Hard water is very commonly found in taps all over the world. It usually contains calcium, magnesium, and other mineral deposits. It can clog the plumbing pipes and can be very harmful to your skin. Read on to learn more about how hard water is harming your skin and how to protect it.
Understanding Hard Water
Water is a vital component of our daily lives, but not all water is the same. One crucial factor to consider is whether the water is hard or soft.
We will delve into the concept of hard water, exploring its definition and the two main types: temporary hard water and permanent hard water.
Understanding these types will help you identify the characteristics of the water in your area and determine the most suitable treatment methods.
In simple words, hard water can be distinguished from other water because it has a higher content of dissolved minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Though it doesn’t pose a health risk usually, it can leave a residue on your clothes and dishes after you wash them. It can also negatively affect your hair and skin.
Types of Hard Water:
A. Temporary Hard Water: Temporary hard water is characterized by the presence of dissolved bicarbonate minerals, such as calcium bicarbonate and magnesium bicarbonate. When heated, these minerals precipitate out of the water, forming limescale. Key features of temporary hard water include:
- Formation of limescale when heated.
- Boiling the water or adding lime can help soften it.
B. Permanent Hard Water: Permanent hard water contains dissolved sulfate or chloride minerals, such as calcium sulfate and magnesium chloride. Unlike temporary hard water, the minerals in permanent hard water do not precipitate when heated. Notable aspects of permanent hard water are:
Inability to be softened by boiling.
Requires alternative methods like ion exchange or reverse osmosis for effective treatment.
How Hard Water Affects the Skin?
Hard water contains a lot of minerals, so it can leave a build-up of soap residue that can clog pores, which are essential for releasing natural oils from your body. Clogged pores can lead to skin issues and conditions like acne or eczema.
Hard water can also strip away natural moisture from your skin and make your skin feel too dry. It might also lead to aging signs like wrinkles or fine lines that make you look older than you are.
How Does Using Hard Water for the Long Term Affects Your Skin?
Hard water has calcium, iron, and magnesium traces that can form free radicals. They can break down collagen, an essential element that keeps the skin firm and great looking. Eliminating collagen can lead to issues like skin sagging and premature aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines.
People with eczema who use hard water can see more intense and frequent flare-ups and the worsening of eczema symptoms.
How Does Using Hard Water for the Short Term Affects Your Skin?
Even exposure to hard water in the short term can lead to skin issues like flaky or itchy skin or even skin breakouts. Hard water can also make your scalp itchy and make your hair look dull.
How to Protect Skin from Hard Water?
You can protect your skin from hard water by using the following methods.
- Use a water softener to treat hard water. It makes it easy to rinse off the soap. So, you won’t have any soap residue left.
- Use soap-free cleaners which are gentle on your skin.
- Avoid extreme cold or hot water.
- Keep your showers short.
- Don’t wash your face often. Use water-free cleansing options.
- Don’t rub your skin after a shower or bath. Dab it softly with a towel.
- Apply a moisturizing body lotion when the skin is damp to trap natural moisture in the skin and avoid drying of the skin.
- If you have sensitive skin, pick fragrance-free body washes and moisturizers.
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