Sometimes your skin can’t seem to catch a break. In the winter, cold gusts and freezing weather make it feel dry and lackluster, while in the summer, the harsh sun and humidity can cause excess oil production and heat rashes.
But there’s another reason your skin isn’t looking as great as it should be — one that you may have overlooked. Luckily, unlike the elements, dehydration is something we do have control over. It all starts by simply sipping more water.
That’s right, no matter how many fancy creams you apply topically, your skin could be looking sallow because you’re not drinking enough H2O.
Registered holistic nutritionist Andrea Donsky gives us some tips on how to stay quenched. “The rule of thumb is to drink half your weight in ounces to maintain proper health and hydration,” she says. Because our body is made up of roughly 70% water, drinking water helps get our cells and organs to function properly.
Water “regulates our body temperature, and helps to move things along in our colon so we can eliminate properly (otherwise we can become constipated). Water also helps to flush impurities from our body, helps to keep our weight in check, and makes our skin less wrinkly,” Donsky notes.
According to her, dehydrated skin is anything but glowing.
“When we are dehydrated, our skin can lose its lustre and appears dull. It can become inflamed, rough, flaky, show fine lines and wrinkles, and feel dry. It can also show signs of premature aging. We can get acne, and when our liver and kidneys are overloaded with toxins, they are eliminated through our skin because it is our largest organ and [is] often referred to as the third kidney.”
Having trouble downing your recommended eight glasses? Get creative with your beverages by using a Sodastream to make your own sparkling drink in seconds. Even better, add flavours to your carbonated water — like cucumber slices, strawberries, lemons and limes — to create your own delicious “soda” without the sugary drawbacks. Eating water-rich fruits and vegetables can help too. “Watermelon, cucumbers, celery and strawberries are all made of 90% water,” says Donsky.
Kim Davies, global director of luxury skincare brand Omorovicza says that not only drinking, but bathing in thermal spa water has a multitude of benefits as well.
“The curative properties of the Hungarian thermal waters have been known for centuries. The thermal springs are enriched with elements such as magnesium, calcium and zinc which help increase the blood flow and circulation, ease arthritis and more importantly skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis,” Davies mentions.
“Dehydrated skin is a lack of water (not oil) in the stratum corneum or top layer of the epidermis. Soaking in highly concentrated mineral water heats up your body temperature thus killing harmful germs and viruses, eliminating toxins, increasing metabolism, and absorption of essential minerals, which help to keep the body hydrated. Once hydrated the skin will appear plumper, smoother and more youthful.”
But it’s locking in your skin’s moisture with hyaluronic acid that’s key, Davies says. Hyaluronic acid is known to replenish moisture and can one gram of the stuff can hold up to 6 litres of water.
Omorovica’s Elemental Emulsion Moisturizer, Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream and Mychelle Dermaceuticals Serious Hyaluronic Moisturizing Gel all contain this moisture binding ingredient that plumps skin and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Alternatively, you can also use a hyaluronic acid serum (The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is under $7) before your face cream. Make sure you’re hydrated for optimal results.
The takeaway from all of this? Drink up, seal in that moisture and reap the rewards of beautiful skin. Plus, with our favourites like Beyoncé, Gabrielle Union, Taraji P Henson and Jennifer Aniston all crediting their radiant skin in part to drinking water, there’s gotta be something to it.