It’s hot out there. Seems like just about everywhere is in the midst of a heat wave.
Besides staying cool and out of the heat as much as you can, you probably need to drink more water.
If you don’t, you’re going to get dehydrated. 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 all of your systems running smoothly.
- It transports nutrients and minerals throughout your body
- It helps to get rid of waste products and toxins.
- It helps your body control its temperature through sweating and the opening and closing of your pores.
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 and becomes dehydrated 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 (sweating).
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.
Drinking enough water and being adequately hydrated are critical for health and healthy, glowing skin.
Unfortunately, most people don’t drink enough water.
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 include 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 you’re not drinking enough water, try working up to it. It can really help to carry a water bottle around with you and keep track of how much you drink.
Also it’s best to sip water throughout the day. Slugging down a huge amount at one time means that it won’t be absorbed as well and you’ll be running to the bathroom more than you’d like.
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.
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?
To a point.
Turns out, there is zero evidence our skin cells work that way.
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 probably isn't going to give you a better complexion. But it’s really important to have enough.
What if you don’t love drinking water?
You can add some lemon (helps with detoxification too!), lime or other fruit to your water to give a different taste.
But stay away from sodas and other sweetened drinks. Not only is the added sugar bad for your overall health, it damages and ages your skin (yikes!).
Water dense fruits and vegetables are also an excellent way to get hydration and they’re packed with other great nutrients too, like vitamins (C,A, E) and minerals. Watermelon, apricots, grapes, berries, all come to mind. It's hard to go wrong if you eat a lot of fruits and veggies.
Plus, eating fruits to up your hydration also means you’re adding antioxidants to your diet which are great for both your skin and your health. Inside out and outside in health and beauty.
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 at least the recommended amount of water every day.
Work in some hydrating, skin loving fruits like watermelon and apricots.
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, glycerin, 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.
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