During summer a spray with thermal water is a must-have. On hot summer days, it saves our skin from dehydration in the office or at the beach. I also use it year round to soothe my skin if it feels sensitized or irritated. And finally, some use thermal sprays to set in makeup, which I don’t really do.
When my husband saw me buying another thermal water spray (my favourite is Vichy), he couldn’t hide his bewilderment – “It’s just WATER!” – he said, “Just water in a spray!” He expressed his amazement at the talent of the marketing people who managed to sell “just water” to appearance-concerned women. I had to explain that it was not “just water”. Thermal water contains minerals and elements which are useful for our skin; it moisturizes and soothes the skin. At this point I exhausted my knowledge on the point under discussion. However, just recently I came across 2 articles on this topic: one from Mini, women’s magazine by Burda (Russia, August 2008) and the other at www.ellecanada.com. I found some interesting facts that I want to share.
First of all, “Thermal” means that the water was located deep underground and its temperature reached 20-63 degrees Celsius. Higher temperature means higher concentration of minerals.
According to Mini, thermal waters are classified based on concentration of salts:
1. hypertonic – high in salts
2. hypotonic – low in salts
3. isotonic – close in composition to blood serum
Thermal waters from Vichy, Avene and La Rosche-Posay are hypertonic.
Thermal Water from Vichy contains 17 minerals and 13 microelements. It is very effective at soothing irritated skin.Vichy water also relieves swelling and strengthens skin’s immune system. Elle Canada quotes Caroline Debbasch, scientific communications director at Vichy Laboratoires International: “Clinical studies show that this mineral-rich water fortifies the skin, restores pH balance and protects against external aggressors like pollution”.
Avene thermal water is rich in silica and can be used on sensitive skin to sooth irritation.
La Rosche-Posay Water is high in selenium and provides natural anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory action.
Water Cauterets doesn’t come in a spray. It is an important ingredient of Galenic’s Cauterets line of skin care. This water contains sulfur and together with Uriage Thermal Water belongs to the isotonic group. Sulfur in Cauteres produces a sebo-regulating and mattifying effect on the skin. According to Mini, Uriage water contains “inert gas nitrogen”. It is highly moisturizing and delivers moisture to the upper layers of epidermis. According to Uriage website, “As well tolerated as a physiological serum, it alters neither the size nor the volume of the cells. URIAGE THERMAL WATER is suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive and reactive.”
I did not find any examples of hypotonic water sprays. Mostly hypotonic waters mentioned in descriptions of SPA facilities offering treatments with water from hypotonic thermal springs.
How to apply thermal water? What kind of rules can there be about applying water?! – you’ll say. Surprisingly enough there are some recommendations. As Mini writes, if you are using a hypertonic water, spray it on the skin and after 30 seconds wipe your skin dry. Otherwise it can cause “loss of hydrofixators of epidermis” and loss of moisture as water will be naturally drawn from the skin to the salt, as the author explains.
There are also other kinds of water sprays that are mostly referred to as mists. But that’s already a different story.