Doctor V – Is hard water making your skincare routine ineffective ?

Today’s topic is hard water versus soft water. I know we talk a lot about actives, but actually, it’s really important to talk about water too. If that sounds good to you, please give me a thumbs up. Let’s dive right in.

The first thing to note obviously is what is hard water? Hard water is when water has increased magnesium and calcium in it. This is safe to consume, but it’s not ideal for our hair or our skin. What happens is that calcium and magnesium bind to the hair, which basically makes it look duller and can actually change the color of your hair too. What actually happens is that grime can build up in your hair because hard water can’t break down hair products, and so what ends up happening is that your hair starts to feel limp and heavy. In addition, your scalp can feel dry and flaky. I’ve done a whole video for you on dry, flaky scalps and how to manage it, but it’s also important to look at water too. In addition, when it comes to your skin, you tend to get more breakouts, more irritation from hard water.

How do you treat it? Well, one option is to make sure you use a clarifying shampoo once every other week, once a week or once every other week. What that does is it binds to the grime and removes it, and you don’t need soft water in order to do it. For the face, you can use my micellar water, for example from Garnier, because you don’t need water to rinse it off. The other potential option is to buy a water softener. This basically deionizes the sodium. Deionized sodium in soft water is actually quite moisturizing, but the flip side is that it can make your hair feel heavy and limp, so basically the same thing that happened with the grime.

But it’s important to know, because you may well be applying all the correct actives, but actually if you’ve got hard water, then inflamed skin is only going to remain inflamed. Inflammation is one of the mainstays of eczema or acne, or basically any skin pathology that you don’t want. It is worth looking at because if you’re going to invest heavily in your skincare and you’re educating yourself on ingredients, I do think it’s important to spend the same amount of time thinking about water.

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