Beauty gurus all over seem to be singing the praises of distilled water, claiming it can reverse signs of aging, improve a wide variety of skin conditions, and some even tout it as a miracle cure for acne.
But is all the hype backed up by science and real experience?
You may be curious if distilled water is as beneficial as some sources say, concerned about the possible negative impact of tap water on your skin, or looking for a good solution to improve your skin condition.
This article will give a clear answer and dispel many of the rumors you may have heard about washing your face with distilled water.
Spoiler alert: you’ll like the answer to this question if you deal with itchy, dry, irritated, or acne-prone skin. This miracle liquid can in fact help you out with cleansing and effectively prevent damage to your delicate skin.
Keep on reading to discover how you can use this knowledge in your daily skincare routine!
PRO TIP: According to many skincare experts, Korean double cleansing method is the best way to get rid of all impurities of your face.
The first step is washing your face with oil-based cleanser (here’s my list of the best Korean oil cleansers) and then the second step is the water-based cleanser (my ranking of Korean cleansers & face washes).
This way you can remove heavy makeup, oil-based impurities and other gunk to avoid buildup and clogged pores.
What Is Distilled Water?
Distilled water is a special type of purified water that has been boiled, and then the steam from the boiling water is collected and re-condensed into a separate container.
Many sources claim that distilled water is the most safe and pure form of water available.
During the distillation process, any substances that boil at a higher temperature than water itself are left behind in the original container.
As a result, contaminants like chemicals, bacteria, heavy metals, and other impurities are removed turning standard faucet water into pure water.
Distilled water can be either store-bought, or made at home – although most DIY distillation methods are fairly complex and require building or buying your own equipment.
If you want to try distilling your own water at home, you can boil water under a domed cover, and then allow the cooling steam to drip into a larger container around the boiling pot.
Differences Between Tap Water And Distilled Water
- May contain impurities and contaminants
- Might be hard water, depending on your local water source
- Can contain fluoride, chlorine and other minerals
- It is easy to obtain from a sink or shower
- Ranges from 6.5 to 8.5 on the pH scale1
- Free from the majority of impurities, chemicals and contaminants
- Must be store bought or made at home
- Does not contain minerals or metals such as chlorine, calcium, iron, or mercury
- Safer to drink if treated water is not available
- Has pH of 7
Skin Problems From Using Tap Water
Here are some of the skin issues the tap water can cause2:
- Dry skin and redness
The chemicals and minerals in standard tap water can strip away the natural oils of your skin. This typically results in excessive oil production as a “correction” to the dryness that results, which makes your skin more likely to dry out.
Bacteria or other natural organisms found in unfiltered water can transfer to skin, making breakouts worse.
Minerals and chemicals present in regular water from the tap can upset the delicate balance of your skin, promoting all kinds of irritation3.
- Early aging
Some sources suggest that the potential damage to skin caused by regularly washing with tap water can lead to signs of early skin aging.
Is Distilled Water Good For Your Skin?
The results are in and yes, distilled water is good for the skin all over your body! Since the only substance present is water, you’re less likely to experience allergic reactions from washing your face with it.
Here’s an important note, however: while it’s good to drink, you don’t want to consume water that has been distilled exclusively.
Since it contains no minerals, drinking only this kind of water could lead to nutritional mineral imbalances over time.
If this is a concern for you, try talking with your doctor to see if you could benefit from a mineral supplement or to learn about signs and symptoms of mineral deficiencies to look for.
What Does Distilled Water Do For Your Skin?
Regularly cleansing with distilled water can do a better job at hydrating your skin, and can be more effective at removing dirt and makeup as well.
A few other benefits include reduced skin irritation, fewer clogged pores, and not as much rubbing required to remove makeup and cosmetics4.
Many people who deal with acne find that using distilled water for washing their face is more effective at treating and preventing breakouts than using regular faucet water.
Benefits Of Washing Your Face With Distilled Water
Distilled water is more gentle on the skin than any other type of water.
While many commercially available filters can remove all kinds of unwanted substances from your water supply, nothing is quite as pure as water that has been distilled.
This is just one of many benefits of distilled water. It can help reduce acne, work as a skin toner all by itself, remove makeup very effectively, and promote moisturized, well hydrated skin as well5.
Washing with distilled water can be a bit tricky, though. Buying distilled water can get expensive over time, and you don’t want to waste any of it down the drain when washing your face!
Try using a spray bottle filled with distilled water to minimize water waste.
Why Washing Your Face With Distilled Water Works?
Regardless of your skin type, the skin all over your body has a natural pH.
Tampering with the natural acidity of your skin (when using tap water which has lower or higher pH than skin) can cause irritation, clogged pores, redness, and excess oil buildup.
Distilled water is much closer to the normal pH balance of the skin, which allows you to remove dirt and cosmetics while maintaining the natural skin barrier6.
This washes away skin impurities while also leaving skin feeling soft.
Does Washing Face With Distilled Water Help With Acne?
Whether you struggle with chronic, bacteria related, or hormonal acne marks, cleansing with distilled water can help!
Acne can be caused by a number of different things – excessive dryness being one of them.
Because distilled water is more gentle on skin, it doesn’t strip away moisture, only dirt7.
Give your skin a break from acne, try out washing your face with water that has been distilled and there is high chance you’ll see pimples and blackheads melt away.
Should I Wash My Hair With Distilled Water?
Distilled water can be beneficial for hair care as well as skincare!
Besides increasing hydration, cleansing your hair with distilled water has been shown to increase absorption of haircare products without risking the mineral buildup that can come from shower water.
While you can put a filter on your shower head at home, it won’t be distilled water that comes out.
Try using distilled bottled water as a rinse or to wet your hair.
Make sure to rinse thoroughly, however, to prevent buildup of soap and foaming residues on the hair strands.
Washing Face With Distilled Water – FAQ
You may have already heard a lot of inconsistent information about washing your face with tap versus distilled versus filtered water, and may be curious about how much of a difference it actually makes.
Keep reading for the answers to some common questions about how the type of water you use can affect your skincare.
Is Distilled Water Just Boiled Water?
Not quite, distilled water is not just boiled water, because distilling goes above and beyond the boiling process.
While boiling water is generally enough to kill bacteria, distillation removes all kinds of other contaminants from the water molecules resulting in some of the most pure water available.
Is Filtered Water Distilled Water?
Some of the articles that talk about which type of water to cleanse with, recommend adding a filter to your shower or sink – which is a bit incorrect, because it will give you filtered water, but not distilled water. Filtered water is not distilled water.
Unfortunately, putting a water filter on your sink or shower head isn’t quite the same as using distilled water.
While there are a number of different types of filters that produce purified water, any kind of water filter will end up leaving behind some type of impurities that distillation could remove.
What Kind Of Water Is Best For Skin?
Overall, while regular water is generally safe to drink and cleanse with, there is good evidence out there that using distilled water instead is beneficial in a variety of ways.
Because it does not contain added ingredients or the common contaminants found in tap water, distilled water is great for very sensitive skin and can help with a variety of skin conditions.
What’s The Best Water To Wash Your Face With?
In conclusion, using distilled water is a helpful and dermatologist-recommended method to wash your face while preventing breakouts, skin irritation, or damage.
There are many other natural substances that can help provide the same benefits – such as aloe vera, coconut oil, etc.
But water that has been distilled is generally fairly easy to come by, and overall an affordable option for taking great care of your skin.
I hope these tips were useful to you! Now you know – a lot of the hype surrounding distilled water is totally real.
Have you ever tried adding distilled water to your beauty routine? Let us know the result! Did your skin got healthier and smoother?
The purpose of this article is informative and entertaining. It’s not a substitute for medical consultation or medical care. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Safety should be your priority.