Ask anyone, from celebrities to influencers, their best tips for skincare and they’ll underline the importance of drinking water. Considering our skin is 64% water, it’s a given that water will help your skin. But does it really deserve all the credit it gets for bettering skin health? Let’s see!
Does Drinking Water Actually Hydrate The Skin?
Research suggests, yes! A 2015 research paper published in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigative Dermatology proved a higher water consumption as a part of daily diet improved skin’s physiology, in terms of hydration, especially in those individuals with lower daily water consumption. Another study published in 2018 noted an increase in deep hydration levels with additional dietary water intake.
Further, a 2007 study underscored water’s role in significantly improving skin physiology. The subjects participating showed a significant increase in skin density after drinking more than 2 liters of water for 4 weeks. A different study in 2007 showed drinking 500 ml of water, about 2 cups, increased blood flow to the skin in just half an hour.
Well, I think that’s enough testament to water’s hydration-boosting properties.
Apart from hydration, here’s all the other ways water helps your skin.
- Prevents Premature Ageing: That’s an easy guess. Water boosts skin’s elasticity and suppleness and thus, helps in keeping fine lines at bay. Moisturised, healthy skin from the inside is the ultimate salve to prevent the skin-aging process.
- Prevent Acne: Adult acne is the worst. As someone who has struggled with it on a personal level, it’s surprising how much the innocent act of drinking enough water can help. Dry skin increases oil production and triggers acne, research suggests, so hydrating your skin from the inside can help prevent breakouts.
- Balances Your pH: Water is the key to maintaining a healthy pH balance in the body and regulate metabolic processes. When your skin’s pH is disrupted, bacteria can easily grow and cause conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis, rosacea, etc.
- Faster Healing: Water helps support proper hydration levels, releases toxins from the body, and maintains proper gut health – and all of them support a faster healing process. This means the acne, pigmentation, sunburns, and tanning on your skin will go away faster.
How Much Water Should You Drink To Stay Hydrated?
A simple, expert-suggested method to determine how much water you need in a day is to take your body weight in pounds, divide it into half, and that’s how many ounces of water you need. So, let’s say you weigh 160 pounds, the optimum amount of water for your body is 80 ounces or around 10 cups of water.
As a thumb rule, 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women is the recommended amount of water intake. Of course, if it’s summers or you sweat a lot, you need to drink more. For water to help your skin, you need anywhere between 3-4 liters to see an improvement. There’s no point in exceeding this number though, as the body’s natural fluid balancing system will excrete out the rest. Infusing your water with glow-booster ingredients like mint, ginger, lemon, cucumber, etc. is a great way to add some flavor to drinking water.
Eat Your Water:
Of course, water is the first and obvious source of hydration, but there are some great fruits and vegetables you can eat that will boost hydration-from-within.
- Cucumber: With 95% water content, cucumbers are jam-packed with amazing water content. Its amazing nutrient profile further helps in removing waste from the body and promotes better skin health overall.
- Watermelon: This succulent, delicious fruit boasts of 92% water content and serves as a great summer snack to replenish fluid levels in the body. Plus, it’s filled with antioxidants like lycopene that help combat the aging process in the body.
- Zucchini: A mighty substitute to our carb-heavy pasta yet equally delicious, zucchinis have 95% water and are thus, ranked high on every hydrating food list.
- Apples: Apples are a great snack to munch on, and they are 85% water. They are also a very good source of fiber and are amazing for general health too.
- Cauliflower: With a whopping 92% water content, cauliflowers can make your skin supple with time. It’s also rich in other essential vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B6.
In addition, healthy, supple skin can be a work of plenty of benefactors like eating foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats, cutting out processed foods, limiting alcohol consumption, sleeping for 7-8 hour per night, exercise, plus having a great skincare regimen in place.
Boost Surface Hydration With Skincare Products:
Environmental factors like pollution, pollutants, and seasonal changes can lead to deterioration of skin’s barrier and hence, hydration. To counteract, choose skincare products that contain these 3 types of ingredients:
- Occlusives, that form a protective layer over the skin, like lanolin, petrolatum, and beeswax.
- Humectants, proteins that act like a sponge and pull water molecules together, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
- Emollients that soften and smoothen the rough edges around cells, like oils.
Some natural humectants to include in your DIY skincare are aloe vera and honey. A mask of both will leave your skin dewy and plumped. For a store-bought product, look for hyaluronic and glycerin in the product. Two good options are Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising gel or Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. Make sure you apply your moisturizer on damp skin, so it gets absorbed well into the skin.