Water hydrates your body; therefore drinking it must lead to hydrated, healthy skin… right? Wrong! In the past, it was believed that drinking lots of water led to glowing, vibrant skin, but the reality is that the amount of water you drink most likely has little to do with the quality of your skin. I think it’s time we start debunking this water = skin hydration myth, and tell you what actually DOES work instead.
Why It DOESN’T Work
- When your skin is dry, what it requires most are certain ingredients that help to reduce trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). Drinking water will not help with this - but the right products and certain other factors will.
- Unless you are severely dehydrated, drinking lots of water will not prevent dry skin. Dermatologists say that the moisture level of skin is not determined by internal factors. It’s EXTERNAL factors that play a crucial role in skin hydration.
- Skin cleansing, the environment, the number of oil glands, and the functioning of these oil-producing glands are what determine how moisturized your skin is- not water consumption.
- When you drink water, it doesn’t go straight to your skin. Water goes through the intestines, gets absorbed into your bloodstream, is filtered by kidneys, then hydrates cells- leaving little left to moisturize skin.
What DOES Work
- A good moisturizer is probably the best at instantly improving the look and feel of dry skin. Two key ingredients to look for in a moisturizer are humectants and occlusives. Humectants draw moisture from the dermis to the epidermis while occlusive ingredients seal in moisture and protect the skin. Hyaluronic acid is one of the most common humectants while shea butter and squalane are fantastic occlusives to look for.
- Exfoliation is essential to combating dry skin. Without removing the outer dead layer of skin, your product will not penetrate and truly moisturize where you need it most. I suggest exfoliating regularly for best results.
- Minimizing exposure to weather conditions such as low humidity, harsh winds, or dry heat. One option I love is using a humidifier. Humidifiers are an excellent way to combat environmental issues that cause dehydrated skin.
- Avoiding face washes and soaps that strip your skin of their natural oils and using my StackedSkincare regimen.
- A diet rich in essential fatty acids such as salmon, olive oil, and walnuts can help skin cells stay hydrated.
Of course, there are many reasons to drink water- we couldn’t survive more than a few days without it! But the bottom line is, a good moisturizing cream will do a lot more good for your skin than guzzling water will.