Water is often touted as the most potent elixir for health. It’s also been hypothesized that one should consume eight glasses of water a day for radiant, dewy skin. However, how accurate is this? Let’s explore.
The Science Behind Skin Hydration
Water is very important for man’s well-being. It’s undoubtedly important, but it’s also important that we understand the physics behind how water is transported within man’s system. Firstly, the water we consume does not go directly to our skin; it is distributed across the body to support bodily functions.
When adequate water is consumed, the body systems function optimally, indirectly benefiting the skin. Water hydrates our cells once it is absorbed into the bloodstream and is filtered by the kidney to excrete waste. So, at the cellular level, consuming water flushes our systems and hydrates our bodies.
While there is a unanimous consensus on the significance of water for overall health and healthcare experts advocate for an increase in water intake over consumption of sugar and caffeinated drinks, no research supports a definite connection between water consumption and its impact on skin hydration in healthy people.
Numerous factors affect the hydration of the skin. We have established the role water plays. Let’s look at some other factors that contribute to healthy, hydrated skin.
- Genetic Predisposition.
- Environmental Factors.
- Dietary and lifestyle choices
- Skincare Routines.
On the flip side, there is no evidence that consuming less than eight glasses of water per day has harmful effects. The only caveat is that severe dehydration can have a negative impact on the skin. Research shows that in extreme cases of dehydration, the skin loses its elasticity or displays a “tenting” effect.
However, many individuals have reported experiencing a more radiant and clearer complexion after increasing their water intake. In essence, water consumption is beneficial for proper hydration and, at the very least, helps prevent severe dehydration.
How To Keep The Skin Hydrated?
- Use gentle cleansers.
- Limit exposure to heavily chlorinated water.
- Avoid skin care products that contain alcohol.
- Avoid exposure to dry air; if possible, acquire a humidifier.
- Use body cream after a shower while the body is damp.
- Incorporate hyaluronic acid into your skincare regimen.
Hydration is efficiently delivered through topical means; the reason is that topical moisturizers are more efficient than drinking water. Moisturizers incorporate three ingredients that suitably benefit the skin.
- Occlusives: e.g., petrolatum. They function as a barrier to prevent moisture loss from the skin.
- Humectants: e.g., glycerine. They act like sponges, drawing moisture to the outer skin layers.
- Emollients: e.g., natural oils (sebum). They work to smooth the areas between the skin cells and the outer layer.
A moisturizer must have all these properties to be able to attract moisture and lock it in for optimal hydration. In addition, to combat dry skin, there are other measures one can take. The product “locks in” moisture; a more graphic description would be “keeping water in a bucket”.
There are products more potent than moisturizers: serums. Serums amplify the hydrating properties of moisturizers, especially when applied to damp skin. Another intense technique is slugging.
It involves layering multiple moisturizing products and sealing them in with a top coat of Vaseline. Slugging is adapted by people with particularly dry skin, as others find the technique too occlusive for their taste.
How Much Water Should I Consume?
A straightforward method to determine your daily intake is by halving your body weight and consuming it in kilograms (or pounds, if you prefer). For example, if your weight is 80 kg, aim for approximately 40 kg of drinking water.
This is quite a lot to consume. If you’re not a fan of water, stay hydrated by eating foods with high water content. According to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, the general recommendation is 57 kg for men and 41 kg for women.
To make hydration enjoyable, infuse lemon, fruits, and vegetables into your drinking water for a homemade spa treatment.
In conclusion, experts attest that consuming water is ideal for optimal hydration and overall body function. If one does not get enough water, the evidence is on the skin. Other takeaways include eating healthy fatty foods, optimizing our living environments, and adapting to healthier lifestyles.