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Hydration Myth

general sensitive skin

Does Drinking Water Actually Make Your Skin More Clear?

We all know water is vital for our insides, but does it make a big difference on the outside? Either way, find out how to help lock it in at the right time.

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This is the time of year that we’ve just about had it with dry skin. While seasonal dryness is certainly one of the culprits, we have to think that internal dehydration also plays a role. Or does it?

We all know that hitting our daily H2O quotient is helpful (and crucial!) for our insides but there’s a lot of mystery around what it actually does for our outsides. It’s been proven that drinking water definitely increases blood flow to the skin 1

but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it improves the skin’s appearance, or delivers significant hydration. We have to dig a little deeper.

Why Drinking Water Is So Important on the Inside

Before we can really understand water’s function on the skin, we need to understand what it’s helping underneath it. As for the internal benefits of staying hydrated, here’s what we know:

It helps with brain function2 
We’ve all felt the heady effects of being dehydrated at some point in our lives – headaches, memory issues, dizziness. Keeping water levels up helps clear the fuzz and allows your brain to function at its peak.

It helps control weight
Dehydration often masks itself as hunger so if you’re not drinking enough water, your “hunger” may actually be thirst.3 Reaching for a glass of water over that snack helps keep hydration in and calories out.

It helps boost energy levels
Every feel tired for no reason? That mid-afternoon slump could very well be caused by lack of hydration. Water keeps everything functioning at it’s best. Lack of H2O slows the whole machine down and does a number on your mood to boot.4

It helps…keep things moving
When your body lacks hydration it holds onto as much water as it can, from wherever it can. One of the unfortunate consequences is constipation 5 . To keep everything moving as it should, sufficient water intake is key.

Is There Such Thing as Drinking Too Much Water?

There is actually, it’s called water intoxication and the consequences are a lot more alarming than just having to make a couple extra trips to the bathroom. Drinking excess water increases the amount of water in your blood and dilutes your electrolytes, particularly sodium. When sodium levels drop because of that, the cells swell up. If those cells happen to be in your brain, it can produce dangerous, potentially life-threatening effects. So while it’s important for your health to get an adequate amount of water, too much can be detrimental.

So What’s the Verdict - Does Drinking Water Help Your Skin?

Water is hydrating so it makes sense that your skin would benefit as well. And it does, just not as much as you think. Truth is, when you drink water, it goes to all your organs first before making it to your skin 6  (even though skin is your body’s biggest organ). So while getting that H20 certainly helps, it’s definitely not a pass to skimp on your skin care regime. Skin still needs a lot of help to hydrate on the outside, too.

Tips for Hydrating Skin on the Outside

Our skin is an unfortunate victim to the elements, which we sadly have no control over. The one thing we do have control over is how we combat the dryness. So the key is to lock in moisture and keep it there.

In the Shower
This is where it all begins. Start with a hydrating cleanser that deep cleans without over-drying your skin, like Riversol Hydrating Cream Cleanser. It gently removes the day’s impurities without stripping the skin’s essential oils leaving your face at its natural pH.

Out of the Shower
The minute you step out, your pores are wide-open making skin at its most vulnerable to absorb the wonders of your skin care products. This is where the magic happens. Take advantage and apply a skin hydrating moisturizer, like Riversol Daily Moisturizing Cream, to lock the hydration in there.

If you find your skin extra dry and you really want to give it a fighting chance to combat the elements and improve its overall appearance, add a serum to the mix like Riversol Anti-Aging Serum. It will give your skin an extra layer of protection as well as a little extra boost to help keep everything well-hydrated.

In Your Space
Even the air around you is contributing to your dehydration. Anything that sucks moisture out of the air is doing the same to your skin. Whenever possible, keep the use of air conditioners and furnaces to a minimum (if you can handle it).8

One More Tip For Your Insides
Eating food rich in essential fatty acids helps keep important things, like water and vital nutrients, in the cells where they belong9 . What kinds of foods are those? Anything rich in Omega 3 and 6 - think dark, leafy greens, olive oil, nuts, avocados and fish.

In the end, while drinking those 8 glasses a day is a must for your inner health 10, it’s only part of the puzzle when it comes to skin health. The other part comes from having a good diet, controlling the elements you have control over and most importantly, having a solid skin care regimen complete with gentle yet effective products. Wearing daily sunscreen always helps, too.

References
1. Wound Repair Regen. (2007) Effect of oral hydration on skin microcirculation in healthy young and midlife and older adults. Retrieved from:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17352748?ordinalpos=1&amp;itool=EntrezSystem2.P
Entrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

2. ACSMs Health Fit J. (2014) The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance. Retrieved from:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4207053/

3. Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults. Retrieved from:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661958

4. UConn Communications (2012) Even Mild Dehydration Can Alter Mood. Retrieved from: https://today.uconn.edu/2012/02/even-mild- dehydration-can- alter-mood/

5. Eur J Clin Nutr.(2003) Mild dehydration: a risk factor for dehydration? Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14681719

6. Arlene Semeco, MS, RD (2017) What happens if you drink too much water? Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318619.php

7. UW Health. The Benefits of Drinking Water for your Skin. Retrieved from:
https://www.uwhealth.org/madison-plastic- surgery/the-benefits- of-drinking- water-for-your-skin/26334

8. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Dry skin – self care. Retrieved from:
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000751.htm

9. Allerg Immunol (Paris). (1990) Essential fatty acids and the skin. Retrieved from:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2143069

10. Clinics in Dermatology (2010 ) Nutrition and water: drinking eight glasses of water a day ensures proper skin hydration- myth or reality? Retrieved from:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0738081X10000465