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The skin has vital functions such as maintaining pH (it forms an acid mantel of 4.8 – 6. Anything over 7 is acidic and not good, including synthetic soaps), receiving oxygen, getting rid of carbon dioxide, eliminating liquid wastes, producing vitamin D, protection from solar radiation, regulating temperature and storing fatty acids.
But what does all of this have to do with hard tap water? Well, certain circumstances can prevent the skin from carrying out all the vital functions listed above, and hard water is one of them.
Hard water results from Magnesium and Calcium containing minerals such as chalk, limestone and dolomite. These minerals damage skin cells by breaking down collagen and elastin and further, causes dry skin, which can lead to unsightly acne outbreaks. The minerals work by forming a layer over the skin, stripping it of its natural oils and additionally, preventing oils from reaching the surface of the skin thus, causing clogged pores.
Clogged pores can then lead to pimples, eczema, which is inflammation of the epidermal or outermost layer of the skin, and premature skin wrinkling, which results from the drying effect caused by the minerals in the hard water.
If you’re dealing with the horrifying skin and hair issues caused by the minerals that are a part of hard water, here are a few tips to arm you up.
1. Wash your face with bottled water before going into the shower. It’s costly, but effective and temporary (until you install a water softner).
2. In lieu of a water softener, if you can’t afford to get one, purchase and install a shower head with water filter. It will help greatly.
3. Use a shampoo with a chelating agent, which reduces calcium and magnesium and other heavy materials associated with the hard water. So if you don’t have a filter or water softener, your shampoos and body washes should definitely have a chelating agent (look for the word EDTA in the ingredient list).
4. After washing your hair, apply coconut oil, Argon oil, or other kind of oil, which will keep your hair and scalp moisturized and shiny.
5. Most importantly, be proactive. If you do nothing, nothing will improve.
Are you dealing with or have you ever dealt with hard water issues? If yes, how did you manage? Leave a comment with any advice or suggestions. We’d love to hear from you.