water and skin

How To Improve Your Skin By Drinking Water

Most people don’t think of the skin as an organ, which is why “what is our largest organ?” is a popular trivia question. But our skin is far from a trivial matter. It’s the only physical barrier between us and our polluted world. It takes a beating on our behalf, and we have to hold up our end of the bargain and look after it.

One of the most well-known ways to do that is to stay hydrated. About 20 percent of our daily water needs are met by consuming food. In other words, we’d best get chugging!

Signs of Dehydrated Skin

Summer is awesome. Who doesn’t love blue skies, eating copious amounts of ice cream and chilling on the beach? But the season takes a toll on our skin as higher temperatures mean more water loss in the body. And winter is not much better because low humidity dries out skin too.

There are usually a few tell-tale signs of parched skin:

● Itchy patches
● Fine lines and wrinkles
● Tightness and sensitivity
● Dull and visibly flaking
● Dark circle under eyes

A good way to check if your skin is indeed dehydrated is to do the skin turgor test, commonly known as the pinch test.

Lightly pinch the skin on the back of your hand and pull it slightly up before letting it go. If your skin immediately goes back to looking the way it was, great. That means you’re not dehydrated.

If, however, it takes a few seconds to return to its normal position, you’re most likely in need of some watering. Passing the pinch test is all good and well but your urine needs to look pale too, or you’re not optimally hydrated.

The Benefits of Drinking Water

Although research hasn’t exactly confirmed a positive correlation between water intake and great skin, most models will extoll the virtues of Adam’s ale. And most doctors will say that it’s key to overall good health. But what does water actually do for our skin?

Our blood becomes thick when our organs pull water from it and it, in turn, draws water from skin cells. This can accelerate aging because when your skin is dry it’s more likely to lose elasticity. It cracks and lets in irritating particles which cause blemishes. Drinking water helps to combat this. It can flush out toxins and replenish cells.

For people with oily skin, water may reduce the concentration of oil making you less prone to acne. For people who suffer from dry skin, water can plump skin up, effectively filling in pores and wrinkles. Rachel Nazarian, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital, says that water doesn’t make pores and creases disappear but it does make them look less prominent.

Yes, drinking more water will make you visit the bathroom more often which is annoying, but you’ll also sweat more which removes pollutants from your skin and unclogs pores.

Managing Our Expectations

Water is not a magic wand that’s going to wipe away every imperfection on your face. We all want smooth, dewy skin. Unfortunately, genes are powerful things. Each of us has a skin-type and whether yours is oily, dry or combination, drinking water is only going to do so much.

If you drink loads of water but you’re sedentary, eat food that’s lacking nutrition, rarely use sunblock and fail to limit alcohol and/or cigarettes, you’ll likely continue to have issues with your skin.

It’s also possible that you follow a healthy lifestyle but your skin still looks flawed. A good skin regimen should do the trick. Try to use natural products where possible and visit an aesthetic professional for advice on active ingredients for your specific concerns.

Bottom line – if you increase the amount of water you drink without expecting miracles, you will be pleasantly surprised by the improvement in your skin over the long run.

How Much Water Should I Be Drinking?

Experts suggest drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. Your body can only absorb so much water at a time, so stagger your consumption to avoid overhydration.

And if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like the way good ol’ H2O tastes, dermatologists recommend diluting juice or infusing water with fruit to make it more appealing.