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Hard Water, Itchy Skin & Water Softeners: Everything You Need To Know

Does a Water Softener Help Dry Skin?

Many clients ask us: “Does hard water make your skin itch?

The short answer is: Yes it does!

So, the natural next question you may have is: “Why does water make me itchy?”

The minerals in hard water bind to the chemicals in your soap products, and create a “soap scum” on your skin. That soap scum starts to clog your pores and makes your skin get dry, itchy, and crack.

And you’ve probably experienced it before where you walk out of the shower and start itching immediately and have to go grab that bottle of lotion and lather it on. We like to call that a “chemical cacoon”.

So, what is the solution?

When you make the switch to soft water from a Kinetico whole house water softening system your water is the new lotion!

If you’ve ever lived in an area with hard tap water, you know how frustrating it can be. Water hardness makes hard and soft water. Hard water is caused by a high concentration of dissolved minerals, like calcium and magnesium, in your water supply. Soft water is caused by a low concentration of dissolved minerals in your tap water. Not only does hard water make it difficult to get your clothes and dishes clean, but it can also lead to your skin age faster. In fact, hard water is one of the most common causes of dry skin.

When the minerals in hard water come into contact with your skin, they can strip away its natural oils, leaving it feeling dry and irritated. Also the soap scum clog pores, where the body produces natural oils for maintaining healthy looking skin.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to combat the drying effects of hard water. One permanent solution is to install a water softener, which will remove the mineral deposits from your water supply and make it gentler on your skin. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how hard water affects your skin and whether or not a water softener can help.

How does hard water affects your skin irritation?

As we mentioned above, hard water can strip away the natural oils that keep you having hydrated smooth skin. This can lead to a number of skin problems, including:

Dryness: Without adequate moisture, your healthy skin cells will become dry, tight, and flaky. You may also notice that you have more sensitive skin, when bathing in hard water.

Irritation: Hard water can also cause itchiness, redness, and inflammation. If you have eczema or other skin conditions, hard water can worsen skin conditions. Having a water softener installed will eliminate or lessen you from having to buy expensive body wash made for skin conditions.

Breakouts: If you have oily or acne-prone skin, hard water can make breakouts worse by clogging pores and trapping dirt and bacteria under the surface of your skin. Hard water binds to certain soap products to make a soap scum, and makes irritated skin. Soft skin starts with soft water.

Does a water softener help dry skin?

Soft water can be a huge help to dry skin, irritate skin, dead skin, and overall skin feel.

Hard water can create a soapy residue that damage healthy skin cells. Look at your glass shower door and notice how the soap scum builds on it. That’s literally what is happening to your skin every time you shower (might be better to not shower as much in hard water).

Hard water also strip moisture from your skin. That’s why most people lather on a ton of lotion once they get out of the shower. Soft water is better because you’re basically bathing in lotion, and helps your own body produce healthy looking skin.

What are the problems with soft water?

Slick or slippery feeling

If you have had a water softener installed and notice your water being “TOO SOFT” then your water softener is not setup correctly.

The water softener has to be setup to exactly the level of hardness minerals in your tap water, so it can clean itself with the correct amount of brine water. If the water softener is not setup correctly then it will “over clean” and make the water “TOO SOFT”.

That’s why we always recommend having a water treatment professional test your water, so they can design a water softener system correctly. Also our water softener systems can be precisely dialed in to make the water more soft or less soft.

Removing all the minerals

A lot of people believe that a water softener removes all the healthy minerals from there water. The truth is that a water softener removes just calcium and magnesium, primarily. Leaving the other minerals in the water. And most people don’t realize the minerals in water are not easily absorbed, so you achieve optimal results by getting minerals from food and supplements.


Fortunately, there are ways to combat the drying effects of hard water so it doesn’t wreak havoc on your skin’s ph level. Some people have seen shower head filters that supposedly “softened water” but we’ve tested hundred of them and never found one that works. You still get a scummy residue on your shower head, glass shower doors, and your skin. The mineral ions are still in the water with shower head filters, because they have no way to clean themselves to create naturally soft water.

If you want to see if you have hard or soft water you can go here to schedule your free in-home water test.

If you’ve noticed that your skin feels drier than usual or you’re struggling with frequent breakouts, hard water could be to blame. Installing a water softener is one way to combat the drying effects of hard water and protect your skin. A water softening system will lessen skin issues, promote silky hair, more sudsy lather with less soap, and not have clogged pores.