Is tap water causing your skin to break out?

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. Refusing to compromise my gut health with antibiotics, I took matters into my own hands.


I noticed when leaving the United States and 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.



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 (yuck!) 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. 



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 in the U.S, not so much.



Since I live in Los Angeles, there’s no “escaping air pollution” but I knew that I could do other tests so I started with water. When I began breaking out, I washed 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.

Bathroom Sink Water Filter
Bathroom Sink Water Filter Replacemet
Shower Water Filter
Shower Filter Replacement
I purchase this bundle pack to save $


With the water filters in place, the cystic acne breakouts were few and far between but still present. I soon realized 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 a Facial Steamer:

  • 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.
  • The biggest benefit:  Steam hydrates, naturally moisturizing the face.

I’ve linked steamer options below and here because I’m amazed at the level of moisture in my skin since incorporating one into my routine. I began using the steamer only a few times a week but soon realized that using it nightly keeps blemishes away almost entirely except for “that time of the month”. 


      Benefits of a Humidifier:

  •   Hydrates Skin and treats dryness of the skin, nose, throat, and lips. 
  • Helps Nasal Congestion, and can alleviate snoring.
  • Relieve allergy and asthma symptoms.

 I’ve added a humidifier in my bedroom (near my bed) that adds moisture to the air and offers lots of benefits to the skin. I have this one, and love that it’s super easy to clean which isn’t always the case (I had another that was a hassle). Cleaning the device is important to prevent pink mold from growing (all humidifiers hold ‘still water’ so it’s bound to happen) which is why having an easy-to-clean device is important (the app will also remind you of cleanings to keep you on schedule) 

I also love the one I have because it’s a ‘smart device’ and lets you know the current humidity in the room, is wifi enabled, allows you to create schedules (on and off at certain times of the day) and can connect to Google Assistant and Alexa, so it can easily be added to Alexa routines. I have mine set to “Alexa, Goodnight” which turns off my lamps, and my fan, adjusts my air purifier speed (we’ll talk about this device next), and turns on my humidifier. I also have it set to go off in the morning by saying “Alexa, Good morning”


        Benefits of an Air Purifier:

  • Eliminates microbes that cause allergies, asthma, and other respiratory complications
  • Eliminates odors, pollen, dust, animal dander, and airborne chemicals.

Clean, non-polluted air = clear skin, so I’ve been using this Air Purifier and I’m obsessed! Again, it’s a ‘smart device’ so it lets you know if any wildfires are happening in your area, and advises you of the air quality outdoors and indoors. There is an app that allows you to control the fan speed, check the air quality throughout the day, has a sleep timer, automatically changes the speed depending on the air quality, connects to Alexa or Google Assistant for voice control, and so much more. 

I initially purchased a ‘lower model’ from the brand but didn’t like that I was unable to view the air quality inside or have access to an intuitive app or features. I returned it for this one and loved it so much that I now have one in my bedroom and living room. This model has a pet mode (great for pet owners) and I love that when I curl my hair or spray hair products, it detects the air quality has gone down and increases the air speed to clean the air. The amount of features this particular model has is endless, again.. obsessed! Oh, and I must mention, this model is also a True HEPA Air Purifier with 3-stage filtration, capturing 99.97% of 0.3-micron airborne particles such as dust, smoke particles, pollen, and more!



My skin journey was going well but I was still frustrated that each month for about a week my skin broke out. I wasn’t content with simply 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 could go off the rails abroad and my skin would stay on track but at home in Los Angeles with a lifestyle/diet consisting of mostly fruit, grains, and veggies, my skin would go haywire. That was until I gave thought to farming practices. The food in many countries is farmed differently than here in the U.S. where food is heavily sprayed with pesticides and other 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.



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 “it’s just your body”. “it’s just the way you are”, try implementing these tips and tools into your routine, they have truly saved my skin.

Facial Steamer
Facial Steamer - I use a facial steamer each and every night
synery trilogy kombucha
My favorite Kombucha. Healthy Gut = Healthy Skin
Distilled Water
Only use distilled water to keep your steamer working properly
Air Humidifier
Smart Humidifer- App + Alexa and Google enabled
Air Purifier
Smart Air Purifier - App + Alexa and Google enabled

clink any photo below to pin!