Could being stuck in the rain without an umbrella cause your skin to age prematurely? What’s better, hard water or soft? Is it safer to wash with distilled rain water? Or is tap water your best bet? If you’ve never thought about the answers to these questions, it’s high time you started!
Hard vs soft: who wins?
Hard water is high in minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium, so it’s great to drink. But when it comes to your skin, softly does it. Hard water harms the skin because of its ions, which influence the pH and balance of the skin barrier, causing dryness.
Soft water, which has less minerals, reacts better, both with cleaning products and your skin. So if your tap water’s too hard, think about investing in a water filter to soften the water.
Is rain water safe?
Rain water’s generally soft, which is great. But if you’re thinking of stepping out for a little dance of joy in the rain, think again. If you live in a big city or a polluted area, rain water’s usually full of diluted pollutants from car fumes and the like, which you certainly don’t want to let anywhere near your skin. All these pollutants will damage and weaken skin cells.
If you want to wash with rain water, it would require boiling and cooling off. This process helps get rid of pollutants and other environmental nasties, but is it worth the hassle? Probably not.
So can I ditch the umbrella or not?
Even if (treated) rain water can be great for your skin, untreated rain can cause problems, so be sure to take precautions before — and after — heading outside in downpours.
Waterproof sunscreen provides a barrier against harmful chemicals in the rain. You’ll also want to cleanse well after you’ve been in a downpour.