Are you developing wrinkles, dry skin, skin irritation, acne, and other skin conditions even after taking good care of your skin? Perhaps, the very activity you consider crucial in your skincare regimen is making your skin look old – taking a shower.
Every day, you use the water from your tap to take a shower, and you also splash it on your face. Every time you use tap water, the chemicals in water settle on your skin. With time, these chemicals buildup and end up causing damages to your skin. Besides the chemicals, does hot water damage your skin? Read on to learn more.
Water Damage to Skin: The Main Chemical Causes
Pure water does not affect your skin. It is the chemicals in the water that are a problem. Hard water damage to the skin is as a result of the chemicals in it. Some of these chemicals include:
1. Chromium VI
Chromium VI is a skin irritant, especially for people with sensitive skin. Besides, VI is also carcinogenic. When used on the skin, it can cause contact dermatitis and also awaken allergic reactions.
2. Heavy Metals
Iron, magnesium, copper, and zinc are present in hard water. These minerals cause hard water skin damage by interacting with free radicals and damaging the collagen fibers in your skin. They can also clog pores interfering with the production of natural oils by your skin.
3. Minerals Damage to your Skin
The water supplied to most homes in America is hard – it contains minerals such as calcium. If you do not have a water softener at home you will see these minerals as white, chalky stains on your shower curtains and door.
When you use water with minerals, it leaves a soapy layer on your skin that clogs your skin pores, increasing acne breakout. There are two popular types of softeners available — salt and salt-free. Learn more about this topic to understand which is better for you and your health.
The minerals also increase the risk of redness and eczema. If you live in a hard-water-area, the water might break your skin barrier and cause skin dryness.
Fluoride is one of the minerals added to public water to make it safe and promote dental health. However, fluorine irritates the skin. Fluorine can also disrupt the natural production of collagen, which causes aging.
5 Habits to Avoid to Limit Water Damage to Skin
1. Limit Hard Water Skin Damage
The calcium in hard water is not good for your skin. The same way stains and marks are left on the shower door, and the curtain is the same way the mineral settles on your skin. When on the skin, the calcium alters your oil chemistry, making you dry and scaly.
When the skin cannot moisturize itself, you are exposed to higher risks of acne outbreaks, rashes, itching, and rosacea, among others. In severe cases, the hard water makes your nails and hair weak and brittle.
According to The Skincare Bible: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Great Skin, a book by dermatologist Anjali Mahto, eczema is mostly caused by the use of hard water when washing the skin.
2. Reduce Hot Water Damage to Skin
Using too hot water can damage your skin. When the skin gets damaged, rashes can occur. When used frequently, hot water can cause tears on your skin by damaging the collagen fibers on the skin.
Can hot water damage skin while it kills the bacteria? Although extreme heat kills bacteria, using hot water frequently will aggravate acne breakouts and make it spread. Again, when you shower with hot water, you take away the natural oils produced by the skin. This leaves your skin dry and scaly.
Instead of a hot shower, use lukewarm water and aim to limit your time in the shower to ten minutes. This way, you will not wonder, does hot water damage my skin? During the shower, use a body wash to keep the skin from drying. However, occasionally, you can take a hot shower or enjoy a hot tub for no more than 15 minutes.
3. Avoid Chlorine Water: Does Chlorine Water Damage Skin?
The only way you can avoid chlorine in your water is to filter the water that comes to your home. Chlorine is added to water supplied to homes as a disinfectant to kill the micro-organisms. While chlorine does not have significant effects when you drink water, it is not safe.
The chemical is an irritant that leaves your skin itchy and even causes rashes. When used, it removes the natural oils on your skin and damages the outer layer to make your skin dry and flaky. Over time, the use of chlorinated water promotes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making your skin look aged.
4. Not taking Enough Antioxidants
After using hard water, you are supposed to take good care of your skin. One way to ensure your skin looks fresh at all times is to get enough antioxidants through food and skincare products. These antioxidants include green tea, vitamins C and E, turmeric, and rose hips, among others.
These antioxidants will counteract the activity of free radicals that come up as a result of reactions with chemicals in hard water.
5. Leaving Your Skin Exposed after Washing
Do you treat your skin immediately after washing, or you leave it for water damage on the skin? The longer you leave chemicals on the skin, the more the damage caused. Treat the skin with a toner and a moisturizer immediately after washing. When treating the skin, always use a non-alcoholic toner – the toner is not only gentle but also helps remove traces of soap, minerals, and heavy metals from the skin before a moisturizer is applied.
Conclusion: Solve Your Problems For Good, Get a Water Softener or a Water Filter
Does chlorine water damage the skin? Yes, but you can get rid of chlorine by filtering the water. Can hot water damage your skin? With soft water, you do not have boil bathing water to reduce hardness; lukewarm water is enough to minimize water damage to the skin. Because distilled water might be out of your budget, focus on simple and affordable ways such as water filtration or softening at home to prevent water damage on the skin.
Photos by The Creative Exchange and Curology on Unsplash.
Keep being AllDayChic!