A DERMATOLOGIST said that bathing in tap water could be bad for your skin.
The skin specialist has pointed out that the minerals found in hard water could cause “dryness” and “clogged pores”.
The topic is a hot topic on TikTok with many videos suggesting there may be a link between hard water and skin conditions like eczema, acne and psoriasis.
Regular tap water, which most people use to wash and drink every day, contains metals like zinc, copper, iron, calcium, and magnesium, all of which are needed in certain amounts to maintain a healthy body.
However, hard water has a higher concentration of minerals, especially calcium and magnesium.
Speaking to Newsweek, Dr. Gloria Lin, a board-certified dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York, states that hard water “can disrupt the skin’s barrier and cause dryness by stripping the skin of its natural oils.”
She adds that the minerals in hard water “can bind surfactants in soaps and detergents, making it harder to remove from skin, leaving residue and leading to clogged pores.”
These things together can be more problematic for people with more sensitive skin.
In recent years, the beauty industry has raised awareness of what’s known as the “skin microbiome,” which is the layer of living organisms on the face and body that needs to be kept in balance.
Lin said, “Maintaining a healthy skin microbiome is an important emerging area of research.
“Unfiltered water can upset the natural balance of skin flora and aggravate conditions like acne, eczema and dermatitis.”
The hair can also be affected by unfiltered water, “that it loses its natural shine and becomes dry and brittle,” adds the dermatologist.
She suggested that depending on your location, tap water quality, and skin type, drinking and washing in filtered water might be beneficial.
Lin said, “Those who are concerned about potential free radical aging may also consider filtration, as the effects for this would be longer-term and not necessarily seen on a daily basis.”
She also drew attention to a study on the link between hard water and eczema by Dr. Zarif Jabbar-Lopez, a dermatologist from London.
Jabbar-Lopez and colleagues are studying the use of water softeners to prevent eczema in newborns.
However, Lin says, “If you haven’t experienced any significant side effects with the unfiltered water, then it may not be necessary to filter it.”