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What's So Hard About Water?

Posted by Porcelana Staff on

What’s the one variable in your skincare routine that you cannot control? Your water. Depending on where you live, the water from your tap changes the chemical balance (or maybe imbalance) that affects the quality of your skin care. 

Live In A Hard Water Area?

Probably. Most of us do. In fact 85% of the country serves up hard, or mineral-rich water. Hint: New England has the least hard water in the country. Southwest? Think the opposite. Hard water is simply high in dissolved minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium. And there are many degrees of hardness of water. So it’s all on a spectrum and most likely, you are not even aware if your water is hard or soft or somewhere in between. It’s just your water. And since you are familiar with your water, through some kind of unconscious trial and error, you have found the products that work best with it.

It actually sounds good in some ways, this mineral rich percolated water, washing through layers of limestone, rock and soil, imparting the minerals of the universe into our kitchen and bathroom taps to fortify our bodies. Right? And maybe it is healthy to have some amount of calcium and magnesium infused in your daily drink and wash water.

Yes, that’s true. And as every municipal water facilities manager will tell you, the naturally occurring amount of these hard metals and minerals are fine. The only problem seems to arise when the water supply is very hard -- fully saturated with heavy metals like iron, copper, magnesium, zinc and lead. You can see this hardness of water by the iron-ish ring around the fixtures in the bathtub, or as white residue on glasses coming out of the dishwasher. If that’s the case where you live, you probably also have trouble getting your soap to lather when you wash your hands. The calcium and magnesium interact with the molecular structure of your soap suds and they quickly become no suds.

Water and Sulfates

Then there are the sulfates.These are the compounds in cleansing washes, toothpaste and shampoo that bind to the oil molecules on your skin. Just to be clear, the oil molecules are where the bacteria are hanging out, eating well and enjoying life, and eventually making you stink. Sulfates also bond with water molecules which allow them to rinse said oil and bacterial cargo away. And then you are clean. And you smell fabulous! Well, those sulfates actually anchor heavy metals in water to the skin too and that’s what you feel when you touch your clean but dry, rough skin and say “Wow! Do I have hard water or what?”

But then try this. Go from hard water NYC, where you’ve made all your product adjustments, to some soft water New England states location. There the water is so soft and decidedly non-metallic that is has a slippery residue that leaves hair flat and causes skin to break out. Nothing wrong with that water, it’s just different and your skin adjusts with its own reaction. And by the time it does, you’re headed back home!

Trouble in These Waters

So hard water, soft water. There’s something either way that you may have to work out. But there are things you can do. You can go all Hollywood and use bottled water when you wash your face. Nothing but silky clean there. Some people swear by bottled water face washing when they travel. You can install a filtering showerhead that will also reduce heavy metals and calcium from your daily shower. And, you can incorporate skincare that happens after the face wash and come out on top.

Porcelana Day Cream. For beautiful skin tone, apply to cleansed skin before your makeup. It balances skin tone, fades away dull, uneven spots and allows radiant skin to shine through, while it protects from sun damage.

Porcelana Night Cream. Packed with moisturizers like avocado oil, Porcelana Night restores skin while you sleep. It’s fortified with Hydroquinone, a time tested, dermatologist approved compound for lightening and brightening skin tone. It smooths out dark spots and leaves your skin looking brighter.