The desire to have healthy, elastic, wrinkle-free, and young looking skin dates back to primeval times.1 One of the ways (which is still used today) to try and accomplish this is the ancient practice of bathing in springs and mineral waters.2 However, unlike most conventional practices of lotions, creams, oils, powders and other cosmetics that may not help and/or even have negative side effects,3-10 bathing in specific waters that have reductive characteristics seems to have great therapeutic application.11 One study12 tested a mineral water with reductive characteristics (most likely due to dissolved molecular hydrogen) and a prepared water containing molecular hydrogen. The results revealed that bathing in both of these waters decreased the oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) of human skin.12 This is an important observation because healthy skin has reductive characteristics,13 and the ORP of the skin increases by oxidative damage (from sun exposure) and also by aging (as measured by lipid-peroxide levels). 14 This relationship between red-ox potentials of the skin and aging has been investigated in more detail and shows that reductive waters lower the oxidation of the skin.15,16
Bathing in hydrogen water not only reduced the ORP of skin,17 but also improved its elasticity. Moreover, treating bleached hair with this water gave an improvement in fluency and gloss.17
IONIZED WATER: IMPORTANT RECOMMENDATION
Somewhat ironically, proponents of ionized water advocate using the oxidizing acidic water from the anode,18 as opposed to the reducing water with molecular hydrogen from the cathode. As discussed here, this acidic water is touted as being an astringent for the skin and often referred to as “beauty water”.19 The idea is that because the skin pH is slightly acidic20 then the logical choice would be to use slightly acidic water for the skin. There may be some valid research for this concept to some extent21 simply because high pH water can have negative effects on the skin.
The main problem in using this acidic water from an ionizer is that it generally contains hypochlorous acid (click here for how), which is a strong oxidizer.22 Obviously, this is not the best choice for youthful, young-looking skin.23
The problem with using the reducing (alkaline) water is that its high pH is not good for your skin.21 However, this can easily be overcome by adding a few drops of lemon juice (or other organic acids) to the alkaline water. This gives you the acidic pH and the benefits of molecular hydrogen. The lemon juice itself may also exert beneficial effects.24