“Hydrating”. “Moisturising”. “Rejuvenating”.
Just about every beauty product on Australian shelves is plastered with praise for the health benefits of water – and with good reason. Australia is hot, and protecting our skin and hair from the sun is a constant challenge for the beauty and skincare industries. Water is, of course, one of our best defences against dehydration and dryness, but what happens when our water is full of chemicals?
Australia uses various disinfectants like chlorine and chloramine to treat our drinking water and make it safe for human consumption. While killing bacteria and waterborne diseases is a vital part of our water system, these chemicals can damage much more than just germs and viruses.
All kinds of impurities end up in our water by the time it reaches our taps. Whether it’s a matter of excess calcium and magnesium from the environment, chemicals pumped in during treatment or flakes of metal the water picks up from pipes on its way to our homes, the hydrating benefits of water have to compete with an uncomfortably wide variety of negative impacts.
Showers or baths are often important parts of hair and skincare routines, but washing ourselves with hard, chlorinated water can limit a lot of the benefits – and sometimes it’s actively harmful.
Chlorine strips the natural oils from our hair and skin, leaving them more susceptible to damage. Dried-out hair becomes brittle and more prone to breakage, which leads to a loss of shine and flexibility. Chlorine can also crystallise between hair fibres, breaking them apart and causing split ends and roughness.
If our hair absorbs too much chlorine, the chemical can soak into the actual hair shafts and cause severe follicle dryness. This leads to limp, lifeless hair and will strip any dyes of their colour.
Natural oils are our skin’s primary defence against the elements, so removing them makes it more vulnerable to cracks, lines and wrinkles. Chlorine and hard water can also irritate sensitive skin, causing flaking/itchiness and exacerbating conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Chlorine is an effective disinfectant, but it will kill good bacteria just as quickly as harmful contaminants. Bacteria play a huge role in keeping us healthy, with vital microbiomes in places like our nose, lungs, stomach and skin. When we drink unfiltered tap water or take hot, steamy showers in chlorinated water, chlorine can affect the bacteria all through our bodies.
The Harder Way to Wash
Even before treatment chemicals are added, there are plenty of things in our water that can have an impact on our hair and skin. When it comes to beauty, the softness of your water is a major factor to keep an eye on.
“Water softness” refers to the amount of dissolved solids (mainly metals like calcium and magnesium) in our water. Levels vary across the country, but Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory have particularly hard water.
While hard water isn’t inherently harmful, it can indirectly cause problems for our skin and hair. The main culprit is lathering; hard water is not good at it. Everything from high-quality hair products to simple bars of soap will have a harder time dissolving in hard water, so you end up using more of them for less results.
Additionally, once these products are on your body, hard water is less effective for rinsing them off again. This can lead to excess soap being left on your skin and in your hair, significantly increasing dryness and joining chlorine in the war on natural oils.
This product problem extends to clothes-washing as well. Soaps and detergents will be less effective in hard water, and your clothes will end up with more residual soap on them after they dry – which in turn exposes your skin to higher levels of irritating chemicals.
These dissolved solids can even affect you if you don’t use fancy skincare products or strong soaps. Excess minerals absorb moisture and oil from your skin, and different levels can throw off hydration and pH balance. This can lead to more frequent breakouts and increased sun sensitivity.
Drinking Yourself Dry
We’ve all heard the advice that recommends drinking 6-8 cups of water every day. Fancy creams and essential oils are great for pampering ourselves, but staying properly hydrated is one of the simplest and most effective ways to look after our bodies.
Unfortunately, water with high levels of chlorine and other impurities doesn’t hydrate us nearly as much as we would like. Our bodies use water for a lot of important internal processes, particularly digestion and flushing out toxins, but only pure water can be used for hydrating our cells and organs.
Our kidneys are the main organ responsible for filtering the water that enters our bodies, and they need clean water to flush out impurities and unwanted chemicals. When the water we drink is already full of those impurities and chemicals, it puts more strain on our kidneys and leads to more of that water being flushed out as waste.
All this means that you can drink a perfectly healthy amount of water but still find yourself getting dehydrated. Without proper hydration, our skin and hair become weaker and more brittle. While external chemicals can dry out hair strands, dehydration affects hair from the inside out and can accelerate hair loss.
When we’re dehydrated, the other effects of chlorinated/hard water are more difficult for our bodies to resist. Our skin and hair dry out even faster, and signs of premature ageing set in more quickly. Dehydration also makes fingernails more fragile and easier to split.
Soften the Blow
With concerns about the contents of our water growing every day, it’s more important than ever to take control of what you’re putting in – and on – your body. That’s where we come in! Filtered jugs and bottled water are all well and good, but our systems are the easiest way to guarantee clean, healthy water all through your home.
A Complete Home Filtration system makes sure the water you use is soft, clear and delicious, no matter where it’s coming from. The water in your bath or shower will be just as clean as your drinking water, and your body will feel the difference straight away.
Our systems remove 98.5% of chlorine from your water and stop excess solids in their tracks, so you’ll never have to worry about what you’re exposing your body to again.
“…my husband had shocking dermatitis on his hands, that has now gone, we no longer use hair conditioner as skin and hair seem to be naturally nice.”
Meegan S, 2021
“The best money we’ve spent in years. The taste is fantastic but the improvement in our skin and hair has been great. My psoriasis is cleared and my son’s eczema is almost gone too.”
– Sally G, 2022
If you’re interested in finding out more about the beauties of Complete Home Filtration, send us a message below or fill out our quick web survey.