Is Water Causing You to Breakout?

You have always been told that it is a taboo to go to bed without washing your face. Every skincare tip talks about a solid nighttime skincare routine, which of course begins with washing your face. But is water causing you to breakout?

If follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been living in London for some time now. What you didn’t know is that my skin has been struggling with breakouts for several months. At first, I thought it was a hormonal change that was triggered by the stress of the move. Then I thought I wasn’t using the right products. Then I shifted towards blaming my lack of water consumption on a daily basis. I’ve gone through a plethora of skincare routines and blamed everything for my constant breakouts. Little did I know, the culprit was hiding in plain sight – WATER!

When I first started my water intake experiment a month ago, I started noticing that my increasing my water intake, my skin was starting to glow and look a lot healthier, but my breakouts were not being contained. I started wondering if my skin was “purging” due to my lack of water consumption for basically my entire life. Doing some google searches lead me in a completely different direction. People on message board and part of the blogging community were trying to figure out if water itself was causing their skin problems. I quickly realized that for me, the culprit was water.

How can something that your body relies on for survival also be the source of your misery you ask? Simple. The quality of the water you are washing your face with.

What I didn’t know about London water is that it is extremely hard water. That basically means it consists of a high mineral content. Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk. These deposits are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates. In short, they are horrible for your skin if you are sensitive to them!

These mineral deposits not only dry out your skin and cause redness, they increase sebum production and also clog your pores. These clogged pores are what cause you to breakout. They case any face washes or soaps you are using to turn against you rather than work for you. They react with the soaps to create deposits in your pores, causing nasty breakouts and whiteheads.

Your skin is just the beginning. Hard water also impacts other parts of your beauty routine.

Is your hair dry, brittle or just extremely frizzy? I posted on Instagram about how my hair was shiner and healthier lately after changing ONE thing – many of you guessed diet or supplements. It was the water I was washing my hair with! Using distilled water every once in a while gets my hair thoroughly clean, and I noticed a major difference on the first wash.

Have you tried everything on the market to tame your hair but you just can’t figure out why your hair won’t cooperate? Are your nails weak and brittle? Do they fail to grow no matter how hard you try by using products and supplements that promise growth? These problems can all be attributed to hard water.

You are probably wondering at this point whether you have hard water where you live. There’s an easy way to find out. Look at your shower, bath and sink areas. Is there a white film or residue covering those areas? Do you find white spots on your glassware? These are all signs that you have hard water.

What is the solution to the water quality you’ve been dealt? There are a few things you can do:

  1. Water softening system. The cost of this solution can vary depending on where you live. By having a system installed that can soften your water by removing these minerals, you are helping your hair, skin and your nails.
  2. Water bottle method. This is my current solution. Because we are probably going to move house in the next six months, having an expensive water softening system isn’t worth our time or money. I’ve resorted to washing my face with water bottles until my water distiller arrives in the mail! In having washed my face for a few days with Evian (silly and costly, I know. But after realizing all the horrible things going on under the surface, I think my skin deserved the best). This post discusses results after washing face with bottled water for 7 days!
  3. Water Distiller. This is going to be my solution until we can have a softening system installed. Here is a link to the system I’ve purchased. I will be using distilled water to both wash my hair and face! This post walks you through one experimenter’s day by day progress using with the distilled water method. The results are astonishing!
  4. No water method. While researching this, I came across a lot of blog posts and message boards about cleansing your face without water. A majority of the bloggers who have written on this subject used micellar water, facial wipes and toners. When I first read this, I thought, “No. Way. I would never be able to go to bed without properly washing my face! THAT is what causes breakouts!” My fiancee even suggested this before I looked into other people who had done it. I thought he was being crazy. What I found, though, was shocking. Every article I found promised BETTER skin when avoiding water to cleanse facial skin, especially for those living in areas with hard water! This article talks all about micellar water as a great alternative. This post by Bustle talks about other alternatives that are helpful.
  5. Apple Cider Vinegar. This will do wonders for your hair if you cannot be bothered to actually wash your hair with distilled water. This will remove the mineral buildup in your hair that might be weighing it down. It will restore the bounce and shine in your hair. Mix 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 quart distilled water. Apply the mixture and rinse it off after a few seconds. Do this once a week and you will start noticing your hair bounce back to life. Free People talks about this here.
  6. Install a Shower Head Filter. These encourage pH balance and filter out unwanted chemicals. I have read mixed reviews on these, but they could be a cheaper alternative to a water softening system if you find the right filter!

Overall, if you’re anything like me and haven’t been able to pinpoint the source of your skin, hair or nail issues, I hope this post has helped you realize that your water may be the enemy. I will write a follow-up post in a few months to report progress on the distilled water method so check back if you are interested in fining out more!