If you walk into a pharmacy in France, you’ll immediately see giant displays of thermal water spray cans. I remember when I lived in Paris I was always fascinated by these sprays – back then I was not into skin care as much as I am today. The majority of French skin care brands like La Roche-Posay, Uriage, Vichy and Avène sell thermal water sprays. And all of them are available here in Malta. What is thermal water, what’s in it, what does it do and how is it different from regular water?
Thermal water comes from hot springs. The water in these hot springs come from deep in the ground, where it’s heated by the Earth’s natural heat which also causes lava to be molten.
It’s mostly water, of course, but it isn’t “just water in a can”! As the thermal water rises to reach the spring, it passes through rocks and soil which dissolve to add minerals to the water. The mineral content of a particular thermal water depends on where it comes from. The minerals include the ones found in your skin’s natural moisturising factor, like chlorides, sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Here are the compositions of the 4 most popular thermal waters (source: Bacle et al., Int J Dermatol 1999, brand marketing materials). There’s some variation between batches of course, since it’s a natural mixture so this isn’t 100% true for every single batch.
As you can see, the composition varies a fair bit, with Uriage, the thermal water with the highest mineral content, being 55 times more concentrated than Avène, which has the lowest mineral content.
“-” in the table means no data, since different thermal water brands like to highlight different aspects of their water. La Roche-Posay emphasise a lot about the selenium content of their water, while Uriage emphasises the high calcium concentration. Whereas Vichy focus on the fact that it has 15 minerals and can be used as a healing spray for many conditions.
A lot of the studies performed with thermal water are done on cells and what happens is that they’ve put bare cells or tissues in thermal water and watched the effects.
With this in mind, here’s what the studies say thermal water can do:
Protect from UV/Sun damage
Thermal waters have been found to protect cells from UV-related damage.Thermal water can also reduce the formation of sunburn cells in human volunteers after UVB exposure.
It’s been speculated that selenium, zinc and/or copper are responsible for this effect, since they’re important for the functioning of antioxidant enzymes naturally in the skin, which soak up the damaging free radicals produced by UV light. So keep a thermal water spray with you when you are at the beach and traveling and use it regularly to refresh and soothe.
Thermal water is commonly used for a lot of conditions related to inflammation, including eczema, psoriasis, and ichthyosis.
In lab experiments thermal water was shown to have decreased the production of inflammation-causing chemicals by skin cells. A study with human volunteers found that a La Roche-Posay thermal water decreased irritation caused by harsh chemicals. Uriage Thermal water spray has been found particularly beneficial for rashes even nappy rashes in some cases.
Studies have also shown that thermal water sprays reduce the severity of eczema when added to a cream, and decreased the amount of inflammation-causing bacteria on the skin. These sprays also reduced the severe peeling that’s usually a side effect of using medications for acne treatment. La Roche-Posay also managed to help 50% of a clinical trial group suffering from psoriasis, although that study involved drinking the water as well as applying it on the skin.
The best way to use spring thermal water spray:
By now you have realized that spring thermal water spray has many benefits:
– For beauty purposes:
+ spring thermal water spray provides hydration to your skin, so you can spray it directly on your face whenever your skin feels dry: at the office, at home, on the street…
+ if you have dry skin, mix foundation with spring thermal water spray to add more moisture
+ spray it on your face before and after applying makeup to improve the lasting power
+ use spring thermal water spray before applying moisturizer on your face to create a perfect makeup base
+ if you get sunburns, use it to calm the affected area
– For other special treatments:
+ spring thermal water can help sterilize open wounds or burns, relieve the pain and make it heal faster
+ relieve insect bites – including bees and jellyfish
+ for acne: using spring thermal water spray together with other treatment products will keep your skin moisturized and smooth thanks to the antibacterial ingredients.
+for eczema to reduce itching and redness
+after shaving to reduce irritations
+for diaper rashes
A couple of weeks ago i asked all the ladies from all the brands above for a sample and information I can compare and share with all of you and I’ve been using the sprays in the morning after I use my trusty face wash and lukewarm water to clean my face.
The ladies from Uriage; La Roche Posay and Vichy where kind enough to give me the information I needed … thanks ladies 🙂
What I found is that It absorbs quickly and yes, my skin does not feel dry afterwards compared to using regular tap water. So, I do think the claim of restoring skin balance after washing your face with regular tap water is true in my case and I recommend you give it a try.
I don’t suffer from any redness or itching, so I can’t verify whether or not it’s effective against skin irritation. I also like to use this spray after my makeup application to set my makeup and I love it!! It softens the look of my makeup if I went a little overboard with powder and it feels lovely. It does not disturb my makeup at all. The mascara doesn’t start running down my face. Great way to set your makeup. Highly recommend.
Do you need a Thermal Water Spray?
I think if you suffer from skin irritations from time to time, eczema, redness, or dryness from regular tap water then give it a go. Its beneficial in acne and great to help deal with the heat at the moment or even in winter when at the gym. It’s definitely great for setting makeup and generally a good way to prep your skin before introducing Make up as well. It can be used on burns and insect bites and rashes- so basically every household could use having a thermal water spray on the shelf.
You can find thermal water sprays and creams made from thermal water in most leading pharmacies.