The importance of water to the skin cannot be overstated

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The importance of water to the skin cannot be overstated

30.9.2020


The most important substance in skin care is water. Water without impurities is very important in everything related to the skin. When we talk about dry skin, it means skin that do not contain enough water. The well-being of skin also depends on water quality. The skin needs clean water without impurities. The skin needs water that is as natural as possible. In this article, I will reveal a little about the importance of water to the skin and also how you can actually influence water quality.

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Kuva rony michaud Pixabaystä

What is clean water?

Clean water can mean many different things, not only drinking water. Water purity requirements depend on the purpose for which we want to use the water. Waters from natural sources like rivers, lakes and seas are sufficiently clean when they do not contain too many microbes or dangerous chemicals. Water does not have to be drinking water if it is used only externally.  

Clean natural water can be used for swimming. Clean, fresh water are also suitable for washing and garden watering.

Natural water (water of lakes or rivers) cannot be used as drinking water. Even if the water in the nature seems clear and clean, it can contain a surprising amount of impurities such as animal excrement. On trips to nature, it should be a must to clean the natural waters before drinking.

Tap water is drinkable in many countries  

The municipality and/or the city usually guarantee the tap water is clean and drinkable. If your own water comes from a private well, you will need to test the water quality frequently by yourself. The most common reasons for poor tap water quality is the pipes age, condition and material. If the elderly house has not been renovated, the tap water may be stale and contain, for example, plenty of iron.

The aim is to keep the quality of public tap water stable by raising the pH of the water up to 8. Such water may already be a little dehydrating to the skin. You can easily check the pH level of your tap water with pH strips.

Tap water often contains chemicals that reduce the microbial activity of the water, such as chlorine. The amount of chlorine in tap water varies from place to place. Chlorine is one of the main reasons why some people are avoiding tap water.

The quality of public water can be lousy because there are drug and drug residues in the water. Chemical drugs cannot be completely removed in water treatment process. Drug residues in water have become a major problem for water treatment plants.

Public water mains and pipes are mainly made of plastic

There are plastic particles found in tap water when the pipes are made of PEX plastic. Plastic residues both stink and taste in drinking water. However, the biggest problem is the BIS phenol A released from plastic pipes, which has been found to be a very harmful substance. Together with many other chemicals, the tap water is too rich in chemicals and not safe to drink. This is the reason why plastic water pipes are replaced by copper pipes when making plumbing repairs. This is a really great thing. Copper is, of course, more expensive option but a much safer material.

What is hard tap water?

Water always contains many different minerals. Sometimes the mineral content in the water rises to a particularly high level. Then we talk about hard water. Hard water is very rich in lime, for example. Lime makes the water cloudy and slightly alkaline.

Test the hardness of your tap water

If you suspect your tap water is particularly hard, test it with a simple test.

  • Put tap water in an empty water bottle.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of liquid soap (check that the product does contain soap only neither other surfactants)
  • Close the cork and shake the bottle vigorously
  • If there is very little foam, your water is hard. If the water foams a lot, it is soft.

Effects of hard water on skin and hair

  • Hard, mineral water is slightly alkaline and therefore very dry. Dry skin ages faster.
  • Alkaline water gradually destroys the skin’s own microbiome, the strain of good bacteria.
  • If you wash regularly with very hard water, your skin may itch easily.
  • You may get dry pimples on the skin
  • Milia
  • surface dryness
  • rash
  • Hard water easily leaves soap residues on the skin. They clog pores and can cause acne

Hair really doesn’t like hard water. Regular washing with water containing lime makes the hair dry, dull and tangled. The scalp also dries and begins to itch.

How can we soften hard water?

The best way to soften hard water is to get a water filter. The water filter removes not only lime but also other minerals from the tap water. Efficient Water Filters also remove chlorine, microplastics and bacteria from water.

You will get almost decent tap water by adding a little vinegar to it. Vinegar softens water by dissolving minerals. However, adding vinegar to water is just a first aid because vinegar does not actually remove minerals from water. However, vinegar keeps the pH of water neutral. Neutral water does not dry out skin and hair like slightly alkaline water does.

If you want to add vinegar to water, use pH strips to assess the acidity of the water. This way you know what is the right amount of vinegar to add.

If you only have hard water at your disposal

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Kuva Rudy and Peter Skitterians Pixabaystä

If your tap water is hard and you do not have a water filter,

  • Avoid soap and soap-based detergents. They do not work with hard water.
  • Avoid long showers
  • Avoid hot or too cold showers
  • Use moisturizing products for skin and hair care

Is your tap water hard? How are you getting along with it?

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