft water is the best option to get truly clean and that it’s also gentler on the skin (making it ideal for those with sensitive skin).
As you may have imagined, hard water isn’t as beneficial. For water to be classified as “hard water” it must contain higher-than-normal levels of calcium and magnesium. Due to the properties of these minerals, hard water tends to leave behind product build up, such as soap scum. Here’s the thing: the majority of people fret over the soap scum and calcium buildup in their showers and sinks, but fail to consider that the same residue mounts on the surface of the skin. This buildup can make your skin, scalp, and hair feeling dry and itchy. That’s because the calcium and magnesium mineral deposits allow drying soap to cling to your skin and clog pores. Not only can this lead to acne, but when the pores are clogged by such drying substances, the skin’s natural oils aren’t able to nourish the skin. Yikes!
Do You Have Hard Water?
There are two surefire signals that may lead you to classify your water as hard water. The first sign is scum; soap scum can adhere to your dishes, dull the colors and harden the fabric of your clothes, and even leave an opaque looking substance on your skin and hair. The second sign that you’ve got hard water has to do with the state of your skin and hair; at the very least, hard water will leave your skin feeling dry, itchy, and tight. Additionally, hard water will dry and weigh down your hair and has the potential to cause other problems such as dandruff and breakage.
However, if you’ve had hard water your entire life it may be difficult for you to notice, simply because it’s what you’re used to; if you’ve never known anything different, then there’s no way for you to know when something’s “wrong.” With that said, if you’re concerned the quality of your water is having a negative impact on your skin we recommend that you pick up a hard water test from the hardware store. Should the test results confirm that you have hard water you can contact your local water supplier for their recommendations on water softening in your area.