Well water and skincare - here's what you need to know. (Part 1 of 2)

If your household runs on well water, like so many do in the suburbs and rural areas like where we are based in Wilton, CT, you already know some of the joys (not) of living with a well. But did you know that when you wash your face every day you could actually be HURTING the vibrancy of your skin due to the extra minerals in the water?  

Well water is considered “hard water”. Simply put, hard water is just water that contains a high concentration of minerals. Even if you are on city water, the water that runs through your tap isn’t just hydrogen and oxygen, rather it contains levels of magnesium and calcium that develop when groundwater runs through limestone or chalk. It can also contain iron, manganese, aluminum and other minerals. In different areas, water is considered either “harder” or “softer”.  In places that run off of a well, you are more likely to have hard water because your water comes right from where the limestone and chalk are found rather than from reservoirs that store the city and town water. Hard water isn’t necessarily bad—in fact, it can be healthy and is some of the “mineral” water that we pay extra to grab at the store—but it can wreak havoc on your skincare routine.  

If you are having skincare issues that don’t seem to resolve, look for signs that you have hard water. Some indicators include: 

  • Your soap doesn’t lather sufficiently
  • There is scale buildup on faucets and sinks or around your pool coping
  • You have dry irritated skin or flat hair
  • Generally low water pressure
  • Your clothing feels rough to the touch

The primary issue with using hard water on the skin is dryness and irritation.  Minerals drying on skin can clog pores and cause flaking and itching. Hard water also can react with soap, which leaves residue and salts on the skin.  

If you are using OTC skincare, the next problem is that you are treating already mineral-weary skin with synthetic ingredients that can bind with the minerals and create the same salts and residue as soaps—even the most reputable brands are designed for the masses and for broad results, but they aren’t necessarily considering water quality that can counteract effectiveness.  

So can you do about it?  

First, consider installing a water softener in your home. This is the best way to start to counteract the detrimental effects of hard water on your skin.  

Second, use a cleanser, NOT SOAP.  Specifically, our Wildflower and Honey Face Cleanser or the Green and Glowing Face Cleanser.  Soap will bind with the natural oils on your skin and strip off the natural protective layer. If you have issues with acne, it might be that the combination of hard water and soap is clogging your pores—you may be HURTING your chances of reducing acne rather than healing it. And those dermatologist-recommended treatments that are not safe to use in the sun or the over-the-counter products that can dye fabrics? They are simply too harsh to use with hard water. Also, if you have young men in the house that are prone to acne, chances are that they are using their body soap to clean their faces and making the acne situation even worse!

Stay tuned for next week’s blog of what to do next!!!