A guide for the best skin care
If you have ever noticed that you are using more shampoo, conditioners and moisturisers than you did on holiday, the chances are you live in a hard water area. A glance inside of your kettle will probably be the only proof you need. The white scale clinging to the element is formed when hard water is heated. The minerals that cause it, give you water its flavour but can cause trouble for your skin and hair. The reason is simple, soaps and shampoos used with softened water tends to lather more easily and leaves skin feeling soft and hair looking shiny. Conversely the same products used in hard water, lather less well and can be more difficult to rinse away.
Living with hard water has inspired me to share my best skin care and beauty tips below. Pulled together from personal experience and recommendations from family and friends.
Most are universal but hopefully those of you living with hard water will find them particularly useful. Always check that any recommendations are suitable for you and your family before adopting them.
The best skin care Tips
- Seek advice.
- Take advice.
- Start Simply.
- Choose your products carefully.
- Moisturise Wisely.
- Pesky pores.
- The occasional face mask.
- Breakouts – avoid touching your face.
- Drink plenty of water – Hydration is key!
- Shiny Hair.
- BWT products that can help
If you have a specific skin problem, I know it can hard but don’t be shy in asking for help. Your GP surgery should be able to put you in touch with a dermatologist or with someone else who can help. Seeking advice early can help alleviate problems later.
No matter how good your daily skin care and beauty routine may be, it never hurts to listen to advice from those close to you. Your beautician, and hair stylist will be able to recommend products perfect for you, and the area you live in.
Wash your face in the morning, this may seem obvious but it’s so important to wash your face every morning, as soon as you wake up. Warm or lukewarm water works best as a gentle cleanser. Try and wash your face in gentle circular motions, avoid scrubbing it roughly and using very hot water as this can quickly dry out your face. Limit showers to no more than 10 minutes at any one time and avoid too many long hot baths.
Soap is not the only option, moisturizing body washes often lather more easily in hard water than your favourite soap. A wide range of ingredients means that these products can be readily bought to suit most skin types. If hard water leaves you feeling uncomfortable consider using biodegradable face wipes as an eco-friendly alternative. Like body washes, these once niche products are now manufactured and/or sold under many of the leading beauty brand names on the high street.
Use a light moisturiser with an SPF each morning and a heavy moisturizer in the evening, once you’ve washed your face, it’s a good to add a little moisturiser over your skin. Try using a moisturiser with SPF protection, as this gives you added protection from the sun. Over-exposure from the sun can cause your skin to lose its elasticity, age prematurely and pores to dilate. At night, repeat the same routine, wash your face and this time apply a heavier moisturiser or night cream to repair your skin overnight.
Whilst pores play an important part in helping us to maintain healthy skin. They can be larger and more noticeable than we would like. Hormones, the sun, our daily lives and even the air around us can cause these to become blocked with dirt and natural oils.
To fight back, check the products you buy like sun cream, make up and skin care products are oil free or non-comedogenic (skincare products that are formulated so as not to cause blocked pores).
Adopt a gentle cleaning routine once or maybe twice a week using a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser and warm water (but not hot).
Use granular scrub or a chemical exfoliator containing glycolic or salicylic acid developed to unclog pores and reduce the risks of blackheads and spots etc. Avoid excessive or heavy rubbing as this can have unwanted consequences like the reddening of the skin.
A face mask can be the perfect way to boost your skin care routine. Used occasionally maybe once a week, a simple clay mask packed with the right vitamins and minerals can help pull out toxins and excess oils and help with spots, blemishes and blackheads.
Other masks can be used to hydrate or exfoliate the skin. Choosing the right one can be a simple and effective way to give your skin a little bit of extra TLC. Do your research to see which type might be best suited to your skin type and remember more ingredients does not necessarily mean the face mask will work better. If you are unsure which one is right for you, then ask your skin specialist or healthcare provider for advice. Whichever one you choose, always do a patch test before covering your whole face.
It’s so easy to forget this simple tip despite it being one of the most published. From the problem pages of teenage magazines, to the oldest skin care books – touching your face with dirty hands is simply a big No. Not only can this simple action introduce new germs and bacteria to our sensitive skin it can also spread any bacteria that is there already.
The oils we transfer from our hands do not help the problem, blocking pores and causing possible infections. But it’s not just our hands we need to be aware of, our mobile phones can also introduce dirt and oil onto your face. Remember to wipe it regularly and wherever possible don’t share it with others.
If you know you are a face toucher then try this simple tip: stick a note to your make up mirror, the screen in the office or even your fridge door. A simple picture of a hand and the word ‘STOP’ should be enough to remind you. If you need to touch your face then always try to wash your hands first. Remember it is usually easier to avoid something than cure it.
Dehydration can cause your skin to become dry and pale, that’s why it’s important to always drink plenty of water throughout the day. One easy way to remind yourself to stay hydrated is to carry a refillable water bottle with you. Or if you’re at home, water filter jug. That way whenever you feel thirsty, you can easily take a sip.
Washing hair in hard water can leave it feeling not quite clean, almost as though it has not been rinsed properly. To overcome this, simply choose a shampoo designed and developed for use with hard water. Rinsing your hair with warm filtered water will also help. An off the shelf BWT Filter jug is perfect for the purpose and cheap enough to keep one in the bathroom. There are also plenty of tips on the internet that include using diluted vinegar or lemon juice and these might well be worth tracking down.
Avoid being drawn in by products that promise to soften your water. Many shower filters not only reduce the flow of water but also do little more than remove the chlorine. To soften water, any device you have will need to remove the calcium that causes the water to be hard e.g. an ion exchange water softener.
Whether you live with hard or soft water, I hope my tips above prove useful. Taking care of your skin with a simple daily routine really does work. We’re often so busy in our daily lives that it’s easy to forget about caring for our skin. If you have a skin care question or if you’re concerned about the health of your skin, before changing your routine talk to your health care professional or a dermatologist.
Unfortunately, hard water can irritate certain types of skin and if you have dry skin eczema or acne, it’s something worth checking out. Test your water @home with a FREE BWT hard water test kit available by clicking here. If you are in a hard water area and think softened water could help, then look at our range of Luxury Water softeners here.
By Simran Gill, our PR Communications & Project Coordinator
If you are suffering from hard water, investing in Luxury Water can make a real difference to your home and lifestyle. The BWT Water Softener is the small investment that makes your skin softer, smoother and feeling more replenished, whilst your hair takes on a new shine.