Interest in preventive healthcare has increased in recent years, and people are beginning to think about the effect of chlorinated water on the skin. The skin is the largest and most important part of the human body. It represents the first line of defense, as it protects the body from the environment, regulates body temperature, detects inflammation, touch and vibration, so, naturally, it is the most sensitive organ to diseases and infections. Skin diseases affect about 23-33% of the world’s population and are among the most common reasons for visiting a doctor. As such, skincare is vital. We don’t need scientific studies to prove that chlorinated and hard water affect people with sensitive skin. Simply compare a bath in hard chlorinated water to fresh, slightly chlorinated water, and you’ll notice the difference right away.
Scientifically, it has been difficult to prove causation on a larger scale, because many factors affect the skin. But recent studies have shown that hard water can increase the risk of eczema, a skin pain that affects every fifth person. The condition causes skin redness, itching, inflammation, and cracking of the skin and may be exacerbated by several factors including stress, chemical detergents, soaps, perfumes, diet, and food. Dermatologists and the NHS now classify chlorinated water as a possible trigger for exacerbations of eczema, which is more common in children, affects at least 10% of children at any given time, and although it often goes away as a child, it can continue into adulthood.
Water scientists take THMs (chlorine by-products) seriously. When chlorine combines with organic compounds, such as sweat and oil, on our skin, it can produce three methane byproducts, commonly called THMs. Levels of THMs produced during hot water baths are fairly low, however, over time, these carcinogens can have increasingly harmful effects, with some studies even linking chlorine to heart abnormalities and other medical conditions in infants. The skin absorbs chlorine and other pollutants from tap water, poisoning the body. Chlorinated water also speeds up the aging process, as do the effects of prolonged exposure to the sun. Chlorinated water can deplete the skin’s natural oils that retain moisture, resulting in dry, itchy skin. Furthermore, chlorine not only kills the bad bacteria that can make us sick but also the good bacteria that our skin depends on.
There is a huge discrepancy between the different types of filters, some frankly do nothing to improve water, and others are very effective at removing certain substances, such as chlorine. But science is very helpful when it comes to filters that protect the skin from the dangers of chlorinated fluoride. Specialists recommend using only trusted filters that have an independent lab test or certification that shows the potency and what is filtered out. Most shower filters are from 2 to 6 months old. So if they claim to be taller, be sure to include that in your test results. And know that there is only one technology that works directly in the shower, and that is KDF. KDF-55 is the most effective filtration technology for removing chlorine and water-soluble heavy metals from high-pressure hot tap water. It’s also worth noting that because KDF is a fairly expensive patented technology, some companies mix it with other compounds like activated carbon, so be sure to know the percentage of different compounds in your filter before you buy.