It’s hot out there. August seems to be hot every where. Especially this year. I don’t know about you, but since there are fewer places to go and still stay socially distanced, I’ve been spending a lot of time outside and close to home.
Mostly I’ve been running more. I’ve gone from slogging out 2 miles a couple of times a week to doing 4-6 miles every other day. I’m probably not going to be running races any time soon, but the extra work feels good.
As long as I remember to drink more water.
Heat, altitude, and exercise mean you need to drink more water.
If you don’t, you’re probably going to be dehydrated (like I was until I got into the habit of drinking enough water for my new higher activity level). You’ll feel sluggish, irritable, foggy, headachy, and you might not sleep as well.
Plus, your skin won’t look so great either.
Water is the key
Water is key for keeping your systems running smoothly. It transports nutrients and minerals throughout your body and helps to get rid of waste products and toxins.
The average adult human body is about 60 percent water. Skin is about 63 percent water. When your body doesn’t get enough water, it prioritizes keeping vital organs like the brain, lungs, and liver hydrated. Your skin takes the hit to keep the other organs working well.
One of the many important things your skin does is to maintain the right amount of water in your body. It regulates moisture by controlling evaporation out of your body. It also keeps too much water from being absorbed through the skin barrier. This is why you don’t blow up like a sponge when you take a shower.
Your skin is one of the first places that too little water will show up
Well hydrated skin cells are like a nice plump grape. If you’re dehydrated, your skin cells don’t have as much water in them and might start to look more like raisins. Not good for your skin cells and not a good look for you.
A 2007 study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science took an in-depth look at the effects of long-term adequate water intake on skin health. The study found that drinking 76 ounces (9.5 cups or 2.25 liters) of water every day for four weeks altered skin density and thickness in a good way.
A second study from the University of Missouri-Columbia showed that drinking 500 milliliters of water (about two cups) increased blood flow to the skin. This means more nutrients, minerals and waste removal for your skin.
How much water do you really need?
We’ve all heard 8-8oz glasses a day.
Half your weight in ounces is another popular rule of thumb (so if you weigh 150 lbs., you would shoot for 75 ounces).
For another take, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
- About 15 1/2 cups of fluids for men, which is 125 ounces or 3.7 liters
- About 11 ½ cups of fluids a day for women which is 91 ounces or 2.7 liters
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks (which means you’re back to 65-100 ounces). Most of the fluids should be good old water.
If it’s hot, humid, if you’re exercising, or sick with diarrhea, you’ll need more.
You’re probably doing ok with your hydration if you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light colored.
If enough is good, is more better?
We’ve all seen celebrities with beautiful skin that credit their glow to drinking lots and lots of water.
And if you think about the grape, more water would make it even plumper right?
Turns out, there is zero evidence our skin cells work that way.
In one study out of Israel researchers asked one group of participants to drink more than the recommended eight glasses of water per day, and another group to drink less. After four weeks, they couldn't quantify any marked difference in skin smoothness or aging between the two groups.
There have been a only a few studies done comparing the effect of high water consumption on skin. It’s hard to study because the water you drink doesn’t go directly to your skin cells. It’s used and circulated through your whole body.
These few comparative studies that haven’t shown any difference in the skin of people of who consumed a normal adequate amount of water and those who drank much more over a period of time.
Conclusion: Guzzling more water than the recommended amount isn't going to give you a better complexion.
If your skin is dry or flaky
It’s best to take an inside out and an outside in approach. Make sure you’re drinking about the recommended amount of water every day.
And work from the outside in with a good skin care routine.
Moisturizer is the single most effective step you can take to get and keep more moisture in your skin.
Gently wash with warm (not hot!) water, apply your serum, and top with moisturizer.
The hyaluronic acid and other moisture helpers in the serum will draw moisture to your face.
The moisturizer will help to seal in hydration and also slow trans epidermal water loss (TEWL-water evaporating through your skin barrier) so your skin has a chance to heal itself.
Stay away from irritating or drying products. They’ll only make things worse.
So there you have it-a beauty myth busted and some solid numbers on how much water you should be drinking.
And, of course, I have to mention…if you’re spending even more time outside, remember to reapply sunscreen every few hours and use anti-oxidant, moisturizing skin care products like Dew Drops Vitamin C serum, SunUp antioxidant moisturizer in your morning skin care routines.
- Wolf R, Wolf D, Rudikoff D, Parish LC. Nutrition and water: drinking eight glasses of water a day ensures proper skin hydration-myth or reality? Clin Dermatol. 2010;28(4):380-3. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.03.022
- Popkin BM, D'anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, hydration, and health. Nutr Rev. 2010;68(8):439-58. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x