Facial Water

After toners were created, a lot of people only found them irritating. That, however, doesn’t stop the popularity of toners, and at the same time, it creates a new opportunity for companies to sell something new — facial waters. The well-known facial waters are Evian Mineral Water Spray, Avene Thermal Spring Water, La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, and Vichy Laboratoires Thermal Spa Water. These facial waters contain pure mineral water. Some of them have nitrogen as a propellant. As usual, before we run to buy these “special” waters, let’s ask two questions: 1. Are facial waters good enough for you to spend the money? 2. Are facial waters bad for your skin?

  1. Are facial waters good enough for you to spend the money?

    According to the claims, facial waters come from thermal springs, which are said to contain more minerals. How much minerals these facial waters contain and how much benefit these minerals bring to the skin are not demonstrated. As claimed, Vichy Eau Thermal Water Spray contains sulfur, while La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water contains selenium. Sulfur is antibacterial and used topically to treat certain skin problems but it can be a potent skin irritant and sensitizer. It also has a high pH. Selenium is an antioxidant.

    When it is unknown how much the amount of minerals in facial waters can do to the skin. one advantage of facial waters is clear — they do not contain chlorine as the tap water does.

    There is an interesting experiment showing that carbon dioxide-enriched water enhances skin barrier repair from detergent-induced damage. Well, I can tell you that none of the facial waters mentioned here is carbon dioxide enriched.

  2. Are facial waters bad for your skin?

    Since some facial waters are propelled by nitrogen, some people are concerned that nitrogen will generate free-radical damage. I think you don’t have to worry about this because the chemical that generates free radicals is nitric oxide instead of nitrogen. If you want to generate nitric oxide from nitrogen and oxygen, you need to use lightening to increase the temperature to 3000 degrees centigrade. I hope that temperature never happens to anyone’s skin :-).

    One thing that does concern me a little bit is that some chemicals in facial waters can actually draw moisture from your skin.

In short, although facial waters don’t bring you much benefit, it doesn’t hurt your skin either. When skin care products were just started, they were defined as a maintenance to skin — cleaning, moisturizing, and protecting. When people started to expect more, more problems also rose. We human nowadays have so many problems to solve because we have created most of them.

Sometimes, less is more.

Update: I tried all these facial waters. They feel nice on the skin but do not have much actual benefit. The appealing thing is the bottle. It dispenses the water evenly.

References
Meike Bock, Contact Information, Nanna Yvonne Schürer, and Hans Joachim Schwanitz: Effects of CO2-enriched water on barrier recovery. Archives of Dermatological Research Volume 296, Number 4: 163-168, September, 2004.
Mechanisms of Aging and Development, April 2002, pages 1007-1019.

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