It has been estimated that consumers in the UK spend an average of £4,454 per person every year on beauty products. Hundreds of moisturisers, shampoos and conditioning products are purchased every day by people looking to add an extra sparkle to their brittle, lifeless hair, or improve the softness of their dry, itchy skin. Each product is more expensive than the last, and each one claims to be a miracle cure for ageing, dryness and skin complaints.
We’re all guilty of it — throwing money at a problem rather than looking for a long-lasting solution. But the real problem isn’t your skin — it’s the hard water coming out of your taps.
Have you ever wondered why your skin and hair look and feel so great when you go on holiday? Your hair feels stronger, thicker almost. Your skin is softer without the daily plethora of lotions. Going make-up free suddenly doesn’t seem so bad. Sure the sun, sea and stress-free environment help, but it’s the softness of the water which makes the real difference.
What effect does hard water have on your hair and skin?
Ageing. Calcium, magnesium and iron are the most common minerals that make water “hard”. These are known to break down skin’s collagen — the natural protein which keeps skin firm yet supple. This, in turn, can lead to premature ageing.
Cracked, itchy skin. For those of us lucky enough to have great skin, the worst thing hard water will cause is itching, dryness and irritation. But for the one in five children who are affected by eczema at some stage in their life, and the 1.8 million people in the UK who suffer with psoriasis, hard water will aggravate their conditions and make day-to-day life even more uncomfortable. On top of this, up to 70% of children who suffer with eczema are more sensitive to allergies. This begs the question — is untreated eczema playing a part in the allergy epidemic?
Dry, lifeless hair. While superficial on the surface, hard water is costing people a fortune in fancy shampoos and conditioners. A cheaper, more long-term, solution would be finding a way to soften your water instead.
Hair loss. What’s even worse than dry, lifeless hair? No hair. Hard water can destroy follicles, leading to unnecessary hair loss. At the very least you may be suffering with breakages, thinning and dandruff.
Acne and blemishes. You know that limescale and grease which build up on your taps, baths and showers? The stuff which takes a lot of scrubbing to get clean? That’s not the only place it sticks to. The same build up of scum can be found all over your body. The magnesium and calcium found in hard water make it almost impossible for soap to lather up properly and unclog all of your pores. This leads to an increased chance of acne, blemishes and other rashes.
So before you dismiss a water filter as an added expense, first add up how much you spend on fancy products every year to improve your hair and skin. There’s every chance that a water filter would be cheaper.