“Will drinking water keep my skin moist?” This was a recent question on the about.com website and the answer was so misleading – well just plain wrong – I feel compelled to put the record straight.
According to about.com, the benefits of water for skin are non existent. Drink water if you want but not for younger looking skin was the advice given.
This is a very surprising answer since just about every dermatologist out there tells us that hydration is essential to younger looking skin and drinking water is vital to the process.
I did a quick review and found that respected dermatologists like Daniel Maes (Head of Research for Estee Lauder), Nicholas Perricone, Dr Murad and countless others less famous but no less qualified all say drinking water is important to keep skin hydrated. And hydrated skin is younger looking skin as we all know.
So – far from not contributing to skin moisture levels – drinking water could be one of the best anti aging tips ever.
The fact is skin – just like any other part of the body – is made up of cells. All the cells in our body are interconnected. You simply can’t separate your ‘insides’ from your ‘outsides’ and say they are somehow different.
And skin cells like any other cell in the body are almost entirely made up of water. Without water the organs in the body – and the skin is the biggest – won’t function properly.
Loss of hydration in the skin shows in all sorts of ways – dryness, tightness, flakiness. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling. Water is essential to maintain skin moisture and is the vehicle for delivering essential nutrients to the skin cells. As water is lost in large quantities every day – it stands to reason you have to replace it somehow.
Taking water into the body by drinking during the day is important but most dermatologists will tell you that to maintain the skin’s moisture levels you need to keep it there too. In other words – drinking water for skin health isn’t enough.
“The Water Principle is not just about drinking four, eight or 12 glass a day, its about getting water into cells and keeping it there”
Dr Murad, Clinical dermatologist and creator of Murad Skin Care
Dr Murad makes it clear in his recent book that there is absolutely no point in drinking a lot of water – or even the 8 glasses a day recommended – if you don’t do the other essential things for skin health. All that will happen is you spend a lot of time in the bathroom!
Here’s a quick summary of the main points of a recent interview with Dr Murad when he talked about the importance of drinking water for skin with the emphasis on a total approach to skin health:
- drink water throughout the day at regular intervals
- eat fresh fruit and vegetables which add a lot of water to the diet as well as antioxidants and fiber
- drink milk and fruit juice as additional sources of water
- take essential fatty acid supplements like evening primrose oil or flaxseed
- take glucosamine supplements to hold moisture in cells
- use a good daily moisturizer
Another of my favoritie skin care advisers is Dr Todorov of Smart Skincare – with a Phd in Biology and an MS in Molecular Biology – he knows a thing or two about skin. Dr Todorov recently got asked the same question by one of the visitors to his site and here’s what he had to say:
“It is true that drinking lots of water helps keep the skin moist. However, it is best to drink most of your water during the day, and not drink excessive amounts of fluids at night, particularly within 2 hours before going to bed. Otherwise, many people tend to get morning puffiness that promotes facial sag.”
That last point is a great tip for preventing puffy eyes – how many of us (me included) go to bed with a glass of water by the bed. That’s OK as long as you save it till first thing in the morning.
So – how did about.com get this so wrong? Difficult to say unless it’s the common problem of of trying to say something startling or different to attract readers – more likely it is a misreading of the expert’s views.
It seems to me so many skin care experts are unlikely to be wrong. If highly qualified people with real knowledge and experience tell me that drinking water is an essential part of healthy skin – I’m going to believe them.
And anyway isn’t that just what your plain old common sense tells you too?