Tap water at your home may be clean and sanitized, but do you know how it’s affecting your skin? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzed 20 million tap water quality tests and found 316 contaminants that included solvents, weed killers, refrigerants and perchlorate, a rocket fuel component.

Sure, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulations in place to protect Americans from unsafe tap water. But not every harmful chemical, according to EWG, has mandatory federal safety standards. In a Scientific American article, Jane Houlihan, senior vice president of research at EWG, says, “It is not uncommon for people to drink tap water laced with 20 or 30 chemical contaminants. This water may be legal, but it raises serious health concerns.”

How Minerals Affect Your Skin

If your home doesn’t have a water softener installed, then your tap water is likely high in minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium. These minerals and other impurities present in hard water can form free radicals that damage healthy skin cells. This can lead to a breakdown of collage, fine lines and wrinkles.

In addition, bathing in hard water can cause redness, dry skin, changes in skin’s oil chemistry and lead to acne, rashes, itches, large pores and rosacea. A buildup of calcium on the skin can also weaken nails and hair. 

Eighty-five percent of homes in the United States have hard water. Dermatologist Anjali Mahto, says, “Research has shown that hard water — water that passes through chalk and limestone rock and carbonates along the way — can damage the barrier of the skin and contribute to the risk of developing eczema, as well as increasing its sensitivity.” Though hard water doesn’t directly cause skin problems, it can definitely exacerbate existing conditions and lead to flare-ups. 

Minerals in general are good for us. But when minerals, soaps and detergents aggregate on skin, this leads to clogged pores and makes it difficult to properly wash the minerals away. 

Solution to Hard Water: Water Filtration System

To improve the quality of tap water, homeowners should consider upgrading their home’s water filtration system. A high quality water filtration system is equipped to remove bacteria, chlorine, copper, fluoride, iron, lead and other harmful contaminants. 

Depending on the tap water’s current makeup, homeowners should consider installing a variety of filters, such as UV filters, carbon filters, mesh filters, reverse osmosis water filters, infrared filters and alkaline/water ionizers. Each filter removes a specific type of contaminant and helps make water softer and safer to drink.

Solution to Hard Water: Water Softener

Before going out to shop for a water softener, purchase a home test kit to measure the hardness of your tap water. Then, calculate the number of gallons your household uses in one day and multiply that number by the grains per gallon (GPG) of water hardness to determine the size and capacity of the water softener best suited for you.

Once you know how big your water softener should be, research dual tank systems and saltless water softeners. Unlike standard water softeners, dual tank systems have a smaller dual-tank softener that may be a better option for households that need a large capacity of softened water.

If you’d like to limit your salt intake and don’t want to use salt to soften your water, consider purchasing a water softener that uses potassium chloride instead.

Ask The Experts

Choosing the right water filtration system or water softener can be a challenge. Reach out to 4 Eco Services for recommendations on eco-friendly systems and for quick and efficient installation.