Hard Water & The Damaging Affects On Your Skin
Residential hard water presents numerous problems in a typical household, ranging from water-spotted dishes to clogged pipes. Importantly, hard water also has a direct impact on those living with it. When evaluating the impact of water quality on the home, it is important to consider hard water and skin issues.
Hard water may adversely affect the skin in a wide variety of ways:
Hard water leaves many telltale signs like soap scum on bathroom fixtures and clogged shower heads. Just as the calcium and magnesium in hard water can clog shower heads while creating soap scum, so too can it clog the pores in your skin. When this occurs, your body’s natural oils cannot emerge through those pores like they normally do. This can lead to the development of blemishes and pimples.
Itchy, Red Skin
Clogged pores reduce the amount of those natural oils on the surface of your skin, potentially resulting in dryness and itchiness. The minerals found in hard water also strip the skin of the moisture otherwise preserved by these lubricating oils.
Trapped Skin Cells
The soapy residue left by hard water traps dead skin cells and dirt that would otherwise be washed away. A transition from hard to soft water often results in a noticeable “slippery” feeling to the skin. Now that those lubricating oils are not stripped away, they remain to do their job, moisturizing and soothing the skin.
Aggravate Pre-existing Conditions
Eczema sufferers, already dealing with patches of irritated, dry skin, are particularly affected by hard water. It is also associated with rosacea. Soft water will not cure any chronic skin disorder or disease. However, it may lessen uncomfortable and unattractive symptoms.
Premature Skin Aging
Calcium and magnesium are minerals linked to the development of free radicals that can damage otherwise healthy skin cells. Free radicals have also been linked to the breakdown of collagen, a protein that otherwise gives skin a healthy, firm look. This can lead to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Hard water interferes with the normal interaction between soap and water. The resulting soap scum remains on the skin.
Hard Water=Less Efficient
Because of the problems associated with getting a good lather, etc., those with hard water may use more soaps, and related products. Therefore, there are potential cost-savings associated with the use of soft water. For example, soft water allows some individuals to reduce or eliminate certain personal products like body wash and lotion.
A hard water study cited by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provided evidence of an increased risk of eczema in school-age children. Those that conducted the research looked at the prevalence of eczema among 4,141 primary-school students. The study found a direct correlation between water hardness in the home and cases of eczema. More than one-in-six, or 17.3 percent of students exposed to the highest of four hard water levels had eczema at some point during the previous year. More than one-in-four had the skin condition at some point in their lives. Since the eczema rate for those living with the lowest level of hard water was just 12.0 percent, exposure to the highest hard water levels increased the likelihood of eczema by almost 50 percent.
The Soft Water Solution
Simply put, when compared to hard water, soft water cleans better. It cleans clothing better, and it cleans dishes better. Interestingly, it also cleans your skin better. When it’s time to lather up, soft water is up to the task. It is gentler on skin, and it allows more better cleansing..
Passaic Bergen Water Softening serves most of northern New Jersey through its three locations. We are proud to offer the innovative, reliable water softeners manufactured by Watercare, including the CareSoft Elite RC®. We’d welcome the opportunity to address your water quality issues. For a complimentary consultation, please contact us today!