Carbonated Water

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    Michael Anders
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    Plain carbonated water is produced by enrichment of regular water with carbon dioxide. This infusion produces the bubbles that we often enjoy in fizzy drinks. Once all the carbon dioxide (in the form of bubbles) has escaped, the water returns to it’s original state.

    In most cases, the addition of carbon dioxide to water reduces it’s pH level to around 5, but this depends on the amount of carbonate dioxides infused into the water. In comparison, regular tap water commonly has a pH in the range of 6-8 (often reported in the upper part of this range) ["Is Your Drinking Water Acidic? A Comparison of the Varied pH of Popular Bottled Waters." Kellie F Wright (April 3, 2017)" rel="popover" data-placement="top" role="button" data-trigger="focus" data-html="true">1].

    The Effect of Washing With Plain Tap Water

    Investigation into the effect of skin washing on skin surface pH has shown that washing with even water alone can have a significant influence on the skin surface pH level (increasing it’s pH) ["Effects of soap and detergents on skin surface pH, stratum corneum hydration and fat content in infants." R Gfatter, P Hackl, F Braun (January 21, 1998)" rel="popover" data-placement="top" role="button" data-trigger="focus" data-html="true">2]. And increases in skin surface pH are known to produce a variety of unfavorable consequences for the skin ["The pH of the skin surface and its impact on the barrier function." M-H Schmid-Wendtner, H C Korting (November 22, 2006)" rel="popover" data-placement="top" role="button" data-trigger="focus" data-html="true">3].

    Washing With Carbonated Water

    Due to it’s acidic nature and long history of beneficial reports for a variety of skin ailments, researchers decided to investigate the impact of carbonated water application to the skin.

    The result of this investigation revealed that regular rinsing of the skin with carbonated water can beneficially influence the skin surface pH ["Effects of CO2-enriched water on barrier recovery." Meike Bock, Nanna Yvonne Schufcrer, Hans Joachim Schwanitz (January 26, 2005)" rel="popover" data-placement="top" role="button" data-trigger="focus" data-html="true">4, "Protective effects of topically applied CO2 -impregnated water." M Bock, H J Schwanitz (June 23, 2016)" rel="popover" data-placement="top" role="button" data-trigger="focus" data-html="true">5]. And this increased pH was presumed to be primarily responsible for the variety of beneficial secondary effects on skin integrity (as compared to regular tap water), including:

    • Decrease in transepidermal water loss (TEWL)
    • Improved stratum corneum lipid availability

    In conclusion, the authors noted that treatment with carbonated water may result in accelerated clearing time of irritation, higher stratum corneum lipid and ceramides contents and overall improvement of barrier function (as compared to washing with regular water).

    Similar Findings from Similar Studies

    Though the above is an isolated trial, other researchers have shown similar results treating the skin with acidic mineral water. The most relevant of these findings include:

    Additional Notes

    • Producing carbonated water at home (with a soda maker) can reduce associated costs and allows the user to manually increase carbon oxide content (further lowering the pH)
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