This content has been reviewed and updated on July 31, 2023.
If you experience skin issues, your water could be to blame. An estimated 85% of U.S. homes have hard water, which is tap water that contains minerals like magnesium and calcium. When you’re used to drinking and using hard water, you may not be able to see or feel the difference — but it’s important to understand the impact these excess minerals may have on your skin.
Hard water has 120 to 180 parts per million of calcium and magnesium. In some cases, you may be able to see particles floating around in your glass of tap water. Other signs include chalky mineral deposits on your plumbing fixtures or difficulty lathering with soap. But the latter isn’t the only skin-related issue you could encounter.
Skin Issues Caused by Hard Water Minerals
Does hard water cause dry skin? Simply put, yes—showering with hard water is almost a guaranteed way to dry your skin out. As their name suggests, hard minerals are harsh, especially when they encounter the skin’s moisture barrier. This means that showering in hard water will strip away the natural moisture that protects your skin. As a result, you may experience dry, flaky skin.
Irritation is a telltale sign of hard water on the skin. The drying-out process caused by magnesium and calcium can make your skin feel itchy, sensitive, and overall uncomfortable. Some people are so sensitive to the mineral content that even wearing clothes washed in hard water can cause irritation.
The calcium and magnesium in hard water interact with the acids in soap and shampoo products, coagulating and leaving an unpleasant residue on your skin. When the process is repeated over time, it can clog your pores and create buildup on your scalp. As a result, you may experience breakouts. Because this issue is the water itself and not your skincare routine or any other factor, it will persist for as long as you keep washing with hard water.
Worsening Skin Conditions
For people with pre-existing skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis, avoiding hard water is especially important. Any agent that could dry out the skin can exacerbate symptoms or lead to flare-ups and red, itchy, or scaly patches.
How to Protect Your Skin Against Hard Water
Fortunately, having hard water doesn’t mean that you’re destined to struggle with skin issues forever. The best way to care for your skin while still enjoying showers at home is to use a shower filter. These shower heads deliver smooth, hydrating water to your skin, so you can enjoy a warm shower with your favorite body washes, shampoos, and facial cleansers. No more worrying about leaving pore-clogging residue behind or stripping your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Of course, you’ll still want to maintain your normal skincare routine, such as moisturizing and using warm (not hot) water to prevent dryness.
Canopy is your choice for reimagined household devices that effortlessly optimize your home for beauty and wellness, from your bedroom oasis to your active family spaces. And we’re ready to help you upgrade one of the most important parts of your routine—the shower. Our new easy-to-install filtered shower head reduces dissolved minerals, added chlorine, and other contaminants in your household water, providing clean water that supports healthy skin and hair. Say goodbye to dull skin, brittle hair, and flaky scalp and hello to healthy skin and scalp and longer-lasting hair color.