Manchester’s water supply could be damaging our skin – but expert advice is on tap

Have you ever washed your hands in another part of the country and felt like it’s left your skin feeling or looking different?

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 27th August 2020
Drobot Dean / adobe.stock

A new map by cosmetic comparison company Cosmetify has revealed the types of tap water across the UK and how this could be having long-term effects on our skin without us even realising.

Have you ever washed your hands, or taken a shower in another part of the country and felt like it’s left your skin feeling or looking different?

Believe it or not, this could actually be the case due to the differing ‘hardness’ of the water.

Essentially, water may contain more or less dissolved minerals – such as magnesium and calcium – which in turn, can clog your pores and leave your skin feeling dry, and the more dissolved minerals a water supply contains, means that the water is considered to be harder.

In the short term, hard water can leave your skin feeling dry, flaky and itchy, it could also lead to breakouts of acne and eczema, and it can even affect your hair too by giving it a dull appearance. Over a prolonged period of time though, hard water can form ‘free radicals’ – which break down your skin’s collagen and cause it to sag and form fine lines and wrinkles – making you look older.


Skin care specialists often say that the best way to protect yourself from the adverse effects of hard water is to install a water softener, which is a device that ‘softens’ the water to make it easier to rinse off soap and prevent the harmful residue.

Here in Manchester though – according to the new Cosmetify map – we are considered to have a soft water supply.


But what does actually his mean for our skin though?


Whilst we are told that hard water is the most damaging water type, soft water isn’t getting off scot-free.

It has lead skin care experts and top dermatologists to say that, whether we’re aware of it or not, Manchester’s water supply could too be having a detrimental and even damaging effect to our skin, especially for those with oily skin types.


Luckily though, advice is on tap to help Mancunians look after their skin in the best way possible and it’s all thanks to a new interactive tool – The Water Effect by Cosmetify – which will not only tell you the water hardness in your area, but also give you recommendations that are dependent on your skin type in order to keep it as glowing as possible.

This expert advice comes from leading Dermatologist Vikram Rajkomar of Pall Mall Medical.

If you live in a soft water area, such as Manchester and have oily skin, Vikram says: “With your skin type, this may give your skin a greasy texture. Our recommendation is to keep on top of your skin care, making sure to cleanse at least twice a day to reduce the oils on the skin, but don’t scrub the skin as this can cause it to dry out”.

Keen to find out more?

You can view the full research and discover the water type in your area here.