Does Drinking Water Actually Hydrate Dry Skin
Many people, including certain celebrities we will not name here, often claim that the secret to their poreless skin lies in drinking copious amounts of water. Don’t get me wrongthere are so many great reasons to drink H2O. It’s refreshing, helps your brain function, maintains energy levels, regulates body temperature, aids in digestion, and ultimately keeps your body healthy. But is maintaining hydrated skin one of them?
According to dermatologists, when it comes to moisturizing skin, drinking water falls short. While hydration is absolutely essential for our body to function properly, oral hydration has no direct link to your skin’s hydration.
“It is a complete myth that we should drink a lot of water to maintain hydrated skin,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “Water, first and foremost, enters the bloodstream and is then filtered by the kidneys. There is no data to show that drinking more or less water leads to the skin’s quality.”
However, it is true that your skin gets “thirsty.” Much like the rest of our body, skin is made of cells, which are largely made of water. Cells lose water throughout the day through things like physical activity, environmental pollution, and just generally living life. This will result in flaky and dry texture, making your skin more prone to fine lines, aging, and other skin conditions.
Hard Water Vs Soft Water: How To Tell
Having your water tested is the most surefire way of determining whether it is hard or soft.
Hard water will return a result of 1 grain per gallon or higher. Particularly hard water can contain as many as 10+ grains per gallon. Soft water will return a result of less than one grain per gallon.
Hard water also produces very visible signs of damage in your home. You will observe layers of buildup around drains, showerheads, faucets, and any other fixture or object that comes into contact with your water regularly.
Another way to measure your homes water hardness is to look at your local governments data. Certain regions have characteristically hard water due to the grounds natural composition. Per the United States Geological Survey, Arizona has some of the nations hardest water.
Benefits Of Soft Water On Skin
Soft water is much kinder to your skin compared to hard water. With hard water you have to use more soap product to get a good lather, which can aggravate and irritate the skin. As well as being abrasive, hard water doesnt necessarily wash all the soap residue off. This leftover residue can worsen dry skin conditions. By removing the minerals found in hard water, you and your family can benefit from pure softened water. Soap products lather better and rinse off easier in soft water. Our customers have told us that their skin moisture levels have benefited from soft water, and in cases of eczema and psoriasis their condition has greatly improved.
After a two year study, Scientists at the University of Sheffield and Kings College London have found that hard water damages the skin, raising the risk of infection and potentially contributing to the development of eczema. Minerals in hard water were shown to make skin more sensitive to irritation, but when researchers used a twin-tank water softener in their study they found that softened water could reduce these negative effects. It could even lower the risk of eczema developing in the first place. Eczema is a complicated condition with signs and symptoms that are different for everyone. A water softener may unfortunately not be the answer in some cases.
What Is Hard Water
Letâs start with this. Hard water is water that contains calcium and/or magnesium molecules, the amount of hardness is determined by what degree of those molecules are present.
From an aesthetic point of view, you canât normally âseeâ hardness in water, but you can certainly see the effects of hard water. An easy way to spot hard water is from scale buildup on water fixtures and appliances. The white scale is hard to miss.
One can also âfeelâ hard water. When you are rinsing off your arm in the shower, is it easy to slide across your skin, or does it feel almost sticky and hard to slide across? That is the effect of hard water on your skin. Most americans have grown used to this feeling, and they believe this is what it should feel like for soap to be off your body â this is not true.
How To Get Soft Water In The Shower
As for how to get soft water in the shower, youll need to have a system known as a water softener installed in your home. Ideally, youll want a whole-house system that treats all water in your home, not just water heading to the shower. Some people mistakenly believe that soft water is unsafe to drink, a myth that this article explores thoroughly. For now, though, lets take a look at some of the other considerations when choosing between a whole-house softener and a shower-based system.
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Help Protect The Environment
These days, everyone is trying to do their part to protect the environment and keep our planet a little greener. When you install a water softener in your home, you can do your part by decreasing the amount of greenhouse gases your home emits. How does this work? Its simple. Soft water heats more efficiently than hard water, which translates to less energy use, which results in less greenhouse gas emission. As a bonus, you can also enjoy lower energy bills for a true win-win situation.
What Can You Do If Your Home Uses Hard Water
Because hard water makes our skin essentially more sensitive, it may have an impact on products with potentially irritating ingredients, Dr. Ciraldo explains. She recommends avoiding sulfate-based cleansers if you live in an area of hard water . She also recommends being cautious with products that include potent acids, like glycolic and salicylic acid, since those are reactive ingredients that can irritate already-sensitive skin. You might also want to consider doing away with drying ingredients like ethyl alcohol.
As for the products you should use, reach for sulfate-free cleansers. There are cleansers that work without water for the face, Dr. Ciraldo says. These creamy cleansers are a good idea if you feel that your hard water may be giving your skin a dull or irritated appearance or if you are experiencing any facial itch. For hair, I suggest using a leave-in conditioner if you live in an area of hard water. A shower filter can help, too. These filters minimize the amount of minerals in the water, which can reduce the drying and sensitizing effects of hard water.
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Why Are My Skin And Hair So Dry In Winter
Cracked, flaky, irritated, or inflamed skin is common during winter, though its not at all fun. Your skin feels dryer in the winter months and that is because there is less moisture in the air than in the summer months. Air has the capacity to hold water. The warmer the air, the more moisture it can hold. Think about how the humidity feels during the summer months.
The colder the air, the dryer your skin. In the winter, your body will naturally try and hold onto as much moisture as possible. Maybe you know the long-term effects of dry skin those dreaded wrinkles and fine lines. The mix of chilly air, blow dryer heat, interior heating, and strong winds can cause hair to become dry, brittle, and tangly in the winter. Hard water is also known to dry up your hair, so the combination of all of these variables can result in a lot of split ends and breakage.
How Does A Water Softener Cure Hard Water
In simple terms, a water softeners job is to exchange one group of non-toxic elements for a different set of non-toxic elements.
Water hardness is usually measured as calcium hardness in milligrams per liter OR parts per million OR in grains per gallon .
GPG is the most common water hardness measurement type and it is essentially a way to calculate the amount of calcium hardness.
- If your water is slightly hard or soft then it will have up to 3.5 GPG.
- Medium hard water is between 3.5 to 10.5 GPG.
- Extremely hard water is anything over 10.5 GPG.
However, if you test your water at home and your water is over 5-6 GPG, you probably should consider getting a water softener.
Even if its just for the laundry and other household appliances like the dishwasher.
- Your appliances will last longer as they wont suffer from hard water limescale damage.
- Brighter and softer clothes.
- Less dryness in hair and skin.
- This type of water restores rich lathering of soap and shampoo. This means you use less and save money in the long run.
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The Solution A Water Softener
If we look back at the previous topics like hard water vs. soft water: how to tell? and what is hard water vs. soft water? both can be summarized by listing the harmful characteristics we mentioned above.
A water softener is the best solution for alleviating these harmful effects. While they arent cheap upfront by any means, their long-term benefits for your health, home, and wallet make softeners more than worth it over the long haul.
If youre in the Phoenix, Arizona area and looking for a water softener, trust American Home and Water. We have more than 30 years of experience installing HVAC and water treatment systems for 50,000+ customers in the area.
So Should You Get A Water Softener
Skin and hair issues may not be the only problem hard water is causing you and your family. Check out our article on 8 Major Hard Water Problems for even more signs. And see how hard water affects your appliances.
If youre sick and tired of dealing with hard water in your home, a water softener is the most effective and most permanent solution to hard water challenges. Water-Right makes some of the most innovative residential water treatment products on the market.
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Does Drinking Water Actually Hydrate Your Skin
First, the hard truth. “While everyone says drinking water is important for overall health and doctors across the board recommend more water and less caffeinated or sugar-packed beverages,there’s a lack of research proving water consumption impacts skin hydration or overall appearance in people who are healthy,” says Lolis. The issue is the actual physics behind how water flows throughout our systems drinking water is necessary for our bodies to run optimally, and to help nutrients reach the skin through proper blood flow, but not necessarily the be-all and end-all we need for dewy skin. “The truth is that when you drink water, it doesn’t automatically go to the skinit hydrates cells once absorbed into the bloodstream and filtered by the kidneys,” Lolis explains. “So, at the cellular level, drinking water is great as it flushes the system and hydrates our bodies overall.”
Why Soft Water Is Better For Your Skin
Itchy scalp. Skin irritation. Crusty scale on the shower walls and faucet. These are signs of hard water and prolonged exposure can be seriously hard on your skin.
Hard water is merely a term for water that contains dissolved minerals, typically calcium and magnesium, according to the US Geologic Survey. While calcium is good for your bones, its not benefitting your skin.
The minerals in hard water make lotions and moisturizers less effective. The result is dry skin. You may also experience these symptoms:
- Irritation and itchiness
- Acne or clogged pores
- Irritated scalp, dandruff or dry scalp
These unpleasant conditions occur when hard water dries and leaves a residue of calcium bicarbonate on your skin. This disrupts the bodys natural oils that keep your skin from drying out. When this residue clogs pores, the result is acne.
You may also notice your normally shiny hair is beginning to dull. A temporary solution for dull hair is to shampoo with apple cider vinegar or use a chelating shampoo designed to bond chemically with minerals and remove them. A word of caution: Chelating shampoos can strip hair color, so dont use this type of product more than once a week.
Hard water has even been attributed to razor burn when shaving.
If thats not enough, hard water combines with soap to form a scum thats difficult to wash off. That can cause itching when your skin dries no matter how clean you may feel right after bathing.
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Beyond Health: Other Issues With Hard Water
As if hard waters effects on your health werent bad enough, it also wreaks havoc on your home and wallet. Mineralization stains your sinks, bathtubs, and other water equipment. It also hinders your laundry machines, forcing you to use more detergent and fabric softener to achieve a good clean.
If you add up all of these effects, youll find that hard water costs you thousands per year.
What To Do If You Have Hard Water
Plumbing companies sell and install whole-house water filtration systems that remove the minerals in your tap water. If your water supply comes from a well, an alternative is to connect to a public water utility, if available in your area, and receive a regular bill. Be aware that while the water itself is not expensive month-to-month, it can be costly for the public utility crew to connect your home with the main water line. Think: digging a trench across your yard for laying pipe and paying crews to install and connect the line to your plumbing.
A cheaper solution to keep hard water off your skin is to install a water softener on the shower head or faucet. This wont resolve the problem of cloudy dishes or long-term plumbing issues, but it will help keep your skin from drying out due to hard water exposure. You can also buy an under-the-sink filtration system that connects out of sight. This will soften tap water for washing your face and hands.
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How To Resolve The Effects Of Soft Water On Skin
- If you feel that your skin is not clean enough, use an alcohol free cleansing toner to help wipe away any excess residue.
- Regularly use a face brush to remove residue. Use either a dry face brush or an electric face brush.
- Regularly use a face scrub to remove residue. I prefer not to use granular scrubs as they are too harsh and scratch at your skin. Instead use a chemical exfoliator containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid. Try these Glycolic Acid Peel Pads. The glycolic acid unclogs and diminishes enlarged pores, blackheads and acne breakouts.
- Use a clay based mask once or twice a week to remove excess oil and clear pores. Packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals, as the mask dries it pulls out toxins and excess oils and gets rid of pimples, blackheads, and breakouts. Its also great for blemishes on the chest and back. Try this Detox clarifying Face Powder Mask which uses charcoal and French clay designed for pore cleansing.
- You may find your usual moisturiser too heavy. In that case, either try going without moisturiser or switch to a lighter one such as a lotion rather than a cream that wont overload your skin and cause breakouts.
How Can You Tell If Your Water Is Hard Or Soft
Testing your water to determine if it is hard or soft is an important step in managing energy use and your waters impact in your home and life.
You can tell if you have hard water or soft water by the following:
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Improves Certain Skin Conditions
Hair and skin arent just for looking pretty theyre required for specific bodily functions, too. Its important to keep these in good condition and working well all year long so they can do their jobs and keep us healthy and safe.
Soft water can help to reduce topical issues such as eczema and acne skin. In fact, after installing a water softener, you may not need to purchase that expensive body wash and lotion you thought you needed. Soft water helps to get rid of irritation and improves the health of your skin.
Although you can make changes to your current skincare routine to combat the impact of hard water, having a water softening system in your house makes life much easier. Soft water is an easy solution to help you look and feel your best this holiday season. Hardness minerals are removed from all of your taps and faucets by water softeners, leaving you with silky hair and soft skin.