Water and hydration: What you need to know

Does drinking water really help your skin is a subject of debate. There’s no question that drinking water is good for your overall health. There are several reasons why you want have a sufficient amount of water every day. It aids in digestion, circulation, absorption, excretion and even helps to limit body temperature changes. Water also helps to energizes muscles. Without the proper balance of fluids and electrolytes, cells can shrivel resulting in muscle fatigue.


Regarding your skin, water is important but not necessarily the fountain of youth that many claim and here’s why. Skin cells, like other cells in your body, need water to function properly. In fact, the water in your skin serves as protective barrier to prevent against extra loss of fluid.  When you are not sufficiently hydrated, your skin will appear dry and tight and may even flake. But by overhydrating, you won’t be able to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. That’s because before even reaching your skin, the water you take in will go to all the other organs in your body first. When you are sufficiently hydrated, the kidneys then take over handling the necessary elimination of excess fluids.


So while you want to drink a sufficient amount of water every day, since it helps bodily functions and rids your body of toxins and because you lose large quantities every day, don’t count on turning on the tap to provide sufficient skin hydration. What many skin specialists recommend to lock in moisture is to apply a moisturizer to your skin a few minutes (3 to 5 minutes is generally advised) right after a bath or shower when your skin is still damp. The moisturizer will lock in the water that is still on your skin and help hydration.


More hydration tips


Turn down the water temperature:” Hot showers and baths can be very relaxing but the hot water dries out the skin and removes too much of your natural oils.  Keep the moisture in by turning down the water temperature.  Water should be lukewarm – just a little warmer than your body temperature.  


Use a humidifier: Especially in dry winter months, try adding a humidifier to your home to put back some of the moisture into the air.


Exfoliate: When you exfoliate, you are actually removing dead skin cells that lie on the surface of the skin. Removing these dead cells makes skin softer and smoother. Also once these dead skin cells are removed, it’s easier for facial or body care products to penetrate the surface of the skin.


Use gentle cleanser:  Avoid harsh cleansers. Look for ones that area unscented or soap-free or use a mild soap cleanser.


While nothing can completely turn back the cloud on aging skin, tips like these can help keep skin hydrated to look more glowing. Also consider retinol products such as True Results Retinol Active Skincare. Retinols achieve their anti-aging results by protecting skin from free radicals and prompting surface skin cells to turn over and die rapidly so that new skin cells can grow. Retinols also slow down the breakdown of collagen, the protein in skin that gives it strength and durability.





Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD “6 Reasons to Drink Water”, WebMD

The Benefits of Drinking Water for Your Skin, University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine and Public Health