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What does water do to your skin?

Hard water. Tough on your skin…

“I've got very dry skin, which I take care of as best I can, but which still causes me problems in spite of all that. I wonder if it's got something to do with the water I use. I've had a look on various websites, and what am I reading now? That can indeed be the cause. Tap water – that I use to rinse my face, to wash my hair and to take a shower – is usually hard water. And hard water can do to your skin what it does to your tap, your iron or your washing machine, for example! The minerals in water are the culprit; they evidently settle on your skin. If you then use soap, that soap doesn't dissolve well in that hard water and a residue is left behind on the skin after you have rinsed it off. The same goes for your make-up: if you only rinse it off with tap water a lot is left behind on your skin. Result: highly irritating for your skin! If you take care of your skin with just tap water and/or soap for a short time, your skin barrier is affected. So your skin loses moisture and feels dry and rough. The same applies to your hair!”

What does hard water do to your skin?

You might think that water is moisturising or hydrating. You might think that moisture or water on your skin is good for your skin. Wrong. Quite the opposite in fact. Water on your skin doesn't nourish your skin in any way whatsoever. It dries the skin out, and not just on the surface... Water is in almost all skincare products such as cleansing lotion and eye make-up removers. It's there for a reason: a cheaper support for various ingredients. Water constitutes 80 to 99% of most cleansing products. It makes cosmetics and make-up remover cheaper.

You should drink water that is low in minerals or take it in food via fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Tap water is usually hard water. This hard tap water and your skin are not friends. Hard water is no friend of your dishwasher or your washing machine. It makes your washing hard. Without water softener in the washing machine hard tap water turns a towel into sandpaper. Without a rinsing agent in your dishwasher hard water tarnishes your glasses. Water on your skin makes it hard and lacklustre. The uppermost layer of your skin (the epidermis) turns into a hard chamois leather when water is applied.

In addition, tap water (hard water) blocks the water channels of your iron, calcifies the dishwasher and your washing machine and...that's right, your skin as well. Hard water in cleansing products blocks the pores in your skin. The epidermis (the upper layer of the skin) exhibits blackheads, spots, inflammations and acne. Alana helps resolve this. Alana doesn't contain any water and as a consequence no hard water either.

“Just like soap water is responsible for drying out your skin. A layer of fat (oil) supplements or restores the natural protective layer of the skin in a way”

Nicole Paelig, psoriasis association the Netherlands.  Source PVN, living with psoriasis/88-skincare.

Cleansing without drying out, is what Alana is all about

Read what Dr. Jetske Ultee has to say about a good cleanser. That is precisely what Alana mild make-up remover does.

“By keeping your skin clean you reduce the chances of impurities, inflammations and lacklustre skin meaning the other skincare products can do an extra-good job. Just like all skincare products it is important that this product is mild. Make sure no irritating substances – such as perfume (scented chemicals) – are in it. A cleanser should not dry the skin out. The goal of this product is to remove the dirt and make-up from your skin, but not to wash away all the grease in your skin. If your skin feels dry or taut then the product is too powerful for you."

Dr. Jetske Ultee, research physician cosmetic dermatology, www.Jetskeultee.nl 

Hard tap water in cosmetics, cleansing lotion or make-up remover
do 4 bad things to your skin.

  1. Hard water on your skin blocks pores just like it blocks water channels in your iron. Blackheads, spots, acne, inflammation...water in skincare products is also a cause of them.
  2. Hard water makes your skin a bit leathery in the same way as the towels in your washing machine if you don't use any fabric softener.
  3. Hard water on the skin dries your skin out as you experience if you go swimming or spend a lot of time in the water.
  4. Hard water tarnishes your skin in the same way as glass without a rinsing agent in the dishwasher.

Don't be mistaken: Water in cosmetics, skincare products and make-up removers doesn't do your skin any good!! Alana contains 0% water.
Water that is low in minerals is better, it will block up the pores in your skin much less quickly. But water that is low in minerals will dry your skin out and turn your face into chamois leather as well.     

Note: Not all cosmetic products contain hard tap water. If manufacturers write 'distilled water' rather than water on their ingredients list (INCI list) you can be sure they don't use hard tap water. Then you've moved a small step forwards.

“I have very sensitive skin” Dana van Oeteren

“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 

Double whammy-effect

You use tap water for your daily beauty routine barely giving it a second's thought. I expect you use cleansers and soap too. An average cleanser usually contains water as well (AQUA, the first ingredient on the label). As far as taking care of your face is concerned: you rinse your cleanser off your face with tap water, then you get the 'double whammy-effect': one evil is reinforced with yet another evil. Carry on cleansing in this way on a daily basis, sometimes twice a day, and you can see the result for yourself: little by little you end up looking like a Shar Pei dog

Why does water cause our skin to wrinkle?  Wrinkly skin caused by water?

If you go to the swimming pool or a spa, hands and feet are the first to show signs of the influence of water that comes into contact with your body. When hands come into contact with water, in particular with hard water, water penetrates the skin due to the principle of osmosis. The blood vessels in the tips of the fingers contract due to the autonomous nervous system. The volume in the fingertips decreases, as a consequence the skin contracts resulting in wrinkles (1.2). According to scientists this has a function. Wrinkled fingers have a better grip of damp surfaces. Our forefathers found it easier to pull plants out of the damp earth like this. And hunters found it easier to hold onto their weapons in the rain. The neuroscientist Smulders and his colleagues from Newcastle University (Centre for Behaviour & Evolution) observed that patients with damaged nerve cells in their hands didn't go wrinkly in water.

Osmosis? The cell casings (membranes) of the skin cells are semi-permeable. Water can freely flow in and out of the skin cell. But minerals can't, they remain on the skin. The direction in which the water flows goes via the semi-permeable skin cell wall (membrane) from soft water to hard water.  In other words hard water draws the soft water into the skin cells. With distilled water or very soft water the skin cell takes in the water via the principle of osmosis.

Note: but the body also has a self-regulating system. The potassium-sodium pump in the skin cell membrane ensures that potassium remains higher in the cell than round the cell and that the sodium level around the cell remains higher than in the cell. Proteins, antioxidants and diffusion also play a role in the good condition of the skin.

“So wrinkles are actually a reflection of the ageing which is taking place in the whole body”

Dr. David van Bodegem, ageing expert (geriatrician), kennislink.nl, 7,8,2012

(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

Alana Make-up remover
Alana Make-up remover
  • Allergen-free for sensitive skin and eyes
  • 0% chemicals, 0% alcohol, 0% parabens
  • Nourishes with vitamin E and over ten types of carotenes
  • Does not irritate or sting
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