Hard Water and Break Outs - can your water be causing acne and bad hair?

Category: Primary Menu    

Let’s face it (no pun intended, well…maybe) there is nothing better than the feeling of getting rid of all the day’s gunk on your face and body in a nice, refreshing shower. After all the impurities and pollution we’ve faced during the day we want to get rid of it all and clean our skin. But what happens if you start noticing you are breaking out, and the only thing that has really changed in your skin care routine is the water your washing with? Could your tap water/shower water be making your skin worse?

A month ago I moved into a new apartment complex. It was in a new area of my state and an area that I lived when I was younger. In my high school years I didn’t have great skin and I was always plagued with break outs. My skin felt grimy and oily all the time, even after washing it well. After an hour or two it felt like it was sticky with wax. I chalked it up to teenage breakouts but now that I am in my 30’s and living in the same area it seems that my skin now feels the same. At first I thought I was being crazy, but the more I think of it the more it makes sense. It’s easy to tell what the antagonist is in any situation when nothing else in your routine has changed.

My diet is the same. My products that I use are the same. The vitamins and supplements are the same and my lifestyle is the same. The ONLY thing that has changed is that I have moved and that the water must not be the same quality. In every county in every state the water can be different. Some water has more filtering and some is more harsh with metals. Hard water can cause the skin to be stripped of moisture and get very dry and over produce oil and it can also cause your skin to get a thin film that makes the oil feel wax like and trap dirt and bacteria. After a week or two of noticing that I was getting pimples in places I NEVER get them, it brought me right back to my high school days living in the same general area of New Jersey. When my fiance started to get a few pimples (which he never breaks out, ever!) I had to assume without any doubt it was our water. Hard water basically leaves your skin full of soap scum, gross I know!

*I also noticed that while washing my hair even two times with shampoo my hair felt stringy, rough, knotty – I knew then that the water was hard water and it was going to be a down hill battle for my skin and my hair*

The problem with hard water is that its high mineral content prevents it from properly reacting with soap and, instead of triggering a lather, it creates a soapy layer on the skin. This not only clogs pores, but also irritates the skin, making it itchy, flaky and dry. (Shape Magazine)

I went online right away and started to look for a shower head that would filter our water. I knew that if I could do that it would help save our skin and also hair (hard water can really wreck havoc on hair as well!) Unlike soft water, hard water has a high mineral content. These minerals directly irritate the skin and interfere with every skincare product type. For example, soaps and cleanser are rendered useless when combined with hard water. Instead of forming cleansing lather, they rather form a weakly soapy scum after reacting with the minerals in hard water. The calcium in hard water is especially blamed for this interference. Furthermore, hard water makes it difficult to remove the soap used and scum formed on the skin. Therefore, the skin is irritated for longer and it becomes dry and reddened. These residual effects can trigger increased sebum production and acne breakouts.In addition, the scum formed from hard water combine with the ingredients of skincare products to clog the pores. These impurities also change the nature of the sebum from a free-flowing oil to a sticky wax which then clogs the pores too. The minerals in hard water can also cause damage to the skin by promoting the breakdown of collagen and the development of acne lesions.

So I decided to buy a new filtered shower head.

This one got the best reviews and looks really nice on Amazon

$28.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35 click here

Experience the soothing spa-like shower with Culligan’s RainDisc shower filtration system. Certified by NSF International, the showerhead’s level 2 filtration system reduces 97 percent of chlorine from you shower water as well as sulfur odor and scale for softer cleaner skin and hair. Highly efficient, each Culligan filtration cartridge filters for a full 10,000 gallons or 6 months. Easy to install with no required tools, the RainDisc showerhead can be installed on any existing standard 1/2-inch shower arm. For adjustable height and added length, Culligan’s optional RDA-150 RainDisc shower hi-lo arm may also be installed between your existing shower arm and the RainDisc showerhead. Put the strength of the consumer-trusted Culligan brand to work for you with the value-added Culligan RainDisc filtered showerhead.

The showerhead is protected by 5-year limited warranty.

Other products you can use to help prevent the breakouts from hard water use.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare’s Hydra-Pure Intense Moisture Cream

Dr Dennis Gross Hydra-Pure Intense Moisture Cream 50ml/1.7oz

But for those who can’t resist that refreshing rush of H20 pouring down on their faces in the shower each morning, they can opt for products that contain chelators, an organic complex that sequesters the heavy metals on the surface of the skin, preventing them from penetrating into the pores and causing damage. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare’s Hydra-Pure? Intense Moisture Cream is infused with Dr. Gross’s Chelating Complex, which he says “is likened to washing your face with pure H20.”

Shampoo to help with mineral build up from hard water

Malibu Hard Water Wellness Treatment Kit, 9 oz Shampoo, 9 oz Conditioner and 0.17 Hard Water Treatment

Malibu Hard Water Wellness Pack – on amazon for $17.00

Chelating shampoos are specifically designed to prevent and remove mineral buildup in your hair. A chelating agent will chemically bind to minerals, removing them before you even have a chance to notice that they're there. Some shampoo companies throw around words like 'clarifying,' 'chelating,' and 'neutralizing,' so to be sure you're using the right product, look for one that has the ingredient EDTA. Because a chelating shampoo will strip your hair, they should only be used about once a week, and should be followed with an intensely moisturizing conditioner or a hair mask.

Try a Chelating Cream Shampoo to help with hard water:

Using a chelating conditioner like the Redken hair cleansing cream shampoo will help to clarify the hair and remove mineral deposits and styling product build up. After putting your hair under hair water, cleaning it and then adding moisture back is key!

Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo for All Hair Types – buy here

Leave a comment