Since finding a correlation between tap water and breakouts, I’ve been telling everyone who will listen and I’m two seconds away from screaming it from the rooftops. The tap water in Los Angeles and many big cities is truly terrible for your skin. I’ve struggled with adult cystic acne for years and after being told by every doctor under the sun that my problem was “hormonal” although blood work was never done to prove that theory and when I finally insisted, the results were normal. After refusing to comprise my gut health with antibiotics, I took matters into my own hands.
WHEN DID YOU START PIECING THINGS TOGETHER?
I noticed when backpacking through Europe each year that my skin became noticeably clear within 48 hours of landing, flawless within a week, and at day-30 it was clear, radiant, and quite frankly perfect. I knew deep down that there was no way my “hormones” just happened to go on vacation.
THE FACTS ON TAP WATER:
I did a bit of digging and found endless articles linking tap water to acne. Sounds crazy, right? Try googling ‘tap water and acne’ and watch as your screen fills with results. 85% of all water in the U.S. is hard water which means we’re covered in soap scum and that soap scum is clogging our pores and contributing to breakouts. The problem with hard water is that its high mineral content prevents it from properly reacting with soap and instead of triggering a lather it creates a soap scum layer on the skin. This not only clogs pores but also irritates the skin, making it itchy, flaky, and dry. It’s also a large contributor to a variety of skin conditions like eczema and rosacea.
PROCESS OF ELIMINATION:
I started thinking about what improved each time I left the U.S and I knew diet wasn’t a factor because at home in Los Angeles I live a plant based lifestyle and when traveling abroad? Well, let’s just say I experience things as a local as much as possible. After giving it thought I realized the only things that change for the better are air quality and water. In many cities around Europe tap water can be consumed from the faucet as well as public fountains. Here, not so much.
ACTING AS MY OWN GUINEA PIG:
Since I live in Los Angeles, there’s no escaping air pollution however I knew that I could do a few other tests so I started with water. When I began breaking out I would start washing my face with bottled water (it’s as much of a hassle as it sounds) but miraculously my skin began to clear in 2-3 days. I knew immediately that tap water was a huge contributor to my skin issues so I put a filter on my bathroom sink and shower and vowed to never allow tap water to touch my face as long as I was in Los Angeles.
Below I’ve included the filtration units as well as the replacement filters. What I like about the one I have on my bathroom sink is it’s smaller than a typical kitchen filter so it’s discreet. To turn the filter on, there’s a pin on the side that you pull to release the filtered water. Once you’re done you simply turn off the water faucet as usual and the pin retracts due to the lack of water pressure. What this means is the next time you turn on your faucet to wash your hands, you’ll have regular water flowing. As for the benefits of the shower filter, you can expect softer skin on your body, stronger nails, hair that’s stronger and less dry, and blonde hair that stays blonder.
ONE PROBLEM SOLVED, WE’RE ALMOST THERE:
With the water filters in place, the cystic acne breaksouts were few and far between but still present. I wrecked my brain some more before realizing that the other difference abroad was the level of humidity versus Los Angeles where it’s virtually non-existent. I decided to add a facial steamer and humidifier to my routine and sure enough, I began seeing improvements.
Benefits of steaming:
- Steam opens up your pores and helps loosen any buildup of dirt, releasing dead skin cells, bacteria, and other impurities that clog the pores and contribute to acne.
- It releases trapped sebum. This naturally occurring oil is produced by your sebaceous glands to lubricate your skin and hair. When sebum gets trapped beneath your skin’s surface, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria and causes acne and blackheads.
- It promotes circulation. The combination of warm steam and an increase in perspiration dilates your blood vessels and increases circulation. This boost of blood flow nourishes your skin and delivers oxygen. The result is a natural, healthy glow.
- And the biggest benefit: Steam hydrates, naturally moisturizing the face.
I’ve linked my favorite steamer below because I’m amazed at the level of moisture in my skin since incorporating it into my routine. I began using the steamer only a few times a week but soon realized that using it nightly kept blemishes at bay almost entirely except for “that time of the month”.
ONE LAST FIX AND IT’S CLEAR SKIN FOR GOOD:
My skin journey had been going well thus far however I was still a bit frustrated that each month for about a week my skin broke out. I wasn’t content with saying “it’s that time of the month” since many other women go months without a single break out.
I was confused about how my diet would go off the rails abroad and my skin would stay on track but while home in Los Angeles with a lifestyle/diet consisting of mostly veggies, my skin would go haywire. That was until I gave thought to farming practices. The food in many countries is farmed entirely different than here in the U.S where food is heavily sprayed with pesticides and other yucky chemicals.
Once again I went back to the drawing board and started linking gut health with skin health and was amazed by the connection. Our gut is essentially “the brain” of our body, after all, we frequently use the terms “gut feeling” and “follow your gut”. I highly recommend googling gut health and acne, in the meantime here’s a rundown of the benefits of Kombucha which aids in gut health.
Benefits of Kombucha:
- Our gut has good bacteria and bad bacteria. When good bacteria get overtaken by the bad we begin to see the toxic results on our skin. Kombucha is packed full of probiotics, lactic acid, and digestive enzymes that help to restore order in our intestinal track by putting good bacteria back into our gut.
- The fermentation process of kombucha means that it’s rich in probiotics. Probiotic bacteria are similar to healthful bacteria that are found in the gut.
- Kombucha can fight a range of bacteria. This suggests that it may help prevent infections by killing the bacteria that cause them before they are absorbed by the body.
I began incorporating Kombucha into my diet and noticed immediately that the clarity of my skin changed for the better. I now stock up on my “magic elixir” and drink it daily, I don’t skip a day.
FINALLY, CLEAR SKIN:
After implementing all of these changes into my routine, what are the final results? clear, radiant skin on par with that of my “Europe skin”. If you’ve been battling acne and are tired of doctors giving you hopeless answers like “its just your body”. “it’s just the way you are”, try implementing these items into your routine, they have truly saved my skin.