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This One Change Will Transform Your Skin and Hair

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‘Tis the season for big changes, but can one simple tweak really dramatically improve your skin and hair health? When that change involves your shower filter, the answer is yes. That’s because the water in your shower may contain chlorine, harsh minerals, and even remnants of rust from old pipes—all of which can strip you of moisture from head to toe. Translation: Hair color can fade, eczema can worsen, and strands can lose their luster.

“Data shows there is a worrisome amount of contaminants and chemicals naturally found in tap water that can irritate and dry out your skin and hair,” says Deirdre Hooper, New Orleans-based dermatologist. (Sound all too familiar? Try these Skincare Products Dermatologists Love.)

The most damaging is chlorine, which Hooper says is added to water as a disinfectant but doesn’t quite offer any beauty benefits. When it comes to your skin, it can trigger flare-ups for those with sensitivities like eczema. And the chemical doesn't do your hair any favors, either: “High levels of chlorine dry out the hair cuticle, making it look frizzy and less shiny—not a great combination,” says Hooper. Another downside: it can strip your hair of its color. (Sick of your color anyway? Check out 6 Celebrity Hair Color Ideas to Steal.)

To keep skin soft and hair vibrant, replace your showerhead with a filter that removes almost all (with the T3 Source Showerhead Filter, $130; sephora.com, up to 95 percent!) chlorine from the water stream. Or, for a less expensive option that still blocks out 90 percent of chlorine, try the Aquasana Premium Shower Filter ($60; aquasana.com).

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