Everyone wants dewy looking, plump and well-moisturised skin, right? You may hopefully be looking after yourself with regular facials, great serums and moisturisers, and of course good food, but do you ever stop to think about how important hydration is on the inside as well? When it comes to water and skin, how much you drink is key! Why? Well for a start, 70% of every skin cell is made up of…you guessed it…water.
Is my Skin Dehydrated?
So how do you know if your skin is dehydrated?
We asked Nadia Aminian, expert aesthetician from London’s best spa, Beyond Medispa in Harvey Nichols, to explain: “Many clients have dehydration lines on the skin, which normally get mistaken for wrinkles. These are assessed during a skin consultation prior to any facial treatment by rolling the skin upwards. The under eye area is a big give away. If your skin is dehydrated it can form tiny bumps, have fine lines or a strong dark circle. To get the best results from our signature Hydrafacial, it’s always best to work from the inside out by keeping your water levels regularly topped up. When your skin is more hydrated internally after a Hydrafacial your skin will be even more plump, more smooth and the glow will last a lot longer! Hydrafacial works topically on the skin and drinking water works internally. They both work hand in hand together for longer lasting results”
Dry feet and cracked heels are another tell tale sign of dehydration. Simone Paul, podiatrist at The Foot Lift Clinic says “I can always tell when my clients are drinking enough water or not. Sometimes we can sort cracked heels in a few weeks with a couple of Foot Lift treatments and making sure they are drinking enough during the day”.
Interestingly, drinking water also helps balance oil levels in the skin to avoid greasiness. Plus in helps defend the skin against sun and wind damage. “You’ll still need a good SPF sun cream though” adds Nadia.
Water and skin works two ways. As well as needing water inside the cells, our skin is also our barrier with the outside world and that’s where we lose water as well – through necessary sweating. So how much do we lose in a typical day?
Resting on a cold day, we probably lose about 1/2 a litre of water through the skin; but on a hot day, if you are exercising, that can rise by several litres – heavy exercise in the sun has been recorded to cause as much as 10 litres of water loss through the skin!
Get rid of those toxins..
As well as topping up the water levels in the skin cells directly internally and externally, water and skin is important for another reason.
Water is crucial in assisting in the elimination and removal of toxins from the body not just through the skin directly, but through our excretory system, i.e. the kidneys, liver, bladder and bowel.
Consuming adequate water helps support healthy bowel elimination, which is essential in preventing constipation. Low water consumption can lead to drier stools, which become difﬁcult to pass – and the longer waste remains in our colon, the more toxins are reabsorbed by our bodies, which may then end up being detoxiﬁed through the skin, resulting in spots, rashes, dark circles under the eyes and generally dull looking skin.
The best way to gauge if you are dehydrated is to look at the colour or your pee. Ideally, it should be pretty clear, or a very light yellow colour. The darker your urine, the more dehydrated you are. So why not try our 2 week water challenge?
Ready for a challenge?
I do this with many of my clients when they first come to see me. Women are given the challenge of drinking 3 litres a day and men are asked to drink 4 litres. Water, herb teas, juices and soups all count, but regular tea and coffee don’t as they are actually dehydrating, meaning you will pee out more than you take in. Try it and see how your skin responds!
If you feel like you struggle with drinking enough water, don’t despair – try out our top tips below!
- Always start your day with a big glass of water.
- Upon awakening we’re often a little dehydrated after not drinking all night. It’s also great way to kick-start your body into action too!
- If you get bored of plain water, spice it up with some fresh herbs or slices of fruit – we love lemon and mint, or raspberry and basil!
- Buy a clear 1.5L drink bottle to carry around with you during the day. Mark lines on it every 250ml, and set goals to drink through each section before a certain time during the day.
- Invest in a drink bottle that you’ll enjoy drinking out of and take ownership of! This could include a thermal one that keeps water cold or warm, or one with a funky pattern on it. Here are some we especially like:
- Swell bottle
- Chilly bottle
- Remember hydration doesn’t stop at water! Hydrate with water-based foods like cucumbers, watermelon and oranges.
- Be aware of your environment. Air conditioned or centrally heated homes and offices dry out the air and speed up the evaporation of sweat on the skin. So keep your water bottle on your desk and top it up regularly.
Finally, there are apps that can help remind you to drink more water.
To book your free skin consultation with Nadia, or one of the expert aestheticians at Beyond Medispa, click here: