This Wednesday, I bring you a horror story. If you follow me on Twitter Follow @SayHelloToGorgeyou saw on Monday that I posted about hard water wreaking havoc on my skin. I wasn’t kidding! Keep reading for the full story and to find out what you can do in a similar situation.
The Dry Skin Beginning: About a year ago, I moved to a new state. Not long after moving there, I noticed my skin began to flake. I’ve had trouble with flaky skin in the past and dismissed it as something that was just getting worse with age. It seemed like a pretty easy fix–time to switch up to a heavier moisturizer.
And Then I Saw the Pores: About a week or two after switching moisturizers, I looked in the mirror in saw something horrendous: pores all over my face. Yeah, yeah, I know, we all have pores. But I had never noticed mine before. I had been blessed my entire life with the most itty bitty pores and even in my worst acne days, they had never looked clogged. When my breakouts worsened about two weeks after that, I didn’t even wait until my moisturizer ran out to switch products.
When Even the Best Doesn’t Help: I switched to a deep cleaning cleanser. I switched to oil-free and gel moisturizers (both of which are great for acne prone skin and both of which I have never felt the need to use before). I began using facial masks every week. My skin improved, but it wasn’t in the condition it was several months prior.
A Suspicious Break: In the spring, I took a mini vacation to visit my parents for my dad’s 60th birthday. Between my regularly booked week and then my flight being delayed then cancelled, I was stuck in my hometown a total of a week and a half. During that time I broke out a bit, having tried to trade in my normal cleanser for a different, travel sized one, but dang did my pores look good. They were back to their normal selves, something I thought I would never see again. That didn’t last when I flew back home.
Putting It Together: I stumbled on the downsides of washing your face with hard water quite by accident. While perusing Twitter, someone posted a video with a woman who mentioned how hard water had made her skin break out. I did my investigating. Both my hometown and the town I went to college in only have slightly hard water. Where I live now has some of the hardest water in the country. And yes, hard water causes clogged pores, which can lead to increase breakouts AND some people discover they have drier skin. Guess my princess skin got hit with both.
What You Can Do: So there are a few things you can do in such a situation, which I’ll list below, even though some of these ideas just aren’t going to happen:
- Unfortunately, the websites I visit say that at home filtration just doesn’t work. The minerals that cause breakouts are microscopic and pass through the filters
- Washing with bottled water: This is so Paris Hilton, I don’t think I can bring myself to spend the money to do this.
- Opt for products that contain chelators.
- Try this face mask from Lush! This might be the first one I actually do. I mentioned before that this mask really clears my pores out, hard water be damned!
- Use a toner after cleansing. Beauty gurus say you should do this anyway. This helps clear out the soap scum stuck in pores.
- Start bottling that less hard water. Yes, this makes me sound crazy, but I was going to take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend to visit my parents anyway, so while I’m there, I might just bottle some tap water to wash my face. To see if, despite the circumstantial evidence, hard water is really my problem. For science.
So here is my skin horror story. I feel a little bit vain writing this, but someone has to spread the word. Have you ever experienced horrible (or on the flip side-fantastic) skin when vacationing or moving somewhere else? Let me know in the comments below!