What exactly is thermal water?
A spring is a point at which water flows from an aquifer to the Earth's surface. During this process minerals are dissolved into the water as it passes through underground rocks. When collected correctly, the water is pure, clean and free from pollution. In addition spring water usually has a neutral pH.
A thermal spring is a spring of naturally hot water. The heat is produced by water which rises from the Earth’s crust. These thermal springs are a popular source of tourism all over the world due to their skin healing benefits. Heated water is able to contain more dissolved solids than cold water, so thermal springs often have a high mineral content.
Depending on geographical areas and soil geology, thermal water contains different trace elements. Some are richer in bicarbonate, some are richer in sulphur, some are richer in selenium.
In order to be used for therapeutic purposes, a thermal water is subject to rigorous standards as set out by the Public Health Code. Thermal water is thus used for its many health benefits, especially in dermatology.
We hear a lot about thermal water in French skincare products. Why do French pharmacists use thermal water to heal the skin?
Because thermal water contains minerals with healing properties and is pure without bacteria or pollution, it is recognised for its therapeutic properties, particularly for atopic skins.
Avène Thermal Spring Water has been clinically shown by over 150 studies to soothe, soften and calm the skin for example.
In France, 'les cures thermales" are so popular (and proven efficient) that spa treatments are covered by the government. Doctors even prescribe thermal water treatments for their patients.
Thermal water has been proven to heal arthritis, joint pain and even burns, but nowadays in French parapharmacies, thermal water is mostly used for skin issues, specifically for atopic skins.
Thermal water is particularly recommended to soothe sunburn, irritation, razor burns and even eczema. The composition of the water helps relieve the skin and thus calm most burns. For optimal efficiency in these cases, go for less mineralised water and especially rich in trace elements. They have the ability to help with healing.
Some of France's favourite thermal waters:
The well-known product from Avène is obviously Avène Eau Thermal spring water. French girls use it as a base before foundation to moisturise the skin, or as a refreshing spray during summer.
La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water is naturally mineral-rich and is sourced from a 1,700 year-old spring at the heart of a Medieval French village. La Roche Posay thermal water is valued for its high natural selenium content, a powerful healing antioxidant with neutral PH levels.
Vichy thermal water secret ingredient is the naturally occurring Mineralizing Water, which is rich in 15 rare minerals including calcium, potassium and manganese.Vichy thermal water is sourced in a protected area that’s been preserved from pollution since 1874, this water, pure and 100% natural reinforces skin’s natural defences against daily aggressions.
Uriage Thermal Water has flowed for 75 years through the rocks. As the seasons pass by, it gets enriched with minerals and trace elements. Uriage thermal water is an active Water with a unique mineral composition of 11g/L and an isotonic water that acts, like a physiological serum, in osmosis with the skin’s cells.
All French families have at least one of these in their home pharmacy kit, and of course, the whole family can use it as it is suitable for all ages.