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How Does Hard Water Affect Your Skin

Written by: Donavan Jones on September 26, 2019

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You may be thinking, “how does hard water affect your skin“?

Let me explain.

The most common effect of hard water on your skin is dryness. Hard water makes it hard to rinse away soap from the surface of your skin. This leaves your skin dry and irritated. Not to mention, if you have sensitive skin, psoriasis, or eczema, hard water can make your conditions worse by drying out your skin even more. When your hard water comes in contact with your skin, some of those minerals that cause the hard water get left behind, absorbing a lot of the natural moisture and oils from your skin. The lack of moisture in your skin and the high levels of hard minerals can also change the hydration and pH balance of your skin and cause you to have breakouts.

How Does Hard Water Affect Your Skin?


Table Of Contents:

Why Does Hard Water Affect My Skin?

Hard water contains dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium. Those minerals make it harder for water to form a solution with soap, and leaves behind a scummy residue. Not only can soap scum clog your pores, but many people find it also causes them to feel dry, itchy and irritated.

Have you ever run your finger across your skin after drying off after a shower?


If you have, you may have noticed a little bit of friction. This friction is caused by the soap that is left behind that your hard water wasn’t able to wash away. Your soap isn’t able to clean or lather in hard water like it is able to in soft water, thus leaving behind a sticky film on your skin. This is much like the hard water stains on your glassware and this is why you may get dry, itchy skin.

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Hard Water

Hard water is water that has high levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. This mineral accumulation occurs naturally when water trickles through limestone, sand, and soil and picks up these minerals as it seeps into the underground water supply. The “hardness” of water is determined by a grains per gallon measurement and ranges on a scale from 1 to 10.

ca mg elements


Soft Water


ion exchange molecule chain

Soft water contains low levels of ions and minerals. Water is softened through an ion exchange process in which minerals like calcium and magnesium are removed and replaced with sodium. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean saltwater will be pouring out of your taps.

ion exchange info graphic


Why Do Advertisers Say I Get Clean With Their Products

Soaps like Zest use synthetic detergents to chemically soften hard water as you bathe. Soaps like this are actually made of ingredients intended to moisturize your skin and not necessarily get you clean. The best way to improve your showering and get clean is to remove those hard minerals with a water softener.

Washing Hands


Common Hard Water Activities That Can Affect Your Skin

  • Showering
  • Washing Dishes
  • General Cleaning
  • Washing Your Car
  • Bathing Your Baby

What Some Of The Ways That Hard Water Damages My Skin

  • 1. Dryness – The minerals found in hard water make it more difficult to completely wash away the soap. The result? Irritated, dry skin that can crack, peel, or bleed over time. As if that’s not bad enough, the film it leaves behind can also compromise your skin’s protection from germs.
  • 2. Acne – When your skin becomes dry, it’s deprived of its natural oils. It’s reaction? To overproduce oils, making your skin more susceptible to breakouts.
  • 3. Sunburn – Skin damage from the sun can occur at any time of the year and hard water can make it worse. Insoluble minerals like calcium and magnesium can break down collagen and elastin, leaving your skin more vulnerable to burning.

Have you experienced any of these skin issues in the past or perhaps you’d prefer to prevent them from happening in the future. In either case, your best line of defense against hard water and its side effects is to have a water softener installed in your home.

What Can I Do About My Hard Water Problem

You certainly can change your daily routine to counter the impact of hard water on your skin, or you can install a water softener in your home. A water softener would go a long way toward keeping your skin soft and supple. Water softeners reduce the mineral content of your water, leaving you with soft water throughout your home. Take the following steps to fix your hard water problem.

  • Get an in-home consultation from Florida Water Analysis to check the actual level of hard minerals in your water
  • Call Florida Water Analysis to figure out which water softener is right for your household water needs.

woman thinking about How Does Hard Water Affect Your Skin


What Are The Bathing Benefits Of A Water Softener

Soft water makes your skin soft and smooth.

Hard water makes soap less effective and leaves behind a residue on the skin. This soapy residue can make your skin feel dry and itchy. The soap lathers better in soft water and washes away easier. The minerals in hard water cause your skin to lose moisture. Moisture loss can lead to skin conditions such as dry skin and eczema. Hard water can worsen already existing skin conditions.

Soft water will not dry your skin out.

When your skin becomes dry, it increases oil production to make up for it. This, in turn, can cause you to have acne breakouts. The unwanted minerals in hard water can cause a chemical reaction with your natural occurring skin oils. This can clog your pores and cause you to have breakouts.

Soft water won’t dry out your skin or strip it of its natural oils, leading to clearer skin and fewer breakouts.


If you are sick and tired of common hard water problems like dry and damaged skin, contact one of our water specialists at (863) 662-5570 to discuss our water softening solutions. Testing for hard water is easy, and the best part is, we offer free water testing!

Hard water effects on your skin should not be taken lightly. With the correct information on this issue, you can take the right steps towards better water quality. Let Florida Water Analysis help you along the way to achieving better water for skin.

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Donavan Jones

About Donavan Jones

Donavan Jones is the web master at Florida Water Analysis. He’s an expert in inbound marketing, lead generation, graphic design, and coding. In his spare time, Donavan is developing a video game with his friends and family.