Hard water and excessive hygiene, what solutions for the skin?
The water used for washing is often calcareous, which attacks the skin and weakens it. Limescale and excessive hygiene weaken the protective effect of the epidermis and can trigger itching, tightness, dryness or even an allergy and even promote certain dermatological conditions. Here are all the solutions to have beautiful skin despite everything.
The water acts directly on the skin. The skin is a so-called "container" organ since it
completely envelops us. It is the only barrier between the body and the exterior. But it is alive and as such, it interacts with its environment. The skin is also a so-called emunctory organ, meaning that it is capable of eliminating waste and toxins, through its pores, via perspiration. But it is also able to absorb what it comes in contact with, like a blotter: this is how cosmetics treat skin problems. This phenomenon also explains the softening of the stratum corneum, this layer of dead cells that protects the surface of the skin, when you bathe your feet or hands before a pedicure or manicure. Beyond these natural processes, the skin absorbs toxic substances, often unwittingly, and loses precious substances, especially water, when its hydrolipidic film is altered. This loss of trans-epidermal water, which leads to dehydration, is aggravated by hard water and excessive hygiene. Indeed, hard water then penetrates more easily into the skin and alters it even more: it is a real vicious circle.
What is hard water?
To reach underground reserves, water travels from the surface of the earth through the ground. During this passage, it circulates in limestone or chalky geological layers which load it with carbonates (calcium and magnesium) and microparticles of trace elements. Water is said to be "hard" when it retains a lot of minerals. It is therefore highly concentrated in salts, in particular calcium and magnesium. The hardness of water is measured in degrees “F”: between 0 and 18°F the water is said to be soft, between 18 and 30°F it is semi-hard and hard if it exceeds 30°F. At home, hardness is easily assessed by the traces it leaves when drying: this is the limestone it contains and which is deposited when it evaporates... the same which scales washing machines and which damages the skin !
How does hard water attack the skin?
Limestone (also called tartar), a mineral naturally present in water, is poorly tolerated by the skin. Its tiny crystals are deposited on the epidermis like so many micro-needles, and irritate it. Hard water is a real aggression, rightly so since it causes redness, tightness, pimples, and dryness. It weakens the stratum corneum and the hydrolipidic film. The skin is less impermeable, less homogeneous and all its biological mechanisms are disrupted. Normal skin can become dry and/or dehydrated simply from too hard water. And all the more so if the limestone deposits and remains on the surface of the skin when it dries in the open air. Feelings of tightness and discomfort can quickly degenerate into itching, skin irritations, or even eczema and allergies.
The effects of hard water on the skin:
Hard water has the effect of an irritant on the skin and triggers the responses it reserves to attacks: plaques, itching, imperfections and redness. The dryness, which makes the skin more sensitive and more reactive, precipitates it even more in this spiral of symptoms. At the same time, the effects of limestone accumulate if the skin is not soothed. She then finds herself in a situation of chronic irritability, with increasingly strong reactions of the allergy type each time she is confronted with the limestone of the water. Real dermatological problems then set in, such as atopic dermatitis, dandruff on the scalp, scabs or pimples. Finally, hard water aggravates certain existing skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. In addition to the frequency of exposure to limestone from excessive hygiene, it strips the skin, alters its hydrolipidic film and promotes drying and aggravates skin problems even more.
Solutions against the effects of limestone and excessive hygiene on the skin
Certain gestures are life-saving to preserve the integrity of the skin and its protective film
Avoid multiple washesToo frequent, they dry out the epidermis by thinning the hydro-protective film on the surface. Use gentle formulas studied for sensitive skin and dermatologically tested.
To remove the limestone that remains on the skin
The first thing is to adapt the right temperature of the water with which you wash. Indeed, it is by heating up that the water transforms the mineral salts into scale: the hotter the water, the more they crystallize and form limestone. Set a lukewarm temperature or rinse with cold water to remove as much limescale as possible from the surface of the skin. Then, dry thoroughly, if possible by pressure rather than by friction, to absorb the water without rubbing the skin. On the face, use soft cotton gauze or microfiber towels.
To protect against the effects of limestone on the skin
The essential gesture: use rich and gentle formulas to cleanse the epidermis, whether it is the body or the face. A surgras cleanser, or a lipid-replenishing cleansing oil, leaves a protective film on the surface and brings comfort to the skin. In its XERONACRE range by BLUE SKINCARE dedicated to dry and uncomfortable skin, we recommend Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil: it gently cleanses the face and body while replenishing it. Beneficial for the most delicate skins, its unique complex of ultra-gentle cleansing agents coupled with nourishing vegetable oils and prebiotics respects the hydrolipidic film and the cutaneous microbiota.
It is also necessary to adapt your routine for the face with waterless make-up removers to avoid additional contact with limestone: a double cleansing with a make-up remover balm followed by micellar water makes it possible not to alter the stratum corneum and to respect the hydro film. lipid without leaving mineral residues, while cleaning perfectly. Choose products that are dermatologically tested and formulated for sensitive skin. Finally, use moisturizing and nourishing treatments with emollients to protect the skin and soothe its dryness. In the event of an allergy-type crisis or when the skin itches due to limestone (or cold), opt for an anti-itching treatment to put an end to the crisis.
How to fight against the effects of limestone on the skin?
The solution to avoid the harmful effects of limestone on the skin (i.e. redness, itching, dryness, tightness...): choose and use soothing, lipid-replenishing and repairing cosmetic treatments, which restore the balance by water, protect the skin and restore its protective hydrolipidic film. In case of pronounced symptoms, the routine should ideally incorporate an anti-itching formula.
How to protect your skin from limestone?
It is also necessary to choose gentle cleansing formulas rich in fat, such as surgras products or lipid-replenishing cleansing oils that cleanse while respecting the pH of the skin and restoring its barrier function. Ideally, remove makeup with micellar waters, cleansing milks or balms to avoid or limit rinsing with water to preserve the skin from limescale.
How to remove limescale from the skin?
Wash at the coolest possible temperature because the scale crystals are much less numerous than in hot water. This is why you can also rinse with cold water which is much less calcareous and which flushes out residue. Then, the drying is meticulous, without rubbing but by pressure so as not to irritate the skin. Avoid leaving the skin to dry in the open air because the hard water leaves its limestone on the epidermis.
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