Is thermal water a scam or do the French know something we don’t?
Like, they go gaga over this stuff. You can’t enter a pharmacy in France without bumping into shelves stocked to the brim with all kinds of fancy water.
To the rest of the us, thermal water looks like plain old water in a pretty bottle (and a high price tag)… Does it really do anything for your skin?
Yes. As it turns out, it IS a godsend for sensitive, irritated skin. Here’s what the science says:
What The Heck Is Thermal Water?
Thermal water is water that comes from hot springs. It’s born deep into the ground where geothermal activity (i.e. the Earth’s natural heat) keeps it warm.
As the water rises to the top, it flows through soils and rocks, eroding them. It’s this erosion that fills the water with minerals, like sodium, calcium and magnesium. They go from the soil straight into the water.
That’s why no two mineral waters are alike. What minerals – and in what amounts – are in a thermal water depends on where it comes from.
For example, Avene Thermal Water has 4.8 ppm sodium, 42.7 calcium and 21.2 magnesium, while La Roche Posay Thermal Water has 10ppm sodium, 140 calcium and 4.9 magnesium.
(P.S. If you’re curious about the exact composition of popular thermal waters, check out Michelle’s post at Lab Muffin).
What Does Thermal Water Do For Skin?
First thing first: most of the studies on thermal water are done by the companies themselves. And in vitro (not real skin), too. Take them with a grain of salt.
Still, the little research we have show that thermal waters have a few superpowers:
- Boost hydration: they make skin softer and suppler.
- Reduce UV damage: the minerals in them have antioxidant properties that destroy sun-induced free radicals and reduce the risk of sunburn.
- Soothe inflammation: they decrease the amount of pro-inflammatory chemicals skin cells produce, reduce the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis and even minimise irritation from tretinoin.
Should You Invest In A Thermal Water?
If you have sensitive skin, yes. They can help you soothe irritation, redness and all kinds of itchy diseases.
Everyone else, it depends. If you’re curious to see what they can do for you or need a little extra hydration, they may be worth a try. But they’re by no means a must have for everyone.
I use one just on hot summer days. I like to keep my skincare routine as short as possible. 😉
What Are The Best Thermal Waters?
I wouldn’t say there is a best thermal water. It just depends on what your skin likes best. But the most popular options are:
- Avene Thermal Water ($14.00): available at Dermstore and Look Fantastic
- La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water ($17.98): available at Dermstore, Feel Unique and Look Fantastic
- Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Spa Water ($7.00): available at Dermstore and Look Fantastic
SHOP THE POST
What do you think of these “fancy waters’? Share your thoughts in the comments below.