Is Hard Water Causing Your Dry Skin?

Published: 27th September 2006
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Many articles are written about products that contain harsh chemicals that dry the skin and millions of advertising dollars are spent on products that claim to do the opposite. However, one often overlooked dry skin factor is the hardness or softness of our water. Using natural products free of substances that cause dry skin is vital, but hard water will continue to exacerbate the problem.

Water that is 'hard' contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium and iron. When these minerals harden, they clog our household plumbing and make it more susceptible to developing lime deposits.

Hard water also has detrimental effects on the skin. Since it is difficult for any substance to dissolve in hard water, soap doesn't lather well, and doesn't rinse off completely. Residue from the water and the cleansing products clogs the pores, and causes flakey, itchy, dry skin.

Clinical studies conducted to determine the influence of water on the skin have also found that hard water irritates the facial skin and blood vessels. Study participants noted an increase in irritation, redness, and dry skin. The skin becomes thinner, and the irritated blood vessels cause flushing and rosacea. Once the water is softened the irritation is removed the deposits are no longer left on the skin, cleansing products are easily rinsed off, and the blood vessels and skin tissue begin to thicken and heal.

Our environment is inundated with harmful chemicals that irritate the skin and cause other physical problems. Air pollution, environmental bacteria and fungi, dust and dust mites, pollen, household and personal cleaning products and cosmetics all contain harmful, irritating substances. Whatever you can do to eliminate them will help your dry skin, and your health.

Thousands of doctors are now recommending a shielding lotion to protect the skin against pollutants and harsh chemicals, including those in hard water, but softening your water will remove one more source of the problem. Soft water, and daily application of a shielding lotion to protect against the substances you can't control, could lead to improvement in your dry skin within just a few days, and, before long, you could have the healthy, dewy complexion you've always wanted.


Author, Gloria MacTaggart, is a freelance writer who contributes articles on skin care for 21st Century Formulations. For more information, visit

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