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.