A DERMATOLOGIST has said that bathing in tap water could be bad for your skin.
Dr Lin suggested that ‘hard water can disrupt the skin barrier and cause dryness by depleting the skin of its natural oils’[/caption]
The subject is a hot topic on TikTok with many videos suggesting there may be a link between hard water and skin conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis.
Normal tap water that most people use to wash in and drink every day contains metals such as zinc, copper, iron, calcium and magnesium, all of which are needed in certain levels to maintain a healthy body.
However, hard water has higher concentration of minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium.
Speaking to Newsweek Dr Gloria Lin, a board-certified dermatologist with the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York, said that hard water “can disrupt the skin barrier and cause dryness by depleting the skin of its natural oils.”
She also adds that the minerals in hard water “can bind to surfactants found in soaps and cleansers that make it harder to remove from the skin, leaving a residue behind and resulting in clogged pores.”
These things combined can be more problematic for those with more sensitive skin conditions.
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In recent years the beauty industry has been raising awareness of what is known as the “skin microbiome” which is the layer of living organisms on your face and body that needs to be kept in balance.
Lin said: “Maintaining a healthy skin microbiome is an important emerging field of research.
“Unfiltered water may disturb the natural balance of skin flora, exacerbating conditions such as acne, eczema and dermatitis.”
The dermatologist adds that hair can also be negatively affected by unfiltered water too, “causing it to lose its natural shine and become dry and brittle.”
She suggested that depending on your location, quality of tap water and skin type, it might be beneficial to drink and wash in filtered water.
Lin said: “Those who are concerned about potential aging due to free radicals can also consider filtration because the effects for this would be more long term and not necessarily seen on a day-to-day basis.”
She also drew attention to a study on the connection between hard water and eczema by Dr Zarif Jabbar-Lopez, a dermatologist based in London.
Jabbar-Lopez and colleagues are investigating the use of water softeners to help prevent eczema in newborns.
However, Lin says that “If you haven’t experienced any significant side effects with the unfiltered water, then it may not be necessary to filter it.”