Why I Always Use a Shower Filter

Five reasons to use a shower filter

Most of us know the importance of drinking enough water and filtering it to avoid harmful chemicals or contaminants, but did you know that shower water can be just as harmful (if not more so) than drinking water?

Here’s why:

What’s in Shower Water?

Unfiltered shower water can contain an array of chemicals like chlorine (which we try to avoid whenever possible) as well as bacteria and fungus from the shower head.

The skin is much more than just a covering for the body. It is the largest organ and is responsible for important functions like vitamin d creation and synthesis. It also has the ability to absorb much of what it comes in contact with and we are learning that it has its own unique and important microbiome!

This is why topical magnesium oil works so well and why sunlight is so important.

It is also why a shower filter is so vital:

Chlorine is effective at killing pathogens in the water, but the properties that make it able to do this may affect the skin microbiome and the delicate balance of bacteria on the skin.

These are some of the biggest risks associated with the chemicals in shower water (and the reasons I use a shower filter):

1. We May Absorb More Chlorine Through Showering than Through Drinking Water

It may seem counterintuitive, but showering in chlorinated water can lead to more chlorine absorption than drinking chlorinated water. This is because we typically shower at warm temperatures, which makes absorption easier and because this water is coming in contact with such a large area of the body. In fact, research shows that the chlorine in shower (or bath) water can easily enter the bloodstream as it has a low molecular weight and can easily pass into the body.

Chlorine can also interact with other matter in the water to form harmful byproducts like trihalomethanes (THMs). One of these trihalomethanes is chloroform, which I’m familiar with from my childhood days of reading Nancy Drew mysteries, as it was often used by criminals to cause victims to pass out. Thankfully, it isn’t found in high enough amounts in shower water to cause that severe of a problem, but it certainly isn’t good to come into contact with regularly.

Warm air and water also open lungs, making inhalation of these chemicals easier as well. In fact, a study found a higher than normal concentration of chloroform in the lungs of study participants after a warm shower.

Chemicals absorbed through the skin can enter the blood stream quickly and have a tremendous impact on the body. This is great when it comes to things like topical magnesium that we want to enter the body quickly and in large enough amounts, but not so good when it comes to harmful disinfectant byproducts. This study even showed a greater lifetime risk of cancer and other problems from bathing or showering in chlorinated water than from drinking it.

2. Shower Water Releases Chemicals into the Air in the Home

There are some obvious offenders of indoor air-pollution:

Scented candles release harmful fragrances and paraffin into the air and are a major source of indoor air pollution. Air fresheners and cleaning chemicals are also major offenders, but many of us don’t realize that shower water is also high-up on this list!

The heat of shower water can cause chemicals to vaporize and be released into the air at higher amounts than they are even present in the water itself. The EPA found significant and detectable levels of THMs and other byproducts in indoor air as a result of bath and shower water.

3. Chemicals in Shower Water may Cause Harm to the Skin Microbiome & Irritate Skin

As I already mentioned, the microbiome isn’t limited to the gut. While the importance of beneficial bacteria in the gut is becoming much more well known, there are lesser known “biomes” on the body, including the mouth and skin.

Logically, showering in a disinfecting agent like chlorine that is chemically tested to reduce bacteria in the water  may have a tremendous impact on the skin biome. Many of the effects to the beneficial bacteria are not visible and many people don’t seem to have any noticeable affects, though some experience dry skin, eczema or irritation.

4. Chemicals Present in Shower Water are Linked to Cancer & other Health Problems

As a follow up to the first point, some of the chemicals present in the water supply have been linked to various types of cancers. These chemicals can be problematic enough when consumed in water but are even more harmful when inhaled or absorbed through skin. Chris Kresser explains:

Research conducted on the health effects of chlorinated drinking water have demonstrated a variety of toxicity issues. Several studies have found that communities using chlorinated or chloraminated drinking water have an increased risk of bladder, kidney, and rectal cancers. (456) THMs from chemically treated water have been associated with a variety of poor birth outcomes, such as spontaneous abortion, birth defects, and low birth weight. (7) Chlorine and chloramine vapors are associated with greater risk of asthma, and may damage the mucosal lining of the respiratory tract. (8) Free radicals in chlorinated water have been linked to liver malfunction, weakening of the immune system and pre-arteriosclerotic changes in arteries. (9)

and Food Renegade points out a more specific link between chlorine and breast cancer:

Breast cancer, which now effects one in every eight women in North America, has recently been linked to the accumulation of chlorine compounds in the breast tissue. A study carried out in Hartford Connecticut, the first of it’s kind in North America, found that, “women with breast cancer have 50% to 60% higher levels of organochlorines (chlorination byproducts) in their breast tissue than women without breast cancer.”

Of course, correlation does not equal causation, but in this case, the evidence is strong enough to at least warrant caution and further study. At the very least, I find it worth taking precautions against easy-to-eliminate sources of chlorine exposure by using things like drinking water filters and shower filters.

5. Chloramines May be Even more Harmful than Chlorine

Another chemical often used in the water supply is chloramine, a mixture of chlorine and ammonia. As you may imagine, it has its risks as well and may be even more irritating to the skin and lungs that just chlorine.

Unfortunately, many filters that remove chlorine do not easily remove chloramines, so it is important to research options and address both chemicals when considering shower filters.

As I explained in this post, certain types of Vitamin C can remove chloramines and can be added to a bath to remove chlorine and chloramines in the water, though this is certainly more difficult to add to a shower.

Types of Shower Filters

There are various types of shower filters that are effective against chlorine and chloramines and I’ve personally tried several over the years. Filters may use charcoal/carbon, Vitamin C or KDF (kinetic degradation fluxion). There are pros and cons to each type of filter, including (from least effective to most effective):

  • Carbon filters:  Simple carbon filters like the popular Sprite filters are effective at removing chlorine (though not as effective against chloramines) and with a caveat: They don’t work very well at warm temperatures. In fact, they become less effective the warmer the water gets, making them more effective for drinking water filtration (usually filtered cool) and less effective for shower filters. They are a budget friendly option that can be helpful, especially for those who don’t take really hot showers.
  • KDF filters: Another relatively budget friendly option, a KDF filter is very effective at removing chlorine, but not as effective at removing chloramines. These may be a good option in places where chloramines are not used in the water supply.
  • Vitamin C Filters: My favorite option for removing both chlorine and chloramines. Vitamin C creates a chemical reaction that completely changes chlorine and chloramines, rendering them harmless. These types of filters remove both chlorine and chloramines almost completely and can also benefit the skin. In fact, many people report skin and hair improvements after using these filters. I’ve personally tried the Sonaki brand vitamin C filter with great results and the only downside is that it does require replacement cartridges every few months.

Unfortunately, I’ve never found a shower filter that completely removes chlorine and chloramines (though some, like the Vitamin C filters, remove 90+%). The only filter I’ve found that seems to completely remove chloramines, chlorine (as well as most fluoride and other contaminants in shower water is a completely whole house filter (like this one).

How to Filter Bath Water

For a long time, I filled my children’s bath from the shower head so that the water would run through the filter to remove the chlorine before finding a better way. There is a bath dechlorinator that removes chlorine (and some of the chloramine) in bath water in just a couple of minutes. This is the one I’ve used.

Shower Filters: Bottom Line

Filtering shower water is one simple and relatively inexpensive step that can make a big difference in reducing chlorine and other chemical exposure in the home. Some people (like me) seem to be much more sensitive to chlorine and notice the effects more readily, but these chemicals affect all of us on a cellular level.

Using a simple shower filter or bath dechlorinator is an easy way to remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals in bath and shower water.

Do you use a shower filter? If so, can you tell a difference in your health? 

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Reader Comments

  1. This is a great subject……….I have not had a swim in a swimming pool since I was 14 I am very choosy what ocean water I swim in also….I just could not abide the smell of the chlorine. I do not suffer allergies I just personally could not stomach the stenciling smell! In the days that I was a teenager environmental toxins were not an issue as they are today.
    So now here I am in 2016 looking for a shower filter but I am having a mathematical issue as when the water is flowing through the shower head how could it be possible that it is filtering out all the toxins. I recently learnt that when something is applied to the skin that it only takes 23 seconds for it to reach the bloodstream …….

  2. I hate chlorine and pool chemicals and completely agree with you about swimming in a pool. However, I don’t have a shower filter because my house runs on well and septic, meaning that all household water comes from a well that is 350 feet deep. We are at high altitude and the water is very pure. But you have to watch out because there are government regulations that restrict the use of even private wells. 10 years ago we needed our well pump repaired and the service company chlorinated our well because state laws require it. It took 2 years before the water ran clean again. We do have a vitamin C shower head, which we love!

    There has been a trend in Europe to install “naturally filtered pools” and this is beginning to start in the USA. These two videos are interesting:



  3. Does the vitamin Carpenter filter remove anything other than the chlorine and byproducts? I’ve looked for years for one that doesn’t (I really like how my hair gets so clean with my hard water), but seen nothing that claims to leave the rest in it. Nothing was mentioned at your link,but before shelling out the money, I’d like to be sure

  4. We use a Paragon filter. I haven’t personally tested the water but I do feel a peace of mind using it. according to the literature it removes many contaminants as well as chlorine and is designed specifically for the shower

  5. Thanks for this post! I’ve been thinking about getting a shower filter but am on a major budget. Can you recommend any for more around $30-40? For chlorine.

    • Two of the ones I linked to are in that price range…

      • The last filter is out of stock. 🙁

  6. I have been using water filters in the kitchen for ages. But never thought of its necessity in a bathroom. Never imagined few minutes of unfiltered shower can cause such serious harm to the skin and health. Its time to fit shower filters at my home.

  7. For those that use a shower filter or whole house filter, what do you do to combat the inevitable growth of mold and mildew? After installing a whole house filtration system, it didn’t take long to notice mold and mildew formation in the toilets and shower stall. As it is, we clean once a week but that hasn’t been enough to stay in front of the growth. Any secret remedies out there or is this just a small downside to having clean, filtered water throughout the home?

      • Your comments ending with three dots give an air of hostility. It’s not really necessary.

        • I’m sorry you don’t approve of the way I answer comments on MY blog…

          • I wasn’t going to comment but I really felt I needed to. Anyone who has the time to read into something so insignificant, may have a wee bit of an anger issue. Some people just get angry over everything and anything. It’s silly! With all that is going on in today’s world, let’s be grateful for having someone like our “Wellness Mama” taking the time to help us. I punctuate like this all the time, simply meaning I’m moving on, or sometimes, connecting to something else. Thank you, Katie, for all you do. I think you’re awesome! Now I must move on to having dinner….?

        • I got the same impression, Justine. Glad it wasn’t just me.

          • Actually some people add “…” because they’re moving on to something else. It’s the perception on the other end. Calling a comment “hostile” is almost hostile in itself. Okay, somewhat harsh. WellnessMama works very hard and although I don’t personally know her, I need to come to her defense. Why would she waste her time being hostile to her readers? Sometimes we need to give the other person the benefit of the doubt instead of assuming the worse. Things written online tend to give the wrong impression than what the author intended. However, we should all take responsibility for our on misperceptions… (the “….” was intended to mean that I’m going on to something else early this morning, as in “gotta go now…” Smiles!) Have a beautiful day, everyone!

          • There in lies the problem with communication. It relies in the receiver understanding the intent from the sender. Communication is 93% non verbal. With the written word we miss so much that we insert our own perception. I never considered ellipses a hostile gesture. More like there might be more to say …

          • I am sure there must be many of you with issues that result in your being totally anal….I hope you relax a bit….

        • An ellipsis doesn’t imply hostility at all. Its a way of identifying that the topic continues without resolution. Try not to be so hypercritical in your interpretations. Use your brain. Is there anything else here that is hostile? No, then give benefit of a doubt that there was no hostility implied. Your comment is the only one that’s rude here…

        • Justine, I am afraid that you are mistaken. I have spent way too much of my life learning grammar and punctuation and “…” does not imply an “air of hostility. In the past, I have taken two college level classes on business communications and the professors were very clear on what was rude and what wasn’t. Ellipses were never mentioned. They are commonly used in quotations to show that the quotation is incomplete.

          I took many writing classes in college because, frankly, I am not very good at it. I needed to improve my skills. Two of my eight intensive writing classes were Writing for Business and Industry and Writing Grant Proposals. I also took a business writing class for Spanish/International business (writing business letters in Spanish). This was years ago but I spent many hours dealing with improving my punctuation and grammar. (Unfortunately, while my grammar and punctuation improved, I am still a crap speller.)

          To double check, I consulted “Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition” and “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.” I might have missed something but I am confident that if this form of punctuation is rude, it would have been bashed into my head at some point.

          In either case, I feel that it was a breach of etiquette to correct Katie as you did. When visiting a blog, we are guests. I wouldn’t correct my host’s or hostess’ table manners because my correction would be bigger infraction than the original offense.

          My apologies if you think this is rude. I don’t mean to be. I have to finish now to leave to pick up a kid after practice….


    • You probably need better ventilation in the bathroom. We have an old house with a fairly new addition. The original bathroom tends to get mold and mildew and the newer bathroom never does even though we remodeled the old bathroom around the same time the addition was done. They are used about the same amount for showers. The new one just has better ventilation, even without a window. Chlorine bleach is the most effective mold killer out there so it makes sense to me that you may see some mold once you remove the chlorine from your water if ventilation is a problem. The steam goes everywhere.

      Maybe you need the fan to run longer after a shower or leave the door open if possible for a while to dry the bathroom out as much as possible now that the chlorine is removed from the water. We run the fan longer in the old bathroom after a shower and open the window when the weather is nice (faces some trees and sits high so nobody is putting on a free show). Even so, I still need to clean the ceiling (where I get the mold) every so often with bleach and repaint every few years. I know that there are alternatives to bleach but I haven’t found one that actually works well enough for the problem area.

    • Try using white vinegar. Its natural and non toxic and kills 99.9% of germs.

      Also tea tree oil is great for disinfecting.

      Also talk to the installer/plumber about this



      • When in doubt, give the benefit of the doubt to someone who’s a caring person like Wellness Mama! 😉 Smiley faces and a caring well wish go a long way when communicating through the written word. We are all busy though, and sometimes we can come across in a way we don’t mean. Haven’t we all? Wellness Mama is helping a lot of people with her information, and I’m very appreciative of that!

        Wellness Mama stating she doesn’t have the same mold issue should be helpful to the OP. I’m wondering if there is mold in the air, and now without the extra chlorine, the mold is growing with greater ease. Home Depot and Lowe’s have mold test kits that might help. Good luck!! 🙂

  8. Katie, you are so smart and knowledgeable about many things. My wife and I so often benefit from your blog and we are grateful to you.

    I must say that on this, however, I imagine there’s an alarmist view about the shower water.

    Case in point, the kids at the pool all summer long. The concentration of chlorine in the water is much higher there. By comparison, the shower seems fairly innocuous, wouldn’t you agree?



    • Definitely. Compared to a pool, shower amounts are typically much lower, but personally, we avoid chlorinated pools as well (and use a pool that has UV and hydrogen peroxide filtration.

  9. Can you cite sources for skin absorption? I love your blog and am a longtime reader, but I am also a biologist. I can’t get past the fact that our skin is actually a protective barrier against outside substances. The top layer or stratum corneum is actually a thick layer of dead cells, not to mention that it would take a lot for a substance to not only penetrate the layers of skin, but penetrate far enough to be absorbed by the body into the bloodstream. Our skin is just not an absorbent organ; it functions actually quite the opposite!

  10. Katie, I want you to watch the documentary called Cowspiracy. Given yesterday was Earth Day, I watched it and was blown away by what I saw. I think someone very influential like yourself would highly benefit from its contents.


  11. Dear Wellness Mama,
    Thank you for this article, I think I will get a vitamin c Sonaki filter. They are sold out, probably because of your article!

    I love reading your articles, your mattress article turned me on to fire retardant issue. I cannot afford to make all these changes at once. I start to feel like the whole world is toxic. (Maybe it is?) But it is anxiety inducing which also impacts my health. Could you give us any resources for dealing with these feelings?

    • That is actually a topic I’ll be writing about very soon. It’s definitely not possible to be 100% healthy all the time, and you can only do so much. Just do your best with the resources that you have and continue do more as you can. Thanks for reading!

      • Great point. Thanks! I have wondered why I feel weaker and drained after a shower. I have an autoimmune disease and chronic neutropenia. I will look into a chlorine filter for shower and kitchen. Thank you so much Ms. Mama!

    • Rhea,

      I am so glad you said that, I feel that way too. Ever since the economy crashed in 2006, our income has continued to decrease. I began to suffer with back problems in 2010, that was the beginning of declining health to the point of being unable to work. I’ve tried the allergen diet, paleo, eliminating plastic, teflon, etc, which is so expensive and gets harder all the time. After reading the post on making your own vegetable bags then going shopping, it hit me, I buy meat at the grocery store, it comes wrapped in plastic, some of it frozen, I felt hopeless, how do I get meat without the plastic? I can’t buy a cow on food stamps, I can’t buy GMO, or supplements, or essential oils, on food stamps.

      I’ve followed wellness mama and mommypotams for years and tried to eat healthy, high protein, always been active, and yet I’ve been hit with autoimmune disability at age 35 and it seems the harder I try to be healthy, the worse I get. It seems the more time goes on, the more information comes out that everything in our society is bad for us and the only way to get the healthy stuff is to make more money, but we don’t all have that option.

    • Awesome post.

      I too can understand how Rhea and others feel about feeling anxious with everything being considered toxic. I actually started having panic attacks at one point in my life over it. I found a great deal of help from listening to Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo whom I just found on a recent Hormones Summit in April. She talks about trying as much as we can to lead a healthy, non-toxic life, but to realize we can’t be completely NON-TOXIC in life. However, according to Dr. Ritamarie, besides things like water filters, shower filters and air purifiers, we can eat healthy foods that can also help us to detox some of the things in our body.

      I find Dr. Ritamarie’s approach very balanced and freeing. I also like Magdalena Wszelaki’s approach too as she speaks about eating not just “well” but “right” for our specific body (i.e., thyroid, FODMAPS, candida, etc.). She also believes in gentle cleanse for detoxing.

      So, along with the shower filters, water filters and air purifiers, it’s great to know there are foods and herbs to help with further detoxing of chemicals.

      I would caution though that a balanced approach be taken. For example, we’ve gotten so “sanitized” in this world that we started using antibacterial soaps, etc. that made us more prone to viruses, toxins, etc. In fact, if I recall correctly, I think Katie Wellnessmama did a post about something like it. (Sorry if I’m thinking of the wrong blogger, Katie.). In other words, we can be too overly sanitized and then have no defenses from the slew of products we slather on us to supposedly protect us. I know from my own experience. I paid for using antibacterial soaps and lotions for years. Messed up my skin terribly, my hormones, etc. Now I do not use these products but instead have made my own healthy version – organic aloe gel, a few drops of therapuetic grade tea tree oil and organic witch hazel – and use it only after washing my hands from cleaning the kitty litter box OR if I’m traveling on public transportation and need to use the mixture.

      After being ill and finding out it was a good deal from being overly sanitized, as well as not eating “right” for me, I figure, I’m going to go home to the great beyond one day…I’d rather be less sanitized and feel great (which I am started to amazingly do so) along the way.

      Don’t know if this helps, but I just wanted to share my personal journey.

      Peace and blessings to us all!

  12. Do any of these remove only the chlorine and chlorammine? I love my hard water and most shower filter reviews seem to take out the minerals too.

    • The Vitamin C one shouldn’t take out minerals too from what I can tell.

  13. The problem with your choices of water filter and bed mattress alone is that most of us can’t afford them. Just those 2 things alone are close to 10,000.00 for a small family. It seems like everyone in the paleo community got together and started promoting these products at the same time. These aren’t practical options for hard working families in this financial atmosphere. Give us answers we can afford.

    • Hi Susan, I completely understand where you’re coming from as I’ve been there myself. My goal is to provide the best health resources I can, and unfortunately, the best is most often not the most economical. It’s an incredibly tough balance, and one that I plan to write more about soon. You see, if I only promote the best items, I catch flack from readers saying they’re the most expensive, but if I promote the most economical, I catch flack from readers saying the quality is inferior. The truth is I cannot please everyone no matter what I write about or promote, so I choose to write about what has worked for me and my family, but may or may not work for you, based on your own health issues or financial situation.

      The good news though is that since there is so much interest in natural and organic products, there are more and more available options coming to market that can meet the needs of (almost) any budget.

      Thanks for reading and for commenting!

      • Wellness Mama,

        In this [unfortunate] list of negativity, I wanted to say that I appreciate all that you do to educate us and share your thoughts, opinions, and ideas to make us all healthier. Although I may not be able to afford everything you link here, it gives me a starting place to research on my own to find what comparable product I can afford and save for the “better” products in the future.

        I appreciate you, those that do not might remember a lesson from childhood – If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Add a modern day modification – If you don’t like what you’re reading, go to another blog.


    • She does talk about affordable options. I know she has written about mattress wrapping which is very cheap compared to a new mattress. In this article even she mentions filters that are quite affordable. I know this is a crazy thought, but you could just do your own research and find stuff that way if her answers aren’t good enough for you.

  14. Is this type of filter needed if you have well/spring water? (We live in a rural area).

    • You would need to get your water tested, but there are very few water sources that perfectly clean…

      • I’m in the same situation. Well and septic. What should our water be tested for and if chlorine or chloramines are not found, but other toxic things ARE found, would we still use the same type of filters? Thanks.

        • I’d personally use a Vitamin C filter for chlorine/chloramines and an activated charcoal filter for other contaminants.

  15. Thanks for the post. When I bought a Berkey for our home I also purchased the shower filters. It is time for new ones though. Have you tried these? I was also wondering what to do about going to the pool for the summer. We have a membership to a club and go 5 days a week for 2-3 hours. I’m sure it’s not a good thing but I’ve taken a lot of things from my kids and if I take the pool my family might loose it ?.Trying to find balance! So glad to see in the comments that you are going to do an article about that.

  16. I love my multipure shower filter, I notice a huge difference in my skin and smell in the shower! You can get them on Amazon or from a rep.
    I use the multipure for my sink as well for drinking and have it run to my instant hot! My Natropath and nutritionist both recommended them!

  17. Any other recommendations for shower filter? The last one is out of stock and may never be restocked. : /

    • Just checked and it looks like they are re-stocking in a couple of days. I tried another brand and definitely wouldn’t recommend it!

  18. Hi Katie,
    I’m curious to know what you do when you travel. I use a vitamin c filter at home, but when I travel for work or pleasure, I’m left having to shower without a filter and my skin quickly dries out. Are there any travel filter options you recommend? Thank you!

    • Not that I’ve found yet. This has been a constant struggle for me, and I’m still researching the best way to handle it.

    • I used to take my shower handle with me, that was a long time ago, I”m not saying it was a good filter. but they all connect pretty much the same way. The one I had, the filter was in the handle. So you take the hotel one off & put your own on, just be careful because some of the hotel ones are already in very poor shape. and be careful not to over-tighten.

    • I shower less when I travel and instead use a washcloth and soap or wipes. I still stay clean, I just don’t drench myself in chemicals this way. A daily shower isn’t necessary for most of us anyway–it’s more of a luxury. I use powders and dry shampoos on my hair so it stays clean longer–this helps a ton!

  19. This is so important, especially for young people, as chemicals used to treat the tap water can affect hormone levels and cause acne; thus, instead of using harsh chemicals on the skin to get rid of acne, oftentimes just using a shower filter can solve the problem. The same goes for bacterial issues, as mentioned in this article: chemicals can throw off the natural bacteria and cause serious problems.

  20. What are your thoughts on the Berkey shower filter? I’ve been using one for the past several months and love it!

    • It seems great too, but I think it only removes chlorine and not chloramines, but check with your water supply to see if that is even an issue.

  21. My berkey doesn’t filter chloramine, is this normal

  22. Looking over the comments, I haven’t seen a reference to well water vs. municipal water. Are you saying that these chemicals are in all water, or only water from municipal sources? We have hard well water and use a water softener with regular softener salt, but otherwise the water is free from chemicals and chlorine as far as I know. Would you use a shower filter with this water?

    • The main purpose is the remove chlorine from municipal water sources so if yours doesn’t contain it, you shouldn’t need a filter 🙂

  23. I have looked at shower filters for years but I never got one for one simple reason. I love having a handheld shower head so I can move it all over my body. I’ve never found a filter that would fit between the shower piping and the handheld shower head. Every one I’ve seen is for a stationary shower head. Suggestions??

    • This one may work, depending on if there is any room on the pipe in your shower where it comes out of the wall before it attaches to the handheld shower head

  24. We have a whole house water filter. Would you suggest a shower filter in addition? I am not sure what kind of filter it is, will have to look into it. Just curious. And also glad to hear that you will be doing an article in anxiety. I have recently learned more about organic foods, environmental toxins, GMO s, etc. And it is easy to feel overwhelmed. I’m a new subscriber. Looking forward to reading more!

    • It would depend on if the whole house filter removes chlorine or chloramines as this is what the shower filter is most helpful with.

  25. I feel very fortunate to live in an area with an amazing water co-op. They very rarely add chlorine, maybe once a year in the summer, and instead use reverse osmosis and UV light to keep our water clean and tasting awesome.

  26. My water comes from our own well. We also have a traditional septic system. We also use a water softener. Should I be using a drinking/shower water filter? What would I need to filter for? Thank You.

  27. Katie, thank you so much for this article. We purchased a Berkey last year and LOVE it. I have a question about filtering the shower water. Would this still be necessary for us as we live out in the middle of nowhere and have a well? Would our well water have these things in it? Thank you so much!

    • You would need to have the water tested to know for sure, but with the amount of pollution that is so prevalent, it’s quite likely your water isn’t as pure as you’d hope.

      • Thanks for your quick reply! Will be getting our water tested!

  28. We have well water (water than comes from a ground source, not treated at a water treatment plant). Would you still recommend filtering this type of water? It’s something I’ve considered, but never pursued because I don’t want to spend money unnecessarily.

    • Have you ever had your water tested? It would really depend on if it contains chlorine or cholramines or not.

  29. Awesome articles, Wellness Mama! While doing searches for things online, your posts come up the most and usually has the best information, as well. You’re doing a great job and a great service for all of us.

    Unfortunately, I noticed that you also get some grief from some who what all the right answers, as well as, the right tone. I think we may sometimes come from an entitlement mentality and expect you to give us everything we need, and do it now.
    But, you obviously supply what, or some of what, we are looking for or we wouldn’t be here. And we are free to continue our own searches when we need more advice with cheaper versions of what you recommend, etc. Great job, and thanks for all the research you do and your willingness to share it with the rest of us! Blessings on your day to day!

  30. I shower at my health club more than home, but unfortunately they don’t have shower filters. I’ve done a few things to minimize being exposed to the bad stuff in the water, but does it work?
    I’ve done the following:

    1) Shower with cooler water: hoping the skin pores are smaller and less absorbent.
    2) Shower, then head into the sauna for a couple minutes, until a sweat almost breaks, then towel off. (someone mentioned to me that might make it worse, but I don’t see why).

    What do you think? Any other ideas / knowledge on this subject?

  31. I recently purchased a shower filter that can be refilled without needing brand-specific cartridges. There is a chamber that can be filled with carbon and a chamber that can be filled with “your favorite bath salts”. Is it possible to buy loose vitamin c (not sure what form to look for) to use in my filter instead of carbon? Also, does vitamin c help with hard water buildup on hair? Thanks!

    • I don’t know about your first questions, but from a chemistry standpoint, vitamin C would probably not help with that. Hard water is caused by positively charged ions like magnesium and calcium. To attract those away from hair, you’d need negatively charged ions. Ascorbic acid, aka vitamin C is also positively charged. No clue what to suggest but maybe baking soda? It’s something you add to water that makes it more alkaline

  32. I was wondering about salt-water pools, though intuitively, I think I know the answer. Finding this kind of information is really hard, all I can find is toxic exposure to chlorin gas, as if I just inhaled a bunch of chlorine, not went swimming. Our pools here recently switched to salt water for disinfection. This works by making the pool salty (NaCl) then the salt water is passed through electricity to separate the Chloride ion (Cl-) from the Sodium ion (Na+). just wondering if this has the same effect has chlorinated water?

    Its supposed to better for you. Some of the drinking water systems use it too on the other coast.

  33. I started using one about 6 months ago, I just stopped in at home depot and grabbed one that filtered chlorine and other contaminants. It is at the end of it’s life cycle so I will have to try some of these other kinds out. Thanks!

  34. Love this! Thanks for mentioning the bath. I had no idea they made the bathtub ball s:) I am ordering. I usually just run a bath with the shower head filter lol (for my kids). I use aquasana and have had GREAT results!

  35. Amazing thread…wow the things that came up….water revealing it all!! Your skin is the largest organ on the body and definitely absorbs everything! It is very important to get the toxins out of the water and ideally with a whole house filter…and if not, then a shower filter. Hot water definitely gets absorbed even more into your skin. Thank you for posting this article Wellness Mama!! Keep them coming!…!!!

  36. I have heard ‘reverse osmosis’ filters are one of the best type of filters for drinking water. Apparently it can remove most chemicals found in drinking water, even medicines residues. I was wondering if you have heard of ‘reverse osmosis’ filter and what is your view on it.

  37. Thanks for all your great articles and being such a wonderful resource.

    Question about this article … I’ve read that Vitamin C takes at least several minutes to neutralize chlorine and chloramines, which makes me think that a Vitamin C shower filter wouldn’t be terribly effective for the person showing (since I assume the water would have, at most, just a few seconds of exposure to the Vitamin C before hitting your body). I’d love for that information to be wrong, since a Vitamin C filter would be much cheaper than a good whole house filter. Thoughts?

  38. Do you know if the Berkey Shower Filter is good? That is the brand I have been using for a few years now. I definitely have noticed a difference in my hair and skin, but I want to make sure it is as good as the other brands you recommend. I know you speak highly of the Berkey Water Filter, I own the Big Berkey and I love it 🙂
    Thank you so much for all the research you do btw, I love your blog!

  39. Thank you for this! Do you know for a family of four how long the Sonaki filter would last? According to their website they are saying we should be good for 18 months.

  40. Hi , I was reading your other article about the 14 stage filter . Will a shower filter still be necessary after getting the 14stage system ? I am looking into getting this installed .

  41. hi there! we’re in the process of purchasing a shower filter.. I saw two of your posts on shower heads and I’m wondering which you feel is best? thanks so much! and THANK YOU for all your awesome healthy info!!!! you’re amazing!



    • I personally like the radiant life one best

  42. I’ve been to so many shower water filter sites and you’re the first person to lay it out honestly. Thank you. In my opinion…the VERY FIRST STEP is to contact the water company where you live and ask if they put chloramines or chloride in the water. Only THEN can one make an educated purchase using your website as a guide.

  43. Wellness Mama,
    Thank you so much for all you do. You are a wealth of information. I am w seeing if you have any recommendations for shower head filters for well water or your thoughts on whether it’s necessary. I’ve thought about getting one for a while and your article was a motivating factor!

  44. I think I read through all the responses but didn’t see your response to Sara at #9. Can you cite scientific studies demonstrating that our skin actually absorbs chemicals in harmful quantities? I’m ready to accept proof but it seems to me that if our skin could absorb toxins that easily we would be in a world of trouble since we come in contact with all kinds of chemicals on a daily basis. Sara’s observation makes a lot of sense. This is why I don’t buy all the hype about essential oils. It would be a scary world indeed if our skin didn’t protect us! We are fearfully and wonderfully made as Psalm 139 tells us. Thanks for your great website.

    • Great question. I actually have a post in the works about it, but a couple of short examples that come to mind:
      -Nicotine patches and birth control patches both rely on absorption through the skin and are harmful in large quantities
      -In the same way, I know people who worked in tobacco field when it was wet who got violently ill from absorbing too much nicotine through the skin
      -The CDC warns about the dangers of certain substances being absorbed through the skin: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/skin/

      Also, research has revealed that skin absorption occurs via diffusion, the process whereby molecules spread from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration. Three mechanisms by which chemicals diffuse into the skin have been proposed:

      Intercellular lipid pathway
      Transcellular permeation
      Through the appendages

  45. Thank you for bringing the importance of shower filters to our attention! We have a few questions. First, do any of the shower filters also work to help eliminate fluoride, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals from fracking? Second, we read the reaction between ascorbic acid and chloramine takes a minimum of four minutes? If that’s correct information, how would a shower filter really work? And last, would various citrus essential oils and cheap vitamin C tablets work in our bath tub?

    Also, we would like to point out the huge water waste by using reverse osmosis. Hauling water is very common in our area. After losing our well, we now haul into two underground cisterns. This practice has taught us the preciousness of water.

  46. We’ve used a water softener system for years for our well water and I am convinced (after trying for years to find the reason) that my extremely dry hair is due to the salt content. Do you have any recommendations for a shower filter that would help reduce the salt?

    • A vitamin c filter might, or I also know some people have good results using a diluted apple cider rinse for a final rinse to counteract the salt.

      • Hi Katie! You recommended two shower filters- one from Amazon & another from radiant life. Do you think they are equal? Or do you have a preference? Thx for all you do!

        • They work a little differently, so it is hard to compare, but I do like the one from Radiant Life better personally.

  47. it’s good to attach a vitamin c filter with chlorine filter ??