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Is Hard Water Drying Out Your Skin ?

Is Hard Water Drying Out Your Skin ?

Skin sensitivity is on the rise and more consumers are paying attention to the ingredients that go into their personal care products. This shift in consumer demand is a positive trend, but if consumers really want to improve their skin they need to be paying attention to their water quality. Most people are completely unaware that the hard water coming from their faucets could be wrecking their skin. Do you know what’s in the water you’re bathing and showering in? 

What is Hard Water? 

Hard water comes from deep aquifers and contains high amounts of minerals (calcium & magnesium) that reduces the effectiveness of soaps, clog pores (acne), creates an unwanted film on your skin, and causes the skin to feel dry and tight. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans have to deal with hard water.

Water hardness is a scientific measurement that is based on the concentration of calcium and magnesium that is present in water, but you can literally feel and sometimes see the difference. Hard water will cause your skin to feel tight after washing and if you’re drinking a glass of hard water you’ll notice it isn’t crystal clear. Furthermore, when a traditional supermarket soap bar is used in hard water it will create a natural phenomenon called soap scum. 

An estimated 90% of  Americans have to deal with hard water and there are both short term and long term effects to bathing in hard water. Hard water is often associated with dry, flaky, and itchy skin (eczema) and hard water has even been linked to PREMATURE AGING. Do we have your attention? 

Hard Water Bathing

If you still feel dry and itchy after a bath it may be your hard water that is causing problems. 

It is scientifically proven that hard water is less effective at cleaning, can dry out our skin, and we really shouldn’t be bathing or showering in it. However, don’t take our word, the world’s leading beauty and wellness magazines are all sounding the alarm. 

Bathing alone has been shown to moisturize and strengthen your skin’s natural barrier, but bathing or showering with “hard water” can create problems. Bathing in hard water has been linked to exacerbating and increasing the risks of many other skin disorders.   More specifically, parents who bathe their children in hard water will increase the risks associated with their child developing Eczema and a 2017 study found that hard water damages our skin’s protective barrier and makes us more susceptible to dangerous microbes, irritants, and sunburn. 

The Hairy Side Effects of Hard Water

Hard water also has negative consequences for your hair and hair that is washed in hard water will lose its artificial color faster, become dried out and weaker, and begin to look frizzy. Some studies have even linked hard water to hair loss and damage. Yikes! These negative outcomes can be attributed due to the lack of moisture that is caused by mineral buildup on the hair and hair follicles. Hard water can also be blamed for being one of the leading causes of dandruff. 

How to Soften Hard Water For Bathing? 

Don’t worry, if you currently have hard water there are a few things you can do to neutralize your hard water for bathing. The opposite of hard water is soft water and softening your water is the number one method for being proactive about your dry skin and hair problems. After softening or neutralizing your water you may not even need to moisturize. Soft water doesn’t dry out your skin and you don’t have to worry about soap scum and mineral build up. Soft water also lathers better than hard water and homes with soft water will actually consume less soap. The most common hard water solution is to install a water softener, but if that doesn’t fit your budget, you can still enjoy soft or neutral water by incorporating bath additives into your hard water. Ingredients like baking soda and citric acid can neutralize the negative effects of hard water bathing and showering. 

Bath Bombs to Neutralize Hard Water

Millions of Americans have to deal with hard water issues, but don’t fear, bath bombs and the baking soda and citric acid in bath bombs can neutralize hard water baths. Baking soda and citric acid are known for creating the fizzy properties behind bath bombs, but they also neutralize hard water, clean and exfoliate the skin, and help to manage skin inflammation. 

Don’t let hard water strip away your skin, before taking a bath, drop a bomb!

Best Soap For Hard Water

If you’re dealing with hard water showers and baths you already know that hard water + soap = soap scum. Soap scum is created from a chemical reaction that forms a solid ‘precipitate’ that builds up in the bathtub, on our skin, and reduces the soap's ability to foam and clean. From a scientific perspective, the hard mineral ions in water react with fatty acids in soaps to create soap scum that we are literally massaging into our skin. Gross!


If you’re tired of dealing with hard water and soap scum you can either upgrade your home water softener, or use soap that doesn’t create soap scum. For most people this means using castile soap or liquid body wash, but many of these soap alternatives may disrupt your skin pH or microbiome. Enter the Shower Bomb Bar. 

The Shower Bomb Bar (coming soon)

Half soap bar + half bath bomb = shower bomb bar. 

The Spa-Da Shower Bomb Bar isn’t like traditional supermarket soap and doesn’t produce soap scum. In fact, the Shower Bomb is formulated with naturally derived chemicals that are used to clean up soap scum, not create it. More specifically, the Shower Bomb Bar uses liberal amounts of baking soda and citric acid that fizz, foam, and lather without the scummy side-effects. As the ingredients in the Shower Bomb Bar are exposed to the water they actually work by softening the water and optimizing the lather. Furthermore, both baking soda and citric acid are natural “clarifying agents” that can remove mineral buildup in our skin and in our hair. 

That’s a Wrap

The effects of bathing in hard water can be detrimental to your skin health, especially during the dryer winter months. However, the vast majority of consumers pay very little attention to their water quality and do not realize it's the water, not the personal care products, that are drying your skin. 

It's great to avoid toxins and irritants in our personal care products, but this is a mute point if we’re exposing ourselves to toxins and irritants in the water we bathe in. At Spa-Da we believe in being proactive about your dry skin problems and being knowledgeable about our self-care habits. Softening or neutralizing your water isn’t going to solve all of your skin problems, but it will go a long way in minimizing irritation. 

Drop a bomb on irritating hard water baths and try our Shower Bomb Bar to neutralize your next hard water shower experience.