Water- as it relates to skincare- is confusing. Half the time we hear we need to pound 8 glasses of water a day for health, and half the time we’re told to avoid showering too often because it’s super drying. So which is it? Is water good for our skin or bad for it?
Wetness is the Essence of Beauty
There are two ways water impacts our skin: topically and internally. Good skin is not actually as simple as taking care of the top layer of skin on our body. It also requires well functioning organs that successfully absorb nutrients, and expel toxins, bacteria, and waste. Our body requires a lot of water to do these things, and it loses a lot of it as it does them. It’s important that we ingest enough water to match the output.
Drink 8 Glass of Water a Day?
But, in terms of meeting that output, most of us are already drinking enough water without making 8 glasses a day the requirement. That particular middle-school-health-class advice turns out to be an exaggeration. For one thing, any non-alcoholic liquid that you drink, even a diuretic like coffee, provides hydration. In addition, you eat fruits, vegetables, and other water-rich foods as you go about your day. So, assuming that you have a relatively healthy diet, and barring a medical condition, if you focus on drinking water when you’re thirsty then you’re injesting enough water.
Lock that Moisture In
But what about the topical component? As we age, our skin is less effective at holding unto moisture, which leads to wrinkles and sagging. Is drinking enough water the way to avoid that?
The truth is, no matter how much water you drink, once you reach your body's quota, you simply pee it out. So in order to add moisture to your skin, you need to use topical skincare that both adds and retains water.
Enter hyaluronic acid. We talk about HA a lot here, because it is an incredible acid that is naturally found in our skin, lips, joints, and eyes. When applied topically, it attracts moisture to skin and holds unto it. Adding a skincare product with hyaluronic acid into your routine will create tighter, more elastic skin.
What About the Whole Shower Less Thing?
The advice to skip a shower or two for better skin is still real. But that advice is more about the drying properties of soap and shampoo than the actual water. The one truly drying aspect to water has to do with temperature. Hot water strips natural oils away from skin faster- think about when you have a greasy dish to wash, and you use super hot water. So in order to retain needed moisture, especially in the winter and in drier climates, make sure not to take steamy hot showers.