Is Water Really Good for Your Skin?
The short answer to this question is yes. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and to function appropriately it needs to be kept well hydrated.
On average, the adult human body consists of approximately 60% water. Without water, humans would be unable to survive.
Our skin is mostly made of water and our skin loses huge quantities of it throughout the day through perspiration. When the skin is not kept hydrated or is losing more water than it is gaining, it can become dry and irritated.
Having dry skin is not a nice experience for anyone and many people find they suffer from it in winter. The harsh weather and decreased fluid intake takes its toll on our skin. Equally very dry hot weather can have a similar effect.
When the skin becomes dry it can have a blotchy, red appearance or you may have patches of white flaky skin. Why does this happen? Like any other fluid, when we drink water, our blood becomes more fluid. Therefore, our organs can get the water they need from our blood flow. However, when we are dehydrated or not drinking enough water during the day, our organs need to get as much water from the blood as they can so they can keep on functioning.
As a result, our skin noticeably suffers because there is not enough blood flowing to it which causes dryness and irritation. So, you may wake up the next day with dark circles around your eyes or you may find the skin looks more sunken than usual.
Skin Elasticity and Aging
Another important factor to consider is the aging process of the skin. In fact, not drinking enough water can make us look older. When our skin is adequately hydrated it can be quite elastic. You can check the elasticity of your skin with this simple technique:
- Pinch the skin on the back of your hand using your thumb and forefinger
- Hold it for five seconds
- Time how long it takes for your skin to flatten back to its normal position
- The shorter the time the more hydrated your skin is
Naturally, skin elasticity decreases with age. Therefore, the less elastic the skin, the more wrinkles we get. The more hydrated our skin, the younger we look and this is largely helped by water lubricating between the layers of skin which reduces friction. So, elderly people are more likely to have wrinkles, but younger people who do not keep themselves sufficiently hydrated can cause their skin to age quicker than their peers.
Skin Lotions and Potions vs Water
The beauty market is flooded with all kinds of lotions and potions claiming to reduce the appearance of wrinkles or make your skin look younger. Most television adverts claim that the products are full of fancy ingredients with long names which are essential for the health of your skin. Whether or not your skin needs fancy products or not is another matter, but what it really needs is water. Your skin needs to be kept moisturised that is a fact, but drinking sufficient amounts of water should make a big difference to the appearance and feel of your skin.
Water is Good for All Ages
Many skin imperfections result from an imbalance between water and oil on the skin. Therefore, by drinking a good amount of water you will be helping to restore the equilibrium.
Plus, the more water you drink the more toxins you will help to flush out of your body meaning fewer toxins will reach your skin. So, water may also be beneficial for helping to control conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis. In the case of acne, it is important to drink water as sugary drinks can make outbreaks worse.
Overall, water is an essential nutrient which helps to keep our body running at its optimum levels. Without it, we are unable to survive because it has so many vital functions. The average sedentary adult should be aiming to drink around 1.5l of water every day. However, this will likely increase with activity levels. Drinking adequate levels of water will not only keep you healthy but will help to keep you looking young, too.
Choi, J, W., Kwon, S, H., Huh, C, H., Park, K, C and Youn, S, W. (2013). The Influences of Skin Visco-Elasticity, Hydration Level and Aging on the Formation of Wrinkles: A Comprehensive and Objective Approach. Skin Res Technol: 19(1), pp e349-55.
Jéquier, E and Constant, F. (2010). Water as an Essential Nutrient: The Physiological Basis of Hydration. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: 64, pp 115-123.
Palma, L., Tavares Marques, L., Bujan, J and Monteiro Rodrigues, L. (2015). Dietary Water Affects Human Skin Hydration and Biomechanics. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology: 8, pp 413-421.