You’ve probably heard that hard water isn’t the best thing for your skin, but what makes water hard? If you pour two glasses of water, one containing hard water and one containing soft water, you aren’t going to be able to tell much of a difference just by looking at them. What makes the difference is the mineral components that are found in the water. The amount of minerals depends on the source of the water. For example, Central Texas has a higher mineral content than the majority of the United States. The higher the mineral content, the more damaging the water is to your skin.
Effects of Hard Water on Your Skin
Why is hard water bad for the skin? Hard water contains the minerals calcium and magnesium, and these minerals dry and irritate the skin. Calcium and magnesium could also form free radicals that can damage healthy skin. The major issue for your skin caused by hard water is that soap is unable to form a lather. The richer the lather, the easier it is to rinse off of your skin. Because hard water doesn’t allow this rich lather to form, soap scum will build up on your skin just like it does on the walls of your showers. Soap scum clogs pores causing skin conditions such as acne and eczema to worsen. Healthy skin will become dry and itchy because the layer of soap scum prevents natural oils that help to lock in moisture from being produced. Overall, hard water isn’t a friend to the skin.
Effects of Soft Water on Your Skin
When compared to hard water, soft water does make the skin softer. This is because the lack of harmful minerals allows the skin’s natural oil producing processes to function correctly. When used with soap, the ability to lather is not restricted. This means soap scum does not build up on the skin. When you get out of the shower, your skin should feel smooth and slick, contrary to the belief that you should be ‘squeaky clean.’ That squeaky noise is the sound of soap scum left on your skin and potentially clogged pores.
Options for Homes with Hard Water
What do you do if you have hard water? There are a couple of options available for making water safe for your skin, such as water softeners and salt-free water conditioners. Water softeners use a salt based filtration system that removes the negative minerals. Salt-free water conditioners use a process called template assisted crystallization that converts the minerals to a crystal that is unable to bind to surfaces. There is still a mineral in the water, but its structure doesn’t allow the damaging processes to occur.
If you notice that your skin is feeling dry and itchy, you might want to examine the quality of your water before trying various skin products or investing in a dermatologist appointment. Now that you know the difference between hard and soft water, you have the option to decide if you need a water conditioning system to help achieve healthier skin. To speak with a professional about water conditioning options for your home, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.
Water softeners do remove minerals like calcium and magnesium from your water, and these are minerals that your body needs. However, having them removed from your water won’t decrease your intake of these minerals, since your body does not usually get these minerals from water but instead from your diet. Let’s take a closer look.
Which Minerals Are in Hard Water?
Hard water is typically water that contains significant amounts of dissolved calcium, magnesium, and similar minerals. These are picked up naturally from the areas water has flowed over before it reaches your home. Having these minerals in your water can lead to film-like deposits left on your dishes or other surfaces. These chalky deposits may seem nothing more than annoying on dishes, but they can also build-up in your appliances and eventually cause them to need repairs or replacement.
What Happens to the Minerals?
Softening water does not fully remove calcium and magnesium from your water, but it neutralizes them by changing their form. How this is done depends on what sort of water softener you have. For example, water softeners that use salt utilize a process called ion exchange. This process essentially “trades” the calcium and magnesium for the soft mineral sodium.
However, if you have a salt-free water conditioner, the process is a little different. Salt-free systems are referred to as water conditioners rather than water softeners because they don’t remove hard minerals from water. Instead, they condition water by chemically changing minerals such as calcium and magnesium so that they no longer attach to surfaces and create build-up.
Is Added Sodium Bad for You?
If you have a water softener that uses salt, it will add sodium to your water. The amount of sodium added depends on how hard your water is. Sodium in large amounts can be unhealthy, but luckily the amount added by water softeners, even for very hard water, is incredibly small. If you are concerned about the amount of sodium that’s healthy for you, or if you have a sodium restricted diet, contact your doctor before using a water softener. You can also consider using a salt-free system instead.
Where Else Can You Get Healthy Minerals?
Whether you have a water softener or a salt-free water conditioner, both will leave your water without the original hard minerals it previously contained. Some people worry that because of this they will have an unhealthy lack of these minerals in their body. However, as mentioned earlier, your body does not get its calcium and magnesium from your water. In water these minerals exist in an inorganic state, and your body cannot even digest them.
Instead of worrying about these minerals in water, look at your diet to make sure that you’re getting a healthy amount of them. For example, digestible calcium is found in dairy products like milk. Magnesium is present in broccoli and many other vegetables. As long as you have a healthy diet with a variety of foods, you’ll get the minerals that you need. If you’re concerned about the amount of calcium and magnesium you’re consuming, talk to your doctor about a diet that’s right for you.
If you would like more information about how water softeners and conditioners work, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.
It is important to have realistic information about what is in your water. The reality is that the issue is too complex to boil down to something being always bad or always good. That is why we continue to look into the issues surrounding minerals in different types of water.
The Minerals in Water: Magnesium
The added minerals in bottled water normally exist naturally in tap and well water, and they are added simply to more accurately represent what real water is regarding taste and nutrition. These minerals include potassium, salt, calcium, and magnesium. These are all helpful as long as you adhere to dietary guidelines. However, if completely unregulated, hard water can provide far more of these minerals than needed. While these minerals are important, there are negative effects from over-consumption.
Humans do need these minerals though, and huge portions of the United States experience negative side effects because they do not receive the recommended amount of magnesium or potassium. The reality of magnesium is that 80% of Americans don’t receive enough in their diet. This can lead to serious mental health issues, inability to regulate mood especially. However, since the body has a hard time absorbing magnesium from non-organic sources, deficiencies have little to do with the amount ingested in water. If you’re concerned about your magnesium intake,
consult your physician for more information.
The Minerals in Water: Fluoride
The Fluoride Debate
One unique mineral that has had a lot of national buzz recently is fluoride. Fluoride actually exists in some water sources naturally. But the positives and the negatives are not completely cut and dry. Some cities have actually had serious debates as to what to do with the fluoride in the water. Many have removed it, some have compromised by reducing the amount, and some have done nothing. But the history behind the fluoride debate is a long one, and it is not a simple issue.
The Use of Fluoride
The debate about Fluoride began with it being added into the water supply in the 1950’s to promote dental health. The fluoride in water is of course absorbed orally, and has less effect than being applied directly to teeth. It can have subtle benefits to teeth, but not nearly as much as directly applying with toothpaste, of which many contain fluoride. There are a lot of conspiracy theories surrounding the fluoride debate as well, but it would be incorrect to think of these as what is driving the debate against it. For instance, one of these is that it was initially added not for dental health, but for impairing of mental health. The theory goes that the populace was becoming too difficult to control and evading the laws that were being passed. However, there is little if any evidence to support this, and the case against it is reasonably complete without introducing that as evidence.
The Effect of Fluoride
The main argument is that fluoride has no effect on the appearance, taste, or smell of water, and as such does not effect the direct experience of drinking water. In addition, the levels that are in water aren’t enough to actually prevent tooth decay and cavities. The issue being that levels slightly higher than what is needed for dental health are enough to cause intelligence reduction. This effect is actually made far worse when combined with an excess of aluminum, or a deficiency of iodine, meaning that the body has to work extra hard to deal with both of the issues at once. However, it’s important to note that the addition of this mineral does not lead to cancer, based on most studies. There is some evidence it could contribute very slightly to some types of bone cancer, but not by very much.
The debates about what should be in tap, well, and bottled water continues today. Many people choose to regulate their own water somewhat by utilizing a water softener or a water conditioner. If you would like more information about what’s in your water, or if you would like information regarding a water filtration system, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.
Since science has allowed human beings to study even the simplest of things, an emphasis has been placed on the sufficient consumption of water. Not drinking enough water can carry a multitude of consequences that result from dehydration. Some of the consequences are truly adverse and open to door to treatments far more complicated and expensive than chugging an ice cold glass of the fluid of life. While the benefits of drinking H20 are endless, some of them are too good to pass up.
As the importance of maintaining a healthy weight becomes public knowledge, so does the importance of water into the weight-loss equation. Studies have shown that those who consume at least two glasses of water before each meal over the course of three months lose four more pounds than those who do not drink water regularly. Water fills you up and prevents you from overeating. It also speeds up your metabolism. Experts recommend consuming four cups of water for every fifty pounds of weight.
TOLERANCE TO WEATHER
Part of the reason people feel animosity towards the heat is a result of becoming more dehydrated when being exposed to it. Basically, you want to enjoy summer activities, but the temperatures keep you in the AC. Adequate H2O consumption replaces fluids that humans lose when they sweat. Replacing these fluids improves heat tolerances and makes outdoor activities more bearable.
PROMOTES HEALTHY DIGESTION
Water is a colon cleansing, healthy digestion promoting guru. Water increases the metabolic rate of the body and stimulates the circulation of nutrients and vitamins within the body. This circulation encourages the excretion of toxins found in the digestive tract as well. Using a salt-free water softener greatly contributes to this process by avoiding harmful or unnecessary minerals from entering the body during water consumption altogether. A healthy digestive tract does everything from maintaining a healthy weight and combating cancer and other illnesses, to balancing hormone levels and reducing bloating.
SEE YOU NEVER, CANCER!
Due to the frequency of urination by consuming a lot of water, carcinogens never get the chance to build up in the urinary tract or other vital areas in the body. Research has demonstrated that those with a sufficient water intake are less likely to contract bladder, kidney, breast, and colon cancers.
YOUR BONES WILL THANK YOU
The cartilage that surrounds bones is roughly eighty-five percent water. Of course, this cartilage protects bones and joints, and requires sufficient moisture received from water to stay supple and healthy. Stiff joints are less likely when the rubbery material protecting them is well hydrated.
YOU CAN EAT IT, TOO!
Some of the most healthy and delicious foods are made up of mostly water. Regularly eating fruits like apples and pears promotes hydration, and provides the body with vitamins essential in balancing moods, fighting off harmful free radicals, and ensuring healthy bodily processes. The natural sugars and salts found in fruits and vegetables increase the longevity of hydration as well.
Feeling motivated to drink more water?? If you’re looking for salt-free water softening solutions or water treatments options in the Central Texas area, be sure to give Clear Water of San Marcos a call to discuss your needs and learn how softer water can benefit you & your family!