Is unfiltered tap water bad for your skin and hair?
Given how vital water is to our lives and how many supermodels and superstar actors have spent their careers preaching its virtues, you might be surprised to learn that, while water is essential for our internal health, it could actually be having a negative impact on our skin.
We all wash our faces in the morning to wake ourselves up and help our skin feel refreshed and often top it off with a solid moisturiser or oil. But could that morning routine actually be doing more harm than good for our skin health? And what about the shower!?
While we might have some of the cleanest water in the world, there are still lots of nasty contaminants in our water supply that can wreak havoc on our pores. This is why Korean women are known to use bottled water to wash their faces. But do you really need to start stocking up on Smart Water to ensure you keep your perfect skin glowing?
Hard water on soft skin
Of course, our tap water is completely safe to drink and wash in but that’s largely due to the chemicals and minerals added at the water treatment plant such as chlorine and fluoride. If too many of these minerals are present in the water, it can ‘harden’ it, and this is particularly true if there are traces of lead and plastic microfibres in it.
Many of these minerals break down before they reach us, but some remain, and you’ll see evidence of this on your faucets and shower doors. The limescale being left there is caused by the same elements we’re leaving on our skin that can lead to everything from blackheads and clogged pores to skin rashes. If you’ve noticed your skin is particularly dull, oily and flaky, it could be hard tap water that’s at least partly to blame.
Research has suggested that chlorinated water can even accelerate the ageing process in a similar manner to prolonged sun exposure. It depletes the skin of natural oils and hydration, not only drying the skin out but potentially leading to conditions like eczema. So, if you have small children you wish to protect from uncomfortable skin conditions, investing in a water-softening solution might be quite practical. Because skin health is not just about vanity.
Minimising the damage of hard water
Depending on where you live, hard water might be unavoidable but that doesn’t mean there are no steps you can take to protect against it.
Of course, investing in a water softener or water filtration system for your home is the most obvious fix here. Even after your first shower, you should begin to notice the difference in how your skin looks and feels. You’ll also hopefully notice a difference in your hair, as the same minerals that can damage your skin can also damage your hair.
The other option could be to use bottled water, of course, but do you really have the energy and finances to sort that out?