Hard water: Can Hard Water Cause Dry Skin?

Jan 26, 2022

Hard water: Can Hard Water Cause Dry Skin? 

And the answer is : YES!

I have recently moved to a new place and my skin was feeling unusually dry. Typically I don't have a challenge with dry skin. Come winter and your skin gets dry and itchy. The problem of dry skin during a particular time of the year is not a reason for worry and it pretty common and normal. But if you have dry and itchy skin throughout the year, even after using the right products - then there is a reason to pay attention. In such a scenario, it is advisable to get the water quality tested and check whether you get hard water. Many people are unaware of the fact that hard water is a major cause of dry skin and hair. So, let us have a closer look at the effects of hard water on your skin and the possible solution.

Causes of Dry Skin

Here is a list of the reasons why you suffer from recurrent dry skin problems.

Using too hot water

Long hot showers feel great; however, your skin finds it difficult to handle the heat, thereby leading to damage. Hot water damages the natural barrier of your skin and strips the natural oils leading to irritation and inflammation.

Washing your Face Repeatedly

Keeping your skin clean is necessary; however, over-cleansing it has a negative impact. Excessive cleaning with soap-based products strips your skin of the natural oils and water present leaving it dry. This is the reason why it is recommended to wash your face once or twice a day. If your skin ever feels dry after a wash, the cleanser is too aggressive and impairs your skin barrier. Make sure to switch your cleanser right away. 

Excessive Exfoliating

Exfoliating your skin removes dead skin and gives it a wonderful glow. However, exfoliating your skin excessively is another reason for dry skin. Experts recommend exfoliating your skin only once or twice a week to retain moisture.

Using Hard Water

An important reason that many of us tend to ignore is the quality of water. Hard water contains excessive calcium and magnesium, which make it difficult to wash away the soap from your body. The soap scum present on your skin steals away moisture, thereby leaving your skin dry and lifeless.


Water is a miracle drink that works wonders for your skin. Hydration is important to ensure that fluids keep moving through the capillaries of your body and your inner organs can continue with the detox process such as liver, kidney etc who need water to be flush and operate smoothly. Even slight dehydration can have a negative impact on your skin due to intact inner processes. 

What is Hard Water?

Water that has a hard concentration of minerals is known as hard water. The water that you receive also contains calcium and magnesium, which seep into groundwater when it runs through chalk or limestone. In addition, hard water may also contain iron, manganese, and aluminum depending on the place where you live. An excessive amount of calcium and magnesium makes the water extremely hard, which leaves stains on your plumbing fixtures, utensils, damages your skin and hair.

How do you know you get Hard Water?

From cooking, washing to bathing, water is a must for everything that you do. If the water has a higher level of hardness, you can easily notice it on your clothes, utensils. Some of the common symptoms of hard water are:

  • Dry and irritated skin
  • Rough hair
  • Dry scalp
  • Rough clothes
  • Scale buildup on faucets
  • Film on shower doors, walls, bathtubs
  • Low water pressure

To know the level of hardness in water, get the water quality tested.

How Does Hard Water Affect your Skin?

The primary effect of hard water is skin dryness. The minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron dry out your skin by clogging the pores. When the minerals present in hard water dry out on the clogged pores, it leads to flaky and irritable skin. Hard water reacts with soap to form salts, which doesn’t wash off from your skin easily. In addition to making your skin dry, hard water also leads to acne and skin blemishes. In some severe cases, extensive use of hard water can also lead to dermatitis, especially if you live in places with a dry climate.

Hard water contains a high amount of calcium, which doesn’t dissolve soaps, detergents and other cleaning products with ease. The soap residue left on your skin, clothes, hair or dishes results in clogged pores and sensitive flaky skin.

Is hard Water Bad for Skin?

Although hard water is not bad for your health, it can lead to serious hair and skin problems. When you constantly wash skin with hard water, the minerals dissolved in hard water leave a film on your skin. The thin film prevents your hair from absorbing moisture, which is essential for healthy skin. As a result, your skin gets dry and lifeless. As mentioned earlier, hard water clogs the pores of your skin leading to acne. This also makes your skin dry, itchy and irritated.


How to Get Rid of Dry Skin?

Tired of excessively dry skin. Here are some effective remedies to get rid of dry skin.

Use Warm Water

Hot water damages your skin. This is the reason why it is advisable to use warm water and avoid taking long hot showers. Short and warm baths keep your skin safe from damage.

Use Soft Water

Using soft water is another way to protect your skin. Get your water quality tested and if you receive hard water, make sure you install a water softener, which automatically makes hard water soft. This will save your skin from damage by retaining moisture and essential oils.

Cleanse Gently

When it comes to cleansing your skin, make sure you use a gentle and soapless cleanser. In addition, go easy on toners, peels and astringents that contain alcohol as these can be harsh on your skin.

Apply Moisturiser

As soon as you wash your face, make sure that you apply a moisturiser immediately. Creams and lotions trap moisture in your skin and reduce dryness.

How to Protect Skin from Hard Water?

No matter how expensive products you use, without the right water quality protecting your skin from hard water is not possible. The only way to protect your skin from hard water is to install a water softener. The water softeners help you get soft water on demand, thereby saving your skin from damage. 

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