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For facial cleansing, use waterless makeup remover. What does water do to your skin? Jetske Ultee knows best

Hard water is hard on your skin...

'I have very dry skin, and although I care for it properly I continue to suffer from skin issues. Could it be the water I use to clean my skin?' That's a question we at Amanprana have often heard.

The water can most certainly be the cause. The tap water you might use to rinse your face, wash your hair or shower generally contains hard water. And hard water can do the same thing to your skin that it does to your taps, your clothes iron or your washing machine!

It is the minerals in the water that are the culprits, and they leave palpable deposits on your skin. And when you add soap to the mixture, the soap is unable to completely dissolve in the hard water and it remains on your skin when you rinse.

The same is true for your makeup - when you just rinse it off with tap water much of the makeup will remain stuck to your skin. This will result in skin irritation. When you use only tap water and/or soap to care for your skin, your skin barrier will be affected, causing a loss of moisture and a dry and raw feeling to your skin. And the same is true for your hair!

What does hard water do to your skin? Four things that will happen to your skin when you use hard water

You would think that water would have a moisturising effect, that moisture or water applied to your skin will benefit it. But that is not true. In fact, it's completely the opposite!

It is an unfortunate fact that almost all bodycare products, such as cleansing milk and eye makeup removers, contain water. And the sole reason it is present is that it is a cheap carrier of various ingredients. Most cleansing products contain 80 to 90 percent water.

Hard tap water in cosmetics and cleansing milk can do the following things to your skin:

  • Hard water blocks the pores of your skin, just like it does to the steam ducts of your iron.
  • Hard water makes your skin leathery, just like it does to the towels in your washing machine when you don't use fabric softener.
  • Hard water dries your skin out, as you'll notice after swimming or if you spend a lot of time in water.
  • Hard water dulls your skin, just as it does to glasses in your dishwasher when you don't use a rinsing agent.

Jetske Ultee: cleanse your face, don't dehydrate it

Just hear what Dr Jetske Ultee has to say about a good skin cleanser.

'When you keep your skin clean you minimise the chance of being affected by impurities, infections and dull skin, and other skincare products can have a maximum effect. As with all skincare products it is important that your cleansing product is mild, so check whether it contains any irritating substances, such as perfume (scenting chemicals). A cleanser should not dry out your skin - it is meant to clean dirt and makeup from your skin, but not to remove all the natural oils. If your skin feels dry or taut after cleaning, then the product is too aggressive for your skin.'

Alana Make-up remover
Alana Make-up remover
  • Clean and nourish in one
  • Hypoallergenic: for sensitive skin and eyes
  • Clean your skin without dehydrating it: no water or alcohol
  • Soothes and balances your skin
  • 0% chemicals, 0% alcohol, 0% parabens
More info + buy

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Dr Jetske Ultee has spent years studying skincare and is a research physician in cosmetic dermatology, www.Jetskeultee.nl 

Please note: not all cosmetics contain hard water straight from the tap. When manufacturers include 'distilled water' instead of 'water' on their list of ingredients (the INCI list), then you can rest assured they do not contain hard water.

The double-whammy effect of water on your skin

Tap water is an almost unconscious part of your daily cleansing routine, and over and above the fact that you probably also use cleansers and soaps. The average cleanser generally contains water (AQUA, the first ingredient on the label), and then you'll also go and rinse off the cleanser using tap water - that's the double-whammy effect, which results in twofold damage.

Why do our fingers and skin go wrinkly when in water?

After spending a day in the swimming pool or at the spa, your hands and feet exhibit the first effects of water that comes into contact with your body. When you put your hands in water - especially hard water - the water is osmotically drawn into your skin. The blood cells in your finger tips draw together as a result of your autonomous nervous system, and the volume in the finger tips declines. The result is that the skin contracts and results in wrinkles (1, 2). Scientists believe that there is a reason for this, as wrinkled fingers have a better grip on wet surfaces

(1): Harekas K, Nettle D, Smulders T. Water-induced wrinkles improve handling of wet objects, Biology Letters , 9.1.2013, DOI: 10. 1098/rsbl 2012.0999
(2) Botcharova M., Why does skin wrinkle in water? To improve grip, claim scientists. The Guardian, 9.1.2013

Amanprana Alana makeup remover

Discover Amanprana Alana, a makeup remover that is free of water, chemicals and alcohol. Alana is a mild cleanser that contains chamomile, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, wheat germ oil and red palm oil. Every ingredient in Alana is completely natural.

“I have very sensitive skin. I always had to carry out a huge survey in order to find good skincare products for my sensitive skin. Cosmetics without misleading claims and with the right ingredients. I am convinced that the use of the wrong skincare products is the reason behind a lot of skin complaints, often cosmetics which contaminate, overload and block up the skin with chemical substances. My own experiences and my interest in caring for and improving the skin are the basic motivation behind my job. I think people have the right to know what is and isn't good, and I would like to help with this.”

Dana van Oeteren, aroma therapist and Alana designer

Alana Make-up remover
Alana Make-up remover
  • Clean and nourish in one
  • Hypoallergenic: for sensitive skin and eyes
  • Clean your skin without dehydrating it: no water or alcohol
  • Soothes and balances your skin
  • 0% chemicals, 0% alcohol, 0% parabens
More info + buy
A clean skin without drying, Amanprana Alana does it Lipstick without parabenes Alana also removes lipstick, impurities, sun cream and waterproof make-up. Contains natural vitamin E and more than 10 different types of carotene