Water constitutes 71% of the world. Just as the most vital element to human existence, water does have its reasonable share of drawbacks. And this time it’s in skincare. If you are new to skincare or have been doing it for a long time, there’s something you need to worry about – H20. While you were blaming the air pollution, your unhealthy lifestyle or poor skincare routine, how about the quality of water? What? Is the water to blame for your beauty woes?
While washing your face might appear to make you fresh and highlighted, you can be in trouble if the water is full of impurities. Does it sound like a new problem?
Yes, it’s something we have never thought about previously. We all know that hard water contains more calcium and it tends to make your skin duller. There’s a new comrade here now, heavy metals! Metals have a toxicity level in our bodies. Beyond this, it can cause many internal body issues. But even externally, they are present in the form of free radicals.
Free radicals are reactive and they can react with your skin’s sebaceous oils and convert them to a waxy substance which blocks your glands and in turn results in acne, redness, and other skin problems. Some of the common heavy metals are lead, zinc, copper, magnesium, and iron. These free radicals act on the collagen of your skin and break it down.
Before we look at the cons, let’s talk pros.
Benefits of hydration:
We are not new to this, hydration is very important for the body. From digesting food to healthy skin, water is a huge blessing. If you are facing skin dullness or pimples, the main advice given is to drink water. Starting your day with a glass of lukewarm water can be your solution to many problems.
- They help to keep the skin-tight.
- Prevention of skin inflammation and itching.
- Skin ageing and wrinkles are reduced.
- Flushes out toxins from the body.
- Balances your skin tone.
This is related to the intake of water. Drinking water is generally purified but what about the external source of water? Let’s see the effects of external water.
Water to blame for your beauty woes?
As a kid, you’ve studied the two types of water. Hard and soft, we all know that soft water is what we need to use. Effects of hard water on the skin are many. They don’t wash away soap particles easily and leave your skin dry and itchy. Calcium and magnesium are your hard water culprits. These minerals of hard water, when left behind, can take away your skin’s secretions that are used to protect your skin. This disrupts your pH balance and results in breakouts.
Not only does hard water affect your skin, but it also affects hair too. The discolouration is faster, hair is thinner and duller. It can be harder to remove the shampoo from hair and it can cause itching and scalp problems too.
How do we protect skin from hard water?
- The easy and simplest solution of all is to use a softener. One time setup of a water softener can relieve you of so many troubles.
- Use soap-free body wash/gels. This can reduce the soap residues on the skin.
- After a shower, while your skin is still damp, go for moisturizer. This will lock in moisture that your body naturally produces.
- Your skin on the face is different from the skin on the body, wash your face as few times as possible to avoid skin damage.
- If hard water runs in your house, use lukewarm water for showers. Never use extreme temperature conditions.
Are you not sure if your house running water is hard? Try out this simple technique to know. Take a bottle of water with 12 drops of liquid soap. Mix vigorously, if the bubbles produced are less then it’s hard water.
How can it affect you?
The kind of water we use can affect us in many ways. As we grow industrially, all the waste are released into the water bodies. This water needs to be purified before releasing it for public use. Water purified needs to be checked for heavy metals and other contaminants that may cause serious health issues.
Here are some ways how polluted water can affect you:
- Chlorine content: if the water you use has too much chlorine, it causes lasting effects and damages to the skin. Skin irritations, redness and rashes are common effects seen.
- Acidity: pollutants that linger in the water for long hours, changes the pH of the water making it acidic. This obviously disrupts the pH balance of the skin and pull out the moisture and shielding layer of the skin
- Metals, metals and metals: a lot of metals can be retained in the water if it is not subjected to proper purification. This generally causes clogged pores and makes the skin look duller and dehydrated.
- Arsenic in water can cause skin lesions and sometimes cancer.
Mechanism of pollutant action:
The pollutant penetrates the skin’s deeper layer and increases the production of reactive oxygen species which in turn depletes the antioxidants present in the skin. A large amount of stress is caused to the skin cells by this imbalance. These pollutants now sit on the receptors and a cascade of inflammation takes place.
Simple ways to care for your skin against water pollution
- Use moisturizer immediately after a shower.
- Use better sunscreen with proper sun protection levels.
- Follow a healthy skincare routine to hydrate and shield your skin from various problems.
- Use a face mask and body scrub once a week to exfoliate your skin and remove the dead cells.
- Use serums and other face ingredients like vitamin c, hyaluronic acid, retinol, peptides, and others to reverse skin damage and heal the skin.
Skin is the largest barrier of our body and needs proper skin protection. Any disruptions to the skin cells can cause a number of skin problems. While water is an important source of hydration, the quality of water also remains equally important. Hence sometimes it is the water to blame for your beauty woes and happiness. The harmful effects of water pollution and hard water for your skin must be kept in mind and as we move forward to the future of industrialization, one must do as much to protect the skin and reverse skin damages with the use of proper products and water cleansers.