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Hard water and skin issues

Can hard water make your skin dry?

Hard water and skin issues 

Hard water is water that contains a high quantity of dissolved mineral salts, mostly calcium and magnesium. As a result of having so much calcium and magnesium in it, hard water often becomes saturated and is forced to deposit that excess mineral content onto your skin when you shower, further aggravating the dryness of your skin.

Common characteristics of hard water

  • Hard water reacts with soap to form soap scum and a film is left on hands after washing them with soap.
  • Minerals in hard water clog the pipes, which can shrink the interior diameter of the pipes. This can reduce the flow of water.
  • Hard water can leave stains on glasses and silverware because of calcium carbonate deposit.

How Does Hard Water Affect Our Body?

The high level of mineral salts, especially if it exceeds 25 grains per gallon, produces very hard water, which has many negative effects on the human body.

In addition to the unpleasant feeling that this type of water gives us, our hair and skin are also much more vulnerable to dryness and eczema. Especially for those who have sensitive skin or are suffering from other problems such as keratosis pilaris, acne, psoriasis or seborrhoea.

Hard water occurs naturally in certain areas of the world. As it contains high amounts of mineral salts, it can cause dry skin because the water dissolves soap scum in the bathroom. Soap residue on the skin clogs the pores and makes the skin dry. On the other hand, soft water has a beneficial effect on your skin.

Effects of Hard Water on Skin

Hard water can make our skin dry because hard water contains minerals that can clog the pores of our skin. The film left on the skin doesn't let our body hair absorb the moisture which is essential for healthy skin. As a result, it makes our skin dry and lifeless.

Hard water negatively reacts with soaps to form salts, which doesn't leave our skin easily. Hard water can also cause other skin problems like acne and blemishes. 

In some cases, hard water can cause severe ailments like dermatitis. But these are rare cases and they can occur only if a person is using hard water extensively.

How to Cure Dry Skin?

Try out some effective remedies to treat dry skin caused by hard water.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can fill the spaces between the skin cells to create a smooth surface. This is possible because coconut oil has emollient properties. Coconut oil can hydrate the skin because of its rich source of saturated fatty acids.

Oatmeal Baths

Oatmeal can be used as a home remedy to cure irritated and dry skin because of its antioxidant properties.

Take an oatmeal bath to get rid of itchiness and dryness. Do not forget to moisturize your skin to lock in the barrier after taking an oatmeal bath.

Antioxidants and Omega-3

Antioxidants and omega-3 can minimize damage caused by toxins. They can repair dry skin and help your body in preparing healthy skin cells.

Foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 are:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Blueberries
  • Kale
  • Red cabbage
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Spinach
  • Pecans 

Use Warm Water

Using hot water can damage your skin, even more, therefore it is recommended to use warm water. Warm water can provide moisture so that your skin starts to heal. Also, avoid taking long hot showers to prevent your skin from damaging. 

Cleanse Gently

Avoid using chemical soaps on your skin and go easy on toners, peels and astringents that contain alcohol because they can be harsh on your skin. 

The dissolved calcium and magnesium make the water less likely to dissolve soap and more difficult to be absorbed into the skin which in turn can lead to hair fall, skin problems, dryness etc.

You may also experience some other side effects of washing your hair in hard water:

  • Hair thinning
  • Tangles
  • Brassiness or green hue
  • Itching on the scalp
  • Pain in the roots of the hair

Therefore, it is always recommended to use SLS-free shampoo to strengthen your hair and reduce hair fall.

Apply Moisturizer

Moisturizer should always be skin-friendly to protect your skin from dryness. Make sure to apply moisturizer as soon as you wash your face. Moisturizers help in trapping moisture that can heal the skin from within.

How Can You Treat Hard Water?

Treating hard water can be an expensive process. To soften the water permanently, take some help from a professional and fit a filtration system. 

You can also use a water softener or activated carbon water filters under a tap or within your shower.

Take Away 

Hard water is the common name for water containing a high concentration of dissolved mineral salts, especially calcium and magnesium. The term usually refers to water that causes the scaling of household pipes and other plumbing fixtures. Hardness is measured in grains per gallon or milligrams per litre (mg/L).

Hard water can leave serious effects on the skin by making it dry, flaky and full of irritation. So, it is recommended to try out some effective techniques in order to prevent skin dryness.